Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a condition that makes it difficult to concentrate and leads to hyperactivity that often interferes with daily living. Although ADHD itself is complex to deal with, it's even worse if you're living with RSD — rejection sensitivity dysphoria.
RSD is often a comorbid condition for people living with ADHD. However, not everyone with RSD has ADHD, and not everyone with ADHD has RSD. Living with RSD makes it extremely painful to deal with rejection or perceived rejection and failure.
RSD only adds to your ADHD symptoms, ultimately affecting almost every aspect of your life. But how can you avoid rejection sensitivity when you’re dealing with ADHD?
The team at Carolina Wellness Psychiatry offers expert care and treatment for mental health conditions like ADHD and RSD. Our team consists of two expert psychiatrists and one experienced psychologist who provides specialized care when you're living with ADHD, with or without RSD.
The facts about ADHD
ADHD is a condition that primarily affects children but can carry into adulthood. It's a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by problems paying attention and hyperactive behavior, which affects everyday living.
There are both attention and hyperactivity signs associated with ADHD. Some of the most prevalent include the following:
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble waiting your turn
- Makes a lot of mistakes
- Problems with time management
- Trouble with organization
- Extreme fidgeting
- Interrupts others often
- Constantly on the go
Some kids or adults may be mainly inattentive with few hyperactive symptoms. In contrast, others are predominantly hyperactive with fewer inattentive symptoms. Still others have a combined diagnosis, where symptoms are about equally divided between attention and hyperactivity problems.
Understanding rejection sensitivity
Rejection sensitivity dysphoria, or RSD, is a condition that often develops alongside ADHD. It fosters extreme emotions related to perceived rejection from others, along with a perceived sense of failure and criticism.
Someone living with RSD and ADHD may take rejection exceptionally seriously, so much so that it affects their mood and everyday living. Their emotions are painful, not simply hurtful, like others may experience.
When someone with RSD feels rejected by others, they often find it almost impossible to stabilize their emotions or talk about their feelings with others. Instead, they drown in their emotions, causing even more dysfunction.
People living with RSD often feel it necessary to prove themselves and their worth to others, even when it's not necessary. They also panic over small rejections or criticisms, creating an emotional spiral.
In addition, RSD has complications related to ADHD, including difficulty with feedback from others, intense fear of rejection, putting up emotional walls against others, and trouble interpreting others' feedback.
Coping with RSD and ADHD
It's often hard enough to deal with ADHD on its own, but it's even more challenging to cope with RSD as well. However, it's essential to seek help in dealing with RSD when you can't contain it alone.
The intense emotional feelings that go along with RSD are exhausting, but there are ways you can learn to cope with them, which include:
Find support with family or friends
It's easier to cope with the intense emotions of RSD when you have someone you can trust with whom you can discuss your feelings. Talk to a loved one or a close friend to give you support and perspective for your RSD symptoms.
Validate your emotions
A big step in coping with RSD is realizing that your feelings are valid and not simply an overreaction to rejection. Simply acknowledging your feelings can significantly help you deal with your emotions.
Be completely honest about how you feel
Honesty is the best quality when living with ADHD and RSD. Although it can be difficult to tell someone how you feel about their criticism or perceived rejection, airing the problems helps you deal with the emotional rollercoaster you're living with.
Try to understand your condition
Understanding RSD is a great way to learn to live with the condition and the emotions that come with it. Read and learn as much as you can on RSD and discuss anything you need to with someone who supports you in your journey to feel better.
Seek treatment when necessary
If you're struggling to deal with RSD on your own, seek expert treatment from our team. We offer medication management and psychotherapy to help you overcome negative emotions and help you find ways to cope with your feelings.
If you're living with ADHD and are experiencing rejection sensitivity, call the team today at 919-446-3232, or send us a message on the website.