At its worst, RSD can imitate a full, major mood disorder complete with suicidal ideation — and practitioners are only beginning to recognize and address it. Instead of losing control of their emotions outwardly, some people with RSD may turn their feelings inward. This can look like a snap onset of severe depression, and sometimes, it’s mistaken for sudden emotional shifts that can happen with bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is when a person feels intense emotional pain related to rejection. The word “dysphoria” comes from an ancient Greek word that describes a strong — if not overwhelming — feeling of pain or discomfort. Though RSD isn’t an officially recognized symptom or diagnosis, it’s still a term that experts use in connection with recognized conditions.

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It feels like it’s something that controls our marriage. Every character flaw or challenge is put down to ADD – “that’s part of the condition, that’s me”. I understand the symptoms of ADD but does that mean I always have to live with them? I now need to get a job despite homeschooling three of our children and still breastfeeding twins, because we cannot afford to live. He says I undermine him with the children, rather than seeing his own behaviour pushing them away. I just want some peace and consideration rather than having our whole family life consumed by ADD.

It drives me batty when someone says “I have ADHD thats why.” That is a cop out. Because if not, what obligation do you have to stay? If he threatens to kill himself, how serious is he? If you have to, you can call 911 to have a professional help him. I’m an adult with ADHD and, like you, my wife despaired of me ever learning any social skills. It’s taken work, but now people usually consider me “quirky” or “blunt” rather than rude.

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I have ADHD and I are ashamed of what we are and try to become more than what we are. We spend our entire lives aware of our faults and spent so much energy trying to bring them under control. When ADHD rears its head it is never a pleasant experience. We also try and appreciate our partners, respect their points of view and be patient. Unfortunately ADHD places us under constant stress which doesn’t always make that easy . But still we see the value in trying to reach our full potential and don’t aim to become some sort of adult-baby who needs to be coddled by a non-ADHD partner.

“I knew she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I can be the one for her, too,” Ritter said

Therapy can be helpful, especially when focused on recognizing emotions and creating coping responses. The emotional pain the person experiences is real and extreme, says Dr. Dodson, and not easily dismissed. The term Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria was coined by Dr. William Dodson and is relatively new as researchers gain greater understanding of ADHD. However, for some, it can be more than a desire, and the mere perception of being rejected can cause enough emotional and physical pain that those who experience it will go to great lengths to avoid it. If you know your partner does best in small-group situations, don’t try to guilt them into coming to a party with you.

For people who don’t grow out of ADHD, a condition like RSD is most likely a permanent, lifelong concern. The possible side effects and complications of the various treatments depend on various factors, especially the treatments themselves. Because of that, your healthcare provider is the best person to tell you what side effects or complications are possible or likely, and what you can do to limit how they affect you. This class of medications treats depression, but experts also know medications such as tranylcypromine can help with RSD.

Talk to friends and family about RSD so they can better understand your emotional reactions to situations where you feel rejected and work with you, so you feel more supported. People with RSD also commonly have other mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. In most cases, it takes a combination of medication and mental health therapy to learn to live with this condition. Your provider can recommend treatment options and guide you on what you can do to help yourself as you learn to manage RSD. Most individuals with ADHD are also highly sensitive to what others think or say about them.

Sometimes they can lead to uncomfortable public scenes. The impulsive behavior of a person with BPD may put that person or their partner at risk, too. At the same time, people with BPD are sensitive to abandonment or rejection.

“We reconciled and then dropped me for a girlfriend,” O’Toole said. She grew up without a father figure, with a fear of rejection taking his place. “I am a freelance yoga teacher, so getting clients, and when clients don’t renew, I will take it personally,” she said. Another way to deal with RSD is to manage the stress in your life. You’re more likely to have an emotional breakdown when you’re stressed out. Eat right, sleep well, and do things like yoga or meditation to keep your mind calm.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for him to learn social skills, just that it will take more work and a different approach. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is “when you experience severe emotional pain because of a failure or feeling rejected,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. Though it’s not an official diagnosis or medical term, this phenomenon is often discussed in reference to ADHD, and it came up repeatedly among the ADHDers I spoke to about their dating experiences.