Coping strategies Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria?

Hi there!
Since getting diagnosed a couple of weeks back and diving into the knowledge base about ADHD, I’ve figured out that I really suffer a lot from Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria. I know that in the US RSD is sometimes treated with meds (though I don’t know which ones, personally) but I’m from the Netherlands and unsure if I have access to these (I have an appointment with my specialist about medication tomorrow).

What I’m mostly looking for right now is coping strategies, I haven’t been able to find any on the internet about how to cope with RSD, up until now I’ve been alternatively going with ignoring it until it goes away, telling myself off for getting upset, or getting overwhelmed by it and having mini breakdowns, which, I’ll admit, are not great strategies.

So, do any of you have strategies that you use yourself to manage RSD, or that you’ve been told by a therapist, found somewhere in a dark corner of the internet?

So, the thing about RSD is that despite it being coined by a Doctor is not an official clinical condition. As there is a lot of research and debate and studies that go into these things before they get added into the DSM or ICD. A lot of people, and some professionals, theorize (as right now most things about RSD are in the theory phase) that sensitivity to rejection is part of emotional dysregulation… which doesn’t make it any less an issue! Don’t get me wrong, I’m sensitive to it a lot, but I know it’s because I can’t regulate my emotions to handle it the way I should. One of our mods actually did a solid explanation about RSD in terms of what it takes for it to become an official medical condition:

THAT BEING SAID, no one disagrees that rejection sucks and coping with it is hard. We can hardly regulate our day to day emotions, having to regulate emotions after being rejected? Oh boy. It should be an olympic sport. Try to be less critical of yourself. A lot of times we already know that our reaction isn’t great, so telling yourself off only adds to the problem. Because then you’re focusing on self-bashing instead of trying to fix the problem. So first, I’d change your thinking on that front. If you find yourself self-bashing try to shift your thoughts away from it. It takes practice. And patience. Just remind yourself that you (and so many other ADHDers :heart: #NeverAlone) struggle to regulate emotions, and that isn’t your choice. You didn’t choose to struggle with emotional dysregulation. It’s something you were dealt and have to deal with. So there is no need to bash yourself for something you’d TOTALLY leave behind … if you could. Breakdowns, unfortunately, aren’t something you can really fight off with a change of thinking. Breakdowns happen. If you aren’t already, if you can afford it, therapy could be worth looking into.

Have you tried guided meditation? I like guided because it keeps me on point, it’s not just sitting there in silence where my brain just does it’s own thing no matter how hard I try to pull it back. With guided my brain hones in on the voice and is more likely to actually properly meditate when it’s been instructed and I know it’s not going to be super long. 3-5 minutes to start. After about a month I was able to do 10 minutes. Without even feeling like it was 10 minutes. So it’s definitely a habit and takes time but I always suggest it because it helps so many people so hopefully it can help you too :heart:

I suffer a lot from it, usually at the worst times. It’s absolutely awful and I can only speak for myself, but I usually can tell right away when it happens and when it does I tend to either do two or three things after finding what caused it (and for me it’s usually something someone has said to me or for example, something someone… hasn’t said to me directly):

1 Not a good thing to do, but I find a friend who’s willing to hear me ramble about how much I hate people and want to die because those are usually my first thoughts straight away 2. I stim! For me, I really like lighting things on fire when it happens I don’t know why, but only this helps me in this specific situation 3. I block all contact with the source for a little while until I feel better; so if it’s someone, I’ll tell them hey I’m not feeling well I won’t be able to reach you for a while and then I make a run for it and don’t go anywhere near everything having to do with them if possible

Sometimes it takes me up to a week to feel better, and during those days, I really seek out things that make me very happy and can provide a good distraction (I’ll start a new show, I’ll start a painting, I’ll go out)

I know this might not help you, but my main advice would be to locate the source and avoid it and distract yourself?

I also don’t know how it feels for you so I can’t give you specific advice cause I do feel self-loathing but I also know that if I treat it quickly and do the steps I mentioned, that part will only happen on the spot or for around the next 24 hours and it’ll take care of itself


I am bumping up an old thread, for I suffer from rejection sensitivity right now and this topic never gets old-

Does anyone think he*she makes it worse by distancing themselves when feeling rejected?

How about feeling "it is fair to be rejected, because as an ADHD brain we are “too much” for the people? Anyone feels that?

Please brains please, share your coping strategies.

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I never think it’s fair to be rejected. Not for having ADHD, or any condition.

One thing I believe to be a basic human need is to interact socially with other humans. People need people.

I do think that more needs to be done to educate people about ADHD. People with ADHD are people. For many, the ADHD makes them more sensitive to rejection than what the majority think is acceptable. But if all people acted with more kindness, thoughtfulness and acceptance towards one another, I think that we would see a lot less rejection sensitivity issues…I think that we would see less social issues of all kinds.

I hope for one-day have a more ADHD-friendly world.

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i think rejected is a very loaded word.

i don’t like everyone i meet. there are also people that i liked at one time in my life but don’t anymore. or people who i was once very close to and now just think of fondly every once in a while.

i believe that this is fair. i do not think it is reasonable to expect of myself that i will have the desire or ability to be close to everyone i meet. i won’t want to be roommates with everyone. i won’t want to work with everyone. i won’t like everyone.

and if i don’t expect that of myself, i can’t expect that of anyone else either.

i don’t think of this as “rejection” per se, though someone may experience it as such.

(it’s different in the context of employment, housing, and other areas where equal opportunity comes into play. if i am qualified for a job, it is unfair for someone to pass me over because i have ADHD.)

there’s a lot to unpack in this statement. like: is it true? what does it mean to be too much? also, what people? remember, we don’t need everyone to like us.

as for coping skills: i don’t know that i have good advice. my one suggestion is to bring this to therapy without raising the topic of rejection sensitivity first. let the therapist hear your experiences without biasing them to believe you are overreacting. because from your posts here, it sounds like you have some very fraught relationships – relationships that don’t seem to meet your needs. feeling rejected in that case strikes me as rational.


I never had the guts to do what this guy did myself. But I really think this actually could desensitize someone from rejection.