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Rejection Sensitivity and ADHD

If you’re part of a family affected by ADHD, you’re probably familiar with its telltale signs, such as difficulty focusing, carelessness, and impulsive behavior in social situations. However, a symptom of ADHD that not many people know about is rejection sensitivity. In this article, you’ll learn more about what rejection sensitivity entails, and how Dr. Mohammad Munir and our team at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates can help.

What does rejection sensitivity mean?

A person with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) becomes overly distressed and overwhelmed when they feel like they have failed or been judged negatively. If you experience RSD, you might try to prevent future moments of criticism and humiliation by bending to other people’s wills, lashing out, or preemptively isolating yourself.

Most ADHD patients are prone to hyperactive and impulsive behaviors, especially in social settings. If you experience overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and low self-worth, RSD might be a significant symptom of your ADHD. RSD can damage your relationships and mental health in the long-term, so it’s important to treat RSD as soon as you recognize it.

What causes rejection sensitivity?

Rejection sensitivity is linked to an overreaction of the HPA axis, your body’s center for stress response. For this reason, anything that could influence how your body processes emotions or stress could cause rejection sensitivity.

For example, you might be genetically predisposed to emotional sensitivity or overreaction to stress. Another possible cause is your psychological environment: If you had a traumatic or stressful childhood, you might carry a constant fear of rejection or exclusion with you throughout adulthood.

How can I address and alleviate rejection sensitivity?

ADHD can already pose stressful challenges in the workplace and in your personal life, and rejection sensitivity can turn even simple social interactions into a self-perpetuating cycle of anxiety and emotional pain. Fortunately, Dr. Mohammad Munir, MD, and the team at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates are proud to offer personalized and comprehensive ADHD treatment to help you manage symptoms such as rejection sensitivity.

During a consultation with one of our specialists, we speak about your individual experience with ADHD and its related symptoms, like rejection sensitivity. From there, Dr. Munir and the rest of the team work to find a combination of treatments that will help you get back on your feet and alleviate your stress quickly. We advocate for a mixture of medication and therapy, which can help you regulate your bodily stress and emotional responses using both a psychiatric and psychological approach.

Rejection sensitivity is a significant and detrimental aspect of ADHD, yet many ADHD patients are unaware that they’re experiencing RSD and they don’t know how to receive help. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and patient-centered approach to tackling your rejection sensitivity, our office is here to help. Don’t hesitate to call any of our Boston area offices, send a message through our online form, or request a telehealth appointment today.

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