How Does RSD Really, Actually Feel?

Stabbing knives, white-hot rage, and debilitating worry are all descriptions used by ADDitude readers to convey the unseen and steadily unappreciated energy of RSD — or rejection sensitive dysphoria. RSD is the term used to explain extreme emotional sensitivity and pain induced by way of the belief (not all the time the truth) of complaint and/or rejection. At its worst, RSD can imitate a complete, major mood dysfunction complete with suicidal ideation — and practitioners are only beginning to recognize and address it.

In a contemporary survey, ADDitude asked adults with ADHD to describe how their RSD feels and how it impacts their lives. Responses confirmed that RSD is a significant, debilitating psychological phenomenon. If you’ve suffered from RSD, proportion your enjoy within the Comments segment beneath.

How Does RSD Really, Actually Feel?

“Some rejection hits like a physical punch. The air leaves my lungs on account of the harm. Other times I feel this all-consuming humiliation. Or a fierce frustration and anger at myself. If I’m blindsided, I feel like a sad, at a loss for words little girl, thunderstruck in my bewilderment. I’ve even lashed out like an injured animal, cornered by way of the ache and in need of to dish it again out. These various reactions will also be accompanied by means of stress complications, immediate fatigue, nausea, tightness in my throat or chest. Sometimes I can shake it off, while other instances the funk it places me into can leak over into tomorrow or even week.” – Anonymous

“Anytime anyone reviews an passion of mine, it seems like a dagger rips through me, particularly if the critique comes from someone I care about. Their rejection can just about shatter my interest and depart me feeling empty.” – Anonymous

“My partner and I both suffer from RSD, and any distinction in opinion is a possible pit of depression. My hyperactivity makes it incredibly painful to be patient together with his inattentive symptoms. His silence and impassive demeanor feel like knives. Medication helps, but clear boundaries and humility lend a hand the most.” – Anonymous

[Could You Have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? Take This Test]

“When I feel I am being criticized, particularly via my husband, I get very indignant – I see red. Now that I know why this happens and that we have a name for it, it’s so much more uncomplicated for us to grasp how to take care of it together. He now appreciates that I don’t have the ability to get to the bottom of it within the second and lets me be on my own for somewhat to calm down.” – Anonymous

“If you close a door on me, for those who reject me, in case you dismiss my emotions, I will’t keep an eye on my response. It turns from frustration into white hot rage so quickly that I’m susceptible to toss something or smash one thing. It’s incredibly embarrassing as an adult and I’m in therapy working at the anger.” –Anonymous

“RSD seems like consistent failure, and then being criticized for feeling like a failure if I categorical any of my feelings.” – Anonymous

“Criticism typically triggers emotions of self-doubt and unworthiness. I in an instant feel disconnected from the one who criticizes me.” – Anonymous

[Watch This Video: Why You Feel Rejection So Intensely]

“The initial feeling is as if you’ve been punched in the head and are suffering to regain consciousness. You then deny that it's affecting you, however your brain is going clean, your frame paralyzes and, as if by the power of a volcanic eruption, you plunge into an abyss of infernal pain and fear. That is simplest the beginning. Nothing derails the power of RSD.” – Anonymous

“Due to many real and perceived rejections in my life from friends, circle of relatives and co-workers, I have transform scared to begin any new friendships or staff activities. I no longer volunteer to do issues at church as I fight an excessive amount of to bear in mind to get the tasks achieved or to wait the conferences. My family is helping me out through reminding me and forgiving me when I disregard.” – Anonymous

“Any sidelong glance or shared smirk between humans in a bunch conversation seems like I’m being made amusing of, and maximum corrective feedback feels like, ‘You aren't good enough. This is how you've got failed.’ I do know intellectually that these worries are irrational, however the thought simplest occurs to me once I’ve already felt the emotional sting of perceived rejection. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells round new acquaintances because I’m constantly making an attempt to determine what they would like.” – Anonymous

“I perceive rationally that my spouse is not rejecting me when he doesn’t wish to come to the Sunday marketplace with me, but my emotions get easily out of hand. I feel like he doesn’t need to spend time with me, that I don’t matter, that I’m silly for asking, that I’m dull and boring, and so forth. It’s onerous.” – Diana

“It is humiliation, adopted via self-berating, and I feel it as a nauseous anxiousness in my stomach. I watch for it all the time when I have to present concepts at paintings, and in social situations I have a tendency to not express my thoughts or feelings.” – Wendy

“It seems like my middle drops into my abdomen and I’m utterly taken out of the moment.” – Anonymous

“When I'm criticized for a easy mistake at work I develop into extraordinarily emotional and cry. It has been so humiliating that I've hand over jobs.” – Anonymous

“Every unmarried time is like the very first time you got rejected as a kid.” – Anonymous

“It’s a punch in the gut and a kick to the head if you are writhing at the floor. The portions of me that others pass over I deal with via beating myself up for leaving myself vulnerable to them in the first position.” – Eric

I often misunderstand what people say and grow to be defensive or angry. I feel like they are talking about me and giggling at me. I butt in at inappropriate instances and say one thing inappropriate that pops into my head as it feels pressing at the time. My relationships had been suffering from my outbursts and perceived insults.” – Anonymous

“The slightest alternate of expression or hesitation can feel like a slap in the face, whether it is real or perceived. For years if my husband tidied the house I perceived it as complaint, although I knew he used to be meticulous earlier than we married. He has needed to stroll on eggshells to avoid the minefield of my easily harm feelings. I struggle with people-pleasing and am constantly examining the behavior of coworkers and supervisors for signs of their judgment.” – Anonymous

“RSD looks like searing feel sorry about, disgrace, embarrassment, and failure. At the slightest hint of disapproval, I disintegrate. I feel so inferior and I need to disguise from the world – it’s more secure that manner.” – Anonymous

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and ADHD: Next Steps


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