The little known facts about ADHD that will make all the difference in understanding your ADHD. Part 3
REJECTION SENSITIVITY DYSPHORIA
This is an intense feeling of being vulnerable when rejected, teased or criticised by the important people in your life. In Greek it means “difficult to bear.” Someone who experiences rejection sensitivity will feel intense emotional pain to such a degree that it is difficult to experience the emotional pain. Indeed the emotional pain is experienced as a physical pain. This pain will also be triggered if the person senses that they have fallen short of their own expectations. Those who experience this intense feeling often feel shame due to their intense emotions. RSD is especially common in women and is a major source of relationship breakdown and divorce among women who have ADHD.
Early childhood trauma can make symptoms worsen over time.
When a person is going through the throes of rejection sensitivity it can look like they have a mood disorder. The sudden change from being perfectly fine to being intensely sad often results in the person being misdiagnosed as having BPD or bipolar disorder.
WOMEN WITH ADHD ARE OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED
Far too many of my clients, especially women have related how they have been misdiagnosed with BPD or bipolar disorder, and have been on mood stabilising medications or antidepressants for years, without any follow up. They have reported telling their doctors that the meds doesn’t make them feel better yet they are continually prescribed the same medication, often for years on end. Tragically their words are often not taken seriously or even listened to by their practitioners.
Medication usually helps since RSD is often caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Psychotherapy usually doesn’t help because the emotional reaction overtakes and overwhelms the person’s body and mind very suddenly. Mindfulness is a great tool to manage the non-stop bombarding thoughts that can overtake one’s mind. The key to success is to practise mindfulness during calm moments. Little and often is the key here.
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