pmdd
Mental Health PMDD

Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

I struggled since I was an early teen but I didn’t know why. Some days I would act crazy, jealous, neurotic and anxious, and other days I would be full of confidence and just so happy. Some days I would spiral down into depression for no reason. I struggled with college, dropped out of university. Then, just as things were at their worst, they seemed to be improving, just for things to crash down to be just as bad a few weeks later.

What’s wrong with me? I wondered. Why is it that every time I seem to be getting better, it gets bad again?

Because it was cyclical, I just never knew it. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It seemed to fit, until I had a baby and started breastfeeding, and of course, when my cycle stopped, so did my PMDD symptoms. I felt spaced out a lot. I didn’t know what was going on. Why did my BPD suddenly disappear? Had I just grown out of it? Matured since becoming a mum? Ha ha ha.

Roll on 2.5 years later and the end of our breastfeeding journey, the return of symptoms was savage, only now it was more obvious. Prevented by breastfeeding? Symptoms start around the middle of my cycle? It became so blazingly obvious that it was hormonal but, of course, before I had my daughter, I had no idea when in your cycle you ovulated, I didn’t know PMDD could start 2 weeks before your period. I didn’t know that your period could make you suicidal.

Treatment options for PMDD include antidepressants, contraceptives, HRT, chemical menopause, and, last-case scenario, hysterectomy. I have no desire to have more children so I am open to exploring all options at the minute, as PMDD is frankly debilitating. 

PMDD affects 1 in 20 women. The emotional symptoms present in the week or two weeks before your period starts are as follows:

  • Mood swings
  • Emotional experiences
  • Feeling upset or tearful
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feelings of tension or being on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Lack of energy
  • Less interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Suicidal feelings.

2 thoughts on “Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

  1. Hi Hazel I’m really enjoying your blog. I’d never heard of PMDD but I always suffered from bad periods, like feeling emotional for a week beforehand and terrible cramps. Then a year ago I went on the keto diet to lose baby weight and after cutting out all carbs for a month, my unpleasant menstrual symptoms totally disappeared. No mood swings, and amazingly no pain. I barely noticed my period at all! When since the age of 12 it meant 1-2 days of hell every month. Which gets me to my point that is it possible that all these ‘disorders’ like PMDD and even endometriosis might be diseases caused not by our biology but by our modern diet full of chemicals and inflammatory foods??? I’ve never seen any research on this. And the ‘solutions’ to our ‘disorders’ are surely not synthetic chemicals. I’m on a journey with diet and herbal remedies but I wish more women knew about this.

  2. Hey just saw your blog after someone shared your post on tw being banned from womens sports. lol. Saw this post. Have you considered an endometriosis diagnosis? It can cause those symptoms.
    I finally had enough of “youre just getting older and your cycles get bad”. I have classic endo and have had it probably since 2008 after my second child was born. Could not have any more children (docs said sometimes you have miscarriages and dont get pregnant…). It also caused a prolactinoma and my thyroid cancer but now it is physically and mentally debillitating me more days out of the
    month so I researched and came up with endo which the skilled endo dr confirmed. Please rule this out before you do anything drastic and have SKILLED ENDO SURGEON give you an opinion. My GP was clueless. I have surgery scheduled for March and hoping not to have a hysterectomy as I dont want to get osteoporosis like my mother….

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