Did you know that women seem more likely to have ADHD and hypersensitivity than men? This is something that a lot of people are not aware of. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of ADHD and hypersensivity in women, as well as how to get help if you think you may be affected.
Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria as a form of ADHD and Hypersensitivity
Internal hypersensitivity is usually thought of as rejection sensitivity or rsd.
Symptoms of internal hypersensitivity or rejection sensitivity dysphoria include:
- – feeling easily hurt or offended
- – overthinking every little thing that someone does or says
- – assuming the worst in every situation
- – taking things personally
- – having a hard time letting things go
- – feeling like you are not good enough
If you think you may be affected by internal hypersensitivity, read more about it here.
External hypersensitivity includes many dimensions of sensory experience. My clients complain of lights being bright ( hypersensitivty to light), sounds being too loud ( hypersensitivity to sounds), or experiencing difficulties with clothes and objects touching their skin such as tags and seems ( hypersensitivity to touch). They also may have difficulties with smell and taste ( hypersensivity to texture and scent )
It may be due to women with ADHD having difficulty with the ability to filter which leads to these issues, but it is unclear why they occur so often in people with ADHD.
There are many ways to help with hypersensitivity, but the most important thing is to understand that it is real and not your fault.
So what to do
It can be hard to help yourself with hypersensitivity primarily because you may have a history of masking, feeling shame, and being critical when you struggle. SO overcoming the impulse to do these things is required to deal with your hypersensitivity.
Here are five things I recommend to help with ADHD and hypersensitivity
Practice self-compassion. This is easier said than done, but it is so important. When you are kind to yourself, you are more likely to be able to handle difficult situations and not take things so personally. Educate yourself about your condition. The more you know about hypersensitivity, the more empowered you will feel. Knowledge is power!
Identify your triggers: if you can identify what is triggering your hypersensitivity, you can try to avoid those situations or things. Or if you can’t avoid them, you can at least be prepared for them.
Plan ahead: if you know you are going to be in a situation that is likely to trigger your hypersensitivity, try to plan ahead. This may mean bringing earplugs or sunglasses or having an escape plan. This can be hard because of the need to use the skill of planning which is also an executive functioning skill you might have trouble with. It’s okay to ask for help.
Learn to accommodate yourself. This may mean making changes in your life to make things easier on yourself. It is important to remember that you deserve accommodations and should not feel guilty about asking for them. You may struggle with fully embracing this idea.
Communicate or ask for help. Hypersensitivity can be very isolating, so it is important to communicate with others about what you are going through. This can be difficult, but it is so worth it to have people in your life who understand and can support you.
If you think you may be affected by hypersensitivity, there is help available. You don’t have to suffer in silence. I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences with hypersensitivity, please leave a comment below. And if you know someone who might benefit from this blog post, please share it with them. Thank you for reading!
References for ADHD and Hypersensitivity
Thanks to Terri Maitlin for her ideas shared in the womenpalooza 2022.