Does Your Child Have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?

Does Your Child Have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?

YafaYafa Crane Luria
Teacher | Author | Positive Discipline Trainer
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Here is important information on a new(ish) aspect of ADD/ADHD called Rejection Sensitive Disorder (or RSD).

Does Your Child Have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?

I’m going to talk about how it feels and how to parent someone experiencing an RSD episode. After that, I will cite articles explaining the biology of it.

  1. RSD is characterized by an overwhelming feeling of rejection from a friend, family member, or other acquaintance. Your child may feel criticized when no one is criticizing. Your child may feel like a failure or a loser. He or she may feel like life isn’t worth it.
  2. It happens to adults too.
  3. This is a real and serious phenomenon. It’s not that a person is being a drama queen.
  4. When a person has an RSD episode, the feelings and beliefs feel completely real and true, even though it’s not. It feels HORRIBLE: painful, hopeless, and lonely.
  5. Your child may get super irritable, critical, or angry. They may scream at you.
  6. Your child may cry uncontrollably, not be able to focus, want to hide at home, in their room, or by sleeping through it.
  7. Your child may turn to something distracting or addictive to numb the extreme feelings. Then may turn to gaming, junk food, drugs, smoking or vaping, drinking, or sex.
Helpful things
  1. Here are some helpful things parents can offer their kids:
    • massage
    • snuggling
    • bath with epsom salts and essential oils
    • listen to them with compassion
    • take a walk
    • play with a pet
    • eat something healthy and soothing, (for me that’s soup, tea, or poke!) Sometimes eating something crunchy helps. The crunch can help diffuse emotions that are stuck.
    • Read the articles below
    • Talk to a doctor.
Unhelpful things
  1. Things not to do:
    • Don’t tell your child to buck up, snap out of it, or get over it. This isn’t a scrape or scratch.
    • Don’t tell your child it’s just their imagination
    • Don’t call them names (Crybaby, Drama Mama) or tease them
    • Don’t let anyone else call them names or tease them
    • Don’t ignore it and don’t ignore your kids – some kids can become suicidal
    • Don’t just wait for it to pass! This is serious and horrible for your child to go through, especially if there’s something that can be done.
    • Don’t spend a month reading about it, when you could be getting help. Your child NEEDS HELP


xo, Yafa

Copyright 2020 Yafa Crane Luria All Rights Reserved

Yafa Crane LuriaAbout Yafa Crane Luria

Yafa Crane Luria specializes in helping families who are new to ADD/ADHD, who are facing a new stage in ADHD parenting, or who have tried nearly everything and are still frustrated and confused by their child’s or teen’s Blocked but Brilliant brain. A true ADHD trailblazer and fierce advocate, Yafa is a 35-year veteran teacher and school counselor, a certified Positive Discipline trainer, and an award-winning author. In 2018, after decades of working with ADHD kiddos and families, Yafa designed an ADHD- and neuro-divergent brain-specific behavior program that is customizable to individual families in every way. It addresses the unique challenges of parenting a child/teen with a “Big Heart and a Noisy Brain™.”

Fun fact: Yafa’s nickname growing up was “Mountain Goat” because she climbed EVERYTHING. You can listen to Yafa’s personal ADHD story and get more information on her website:

To get more expert tips view all posts by Yafa Crane Luria here.



Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

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