How to Know If You Have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

How to Know If You Have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

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Have you ever felt so pained by job loss or a bad date that it caused you to lash out at yourself or others? You may have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, according to Dr. Ismatt Niazi, a child psychiatrist at UCLA Health and avid TikToker at @psychdoctiktok.

“Rejection [sensitive] dysphoria is extreme emotional sensitivity and pain triggered by the perception that a person has been rejected or criticized by important people in their life,” Dr. Niazi explains in a video. Another symptom is serious concern about the possibility of rejection or critique, not just the actual rejection itself, he adds.

This dysphoria isn’t officially in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), but it has been theorized to a component of ADHD. One 2019 analysis in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology has linked the condition to borderline personality disorder.

Some internal responses can be bad moods, which “can lead to externalized responses like rage and anger,” he continues.

Dr. Ismatt breaks down some other symptoms including:

  • high sensitivity regarding rejection
  • unrealistic standards for yourself
  • feeling easily triggered towards guilt or shame
  • intrusive thoughts after a rejection
  • avoiding opportunities where rejection is a possibility
  • avoiding relationships out of fear of rejection or criticism
  • feeling like a failure for not meeting certain expectations
  • becoming a people pleaser
  • losing your own identity
  • harshly criticizing yourself
  • rage towards those who you feel have slighted you
  • frequently assuming the worst in average interactions

    The one positive that’s really not positive? RSD “can be used to hit high levels of success and achievement,” he says. However, treatment for this condition is possible. Dr. Niazi recommends therapy primarily, and notes that there is limited evidence that medication can help.

    If you’re dealing with this, just be aware that you aren’t alone and it’s possible to get better.

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