How do I recognize rejection sensitivity?
The question that can help identify RSD is, “For your entire life, have you always been much more sensitive than other people you know to rejection, teasing, criticism, or your own perception that you have failed?”
When a person internalizes the emotional response of RSD, it can look like sudden development of a mood disorder. He or she may be saddled with a reputation as a “head case” who needs to be “talked off the ledge.” When the emotional response of RSD is externalized, it can look like a flash of rage. Half of people who are mandated by courts to receive anger-management training had previously unrecognized ADHD.
Some people avoid rejection by becoming people pleasers. Others just opt out altogether, and choose not to try because making any effort is so anxiety-provoking.
What can I do to manage rejection sensitivity?
98-99% of adolescents and adults with ADHD acknowledge experiencing RSD. For 30%, RSD is the most impairing aspect of their ADHD, in part because it does not respond to therapy.