Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria – What is it?

I just read an article on Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria. So what does it mean? “In my case, it means that I have an extremely difficult time taking any type of criticism whatsoever.” (1) It means that when someone says one thing, I am thinking another. If I do something that I think may be nice, at some point it turns into “I did an awful job, and they will be screaming at me”. It means that when you say “good morning dear,”  I am thinking, “OK, what did I do wrong?” It means that instead of looking at the glass that is half full, I am looking at a glass that is half empty. It means that I go to dark places more often than others. It means that no matter what I do, I believe it turns out awful. It is never correct, it is not in the right place, it is the opposite of what others would do, it is just plain stupid, and I am going to hear about it. That, in a nutshell, is what RSD or Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria is.

I am sure that many of us can identify with that description. We never knew what to call it, but we have it. It has been diagnosed as a symptom of ADD/HD and in other depression type afflictions. Also, and most importantly, understand that while you are feeling inadequate in many ways, you may not be perceived by others, in that regard. It is only your mental health condition that is tricking your outlook. If you have it, or feel you may have the symptoms, seek guidance from a mental health professional.


(1)    Broadbent, E. (2019). How Rejection Sensitivity Casts a Cloud Over My Marriage. Attitude. Retrieved May 7, 2019, from

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