What Is the True Feeling of RSD?

RSD initially feels like you have taken a hit to the head and are having trouble waking up. Subsequently, you refute its impact on you; but, your mind becomes unresponsive, your body becomes immobile, and you descend into a chasm of excruciating agony and terror, seemingly caused by a volcanic eruption. And that is only the start. Nothing can undermine RSD’s power.


“Certain rejections are as strong as a punch. The pain is causing the air to escape my lungs. At other times, I have this overwhelming embarrassment. perhaps a deep sense of resentment and fury towards myself. When I am taken by surprise, I feel like a distraught, perplexed young child, completely overcome with confusion. I have even reacted aggressively, eager to give back the anguish that had cornered me like an injured animal. These different reactions may be accompanied by headaches from stress, nausea, immediate exhaustion, and tightness in the chest or throat. I can get over it sometimes, but other times the bad mood it throws me into lasts for the next day or even a week.” – Anonymous


“When someone criticizes one of my interests, especially if it comes from someone I care about, it feels like a knife ripping through me. My interest can be completely destroyed and left feeling hollow by their rejection.” – Amanda


“Any disagreement between my spouse and I—who both have RSD—could lead to despair. It hurts so much to be patient with his inattentive symptoms because of my hyperactivity. His cold manner and quiet cut like blades. Medication aids, but humility and well-defined boundaries are most beneficial.” – Anonymous


“I get really upset and turn crimson when I think I am being chastised, especially by my husband. We now have a term for it, which makes it much easier for me to understand why this occurs and how to address it jointly. He now understands that I am unable to handle everything right now and gives me permission to have some time to myself so I can collect myself.” – Anonymous


“I have no control over how I will respond if you reject me, close a door on me, or downplay my emotions. It happens so fast, from frustration to raging fury, that I risk breaking or throwing something. As an adult, it is really embarrassing, and I am working through my anger in therapy.” – Anonymous


“RSD makes me feel like a continual failure, and when I show any emotion, I am called out for it.” – Chris


“Feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt are frequently sparked by criticism. I feel cut off from the individual who is criticizing me right away.” – Anonymous


“At first, it feels like you have taken a blow to the head and are having trouble waking up. Subsequently, you refute its impact on you; but, your mind becomes unresponsive, your body becomes immobile, and you descend into a chasm of excruciating agony and terror, seemingly caused by a volcanic eruption. And that is only the start. Nothing can undermine RSD’s power.” – Anonymous


“I have experienced a lot of actual and perceived rejection from friends, family, and coworkers, and as a result, I have grown afraid to form new friendships or participate in group activities. I no longer volunteer at the church because I find it very difficult to remember to complete the assignments or show up for meetings. My loved ones support me by reminding me and by being understanding when I forget.” – Steve


“I feel like I am being made fun of when someone looks at me funny or smirks at me in a group conversation, and most constructive criticism makes me feel like I am not good enough. This is the way you have fallen short. Though I realize logically that these concerns are unfounded, I do not think about it until after I have experienced the emotional pain of feeling rejected. I always feel like I am trying to figure out what new acquaintances want, so I feel like I am treading carefully around them.” – Anonymous


“Though my emotions can quickly get out of control, I know intellectually that my spouse is not rejecting me when he chooses not to accompany me to the Sunday market. I get the impression that he does not want to spend time with me, that I am boring and uninteresting, that I do not matter, and so on. It wears you out.” – Anonymous


“It is nauseating uneasiness in my gut, and it is humiliation followed by self-berating. When I have to offer ideas at work, I always look forward to it, and when I am with other people, I usually keep my sentiments and thoughts to myself.” – Anonymous


“I feel as though I am totally removed from the present moment and my heart is dropping into my stomach.” – Anonymous


“When I receive criticism at work for a small error, I cry uncontrollably. Because of how embarrassing it has been, I have quit my jobs.” – Anonymous


“It feels like the first time you were rejected as a child every single time.” – Anonymous


“You are left writhing on the ground with a kick to the head and a punch to the gut. I punish myself for putting myself in their line of sight in the first place in order to take care of the parts of me that they miss.” – Joe


“I frequently interpret things incorrectly, which makes me defensive or irate. They seem to be making fun of me and talking about me. I barge in at the wrong times and say whatever irrelevant comes to mind since it seems important at the moment. My tantrums and perceived slights have damaged my relationships.” – Brian


“Whether genuine or imagined, even the smallest shift in demeanor or reluctance can be as hurtful as a smack in the face. Although I knew my husband was careful before we were married, I took it personally for years if he cleaned the house. He is had to tread carefully to stay out of the minefield of my easily offended sentiments. I have trouble pleasing others, so I am often looking for clues about my bosses’ and colleagues’ judgment in their actions.” – Anonymous


“RSD is akin to intense remorse, humiliation, embarrassment, and failure. I crumple at the first trace of condemnation. I want to hide from the world because I feel so inferior and it is safer that way.” – Ryan

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