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ADHD, Women, and the Danger of Emotional Withdrawal

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My husband keeps talking, but I am not listening. I am turning away from him. He has said or done something completely innocent on his end — commented about the need to do the laundry, said he was too tired for sex, teased me gently for a crush on some movie star — and I am finished.

You see, my ADHD and emotional withdrawal stems from my rejection sensitivity, or rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD), which can lead me to (mis)interpret things as a referendum on my (now-perceived) general horribleness as a human being.The stew of guilt and anger, shame and misery can be totally overpowering.

So I turn away. I curl into myself, cut myself off emotionally. I know it’s not a healthy coping mechanism. But at times, it’s the only one I manage.Girls with ADHD often learn emotional withdrawal at a young age: for women, ADD and emotional withdrawal often come hand-in-hand.We can be slow to pick up on the social cues other girls learn with ease.

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Live Webinar on February 28: Eating Disorders Comorbid with ADHD: What You Need to Know About ARFID, Anorexia, and Others
Not available February 28? Don’t worry. Register now and we’ll send you the replay link to watch at your convenience.Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that often go undetected and untreated. An estimated 28 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, but only some of these individuals will receive the care they need. Given the high rate of comorbidity between eating disorders and ADHD, it’s important for families, caregivers, and individuals with ADHD to be well-informed about the symptoms and treatments for different types of eating disorders. This is particularly true for diagnoses that are relatively new or understudied like atypical anorexia nervosa and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).In this webinar you will learn:Have a question for our expert? There will be an opportunity to post questions for the presenter during the live webinar.Dr. Christine Peat is the Director of the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED) and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As the Director of NCEED, Dr. Peat is focused on broadly disseminating education and training on eating disorders to healthcare providers across a variety of disciplines. Her scientific research has focused on evidence-based treatments for eating disorders and the physiological comorbidities associated with these conditions.Dr. Peat is also a licensed psychologist in North Carolina and continues to be an active clinician at UNC serving patients with eating disorders, supporting healthcare providers in the UNC Wellbeing Program, and providing behavioral medicine interventions to patients in various medical settings.
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