PMDD completely changes my personality and for ten days out of the month; I don’t recognize my self. PMDD grips me like a snake around its victims neck slowly suffocating the real me till there is no me left. My life stops being beautiful, my hearts stops experiencing joy, and I stopped existing in the life I knew just a few days before. My brain is covered by a fog that like a blanket covers me completely. Disables my intellectual and cognitive thinking causing me to be unproductive and out of sorts. It is a Jackle and Hyde experience that reoccurs month after month.
Emotionally I feel empty! The hardest thing for me is the sadness that consumes me; it takes every happy feeling I have and dumps it right out. The joy I get from my children is gone, and it is replaced with impatience. Every little thing makes me lose it, I yell at the slightest mishap my children or husband make. I love them, but in those days I don’t feel love. It leads to feeling distressed for feeling so empty and angry, at the people I love the most.
Physically I want to lay on my couch and watch mindless TV while sinking into the cushions. Exercise does not happen on those days as I am so fatigued, the thought of any physical activity can put me in an instant state of anxiety. On PMDD days I get severe insomnia, only fueling my fatigue, and as it gets closer to getting my menstruation the less I sleep.
If those symptoms are not enough to pull me under, I have to also deal with binge eating. The extream urge to eat salty, sweet and often is relentless. The binges cause me to sabotage any progress I’ve made when I am on my good days and eating clean, which in turn causes me to plunge into extreme guilt. Yet, the guilt is not enough to keep me from eating uncontrollably.
The relief comes when I get my menses, the minute that it starts to flow out of me is the minute the relive comes. It is instant and swift. It is a moment of pure joy that I could never really put into words. So while the rest of the female race is complaining about getting the period, I am dancing with victory in my heart, because finally, I am ME again.
What Is PMDD
PMDD full name Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a condition in which fourteen to five days before menstruation a woman experiences severe PMS symptoms that include depression, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, tension, brain fog, and lack of focus. In most cases, the symptoms subside once menstruation begins or shortly after that. The condition’s symptoms persist every month a woman is in her reproductive age.
PMDD, can’t be escaped, it may be less intense sometimes, but it never leaves. After three babies my body betrayed me with a condition barely anyone has heard about. The medical professionals do not want to acknowledge it, to them is as it is an emotional woman problem. When I mentioned it to my family and friends, they say “Oh Yeah your period !” Reducing it to nothing more than a normal condition that merits no additional care.
Consequently, many women including me have to seek answers from the internet instead of getting proper care from their medical providers. Because PMDD seems to only exist in the realm of the internet, outside of it is JUST PMS. Out of the world wide web no one has heard of PMDD, and no one understands PMDD.
Making the days that PMDD hits that much more difficult. PMDD is not all in my head, it is not something I made up, and it most definitely is not JUST PM
You are Not Alone
If any of this sound like you, know that you are not alone! There are thousands of women that feel just like you. If you are on Facebook, there are Private Groups that you can join to connect and receive support from fellow women suffering from PMDD. I also have a private Facebook Group you can join Called Committed PMDD Sisters that you can join. It is a small group of hope seeking, encourage giving women. Click on the link and come join us, let us support you on your journey.
Need a Place to talk, Contact Peer Support at the IAPMD. They’re there to help you during a difficult time. They’re survivors just like us that understand our needs and struggles. Just click on the link to be connected.
Here is a Great Book for a quick guide to PMDD:
The PMDD Phenomenon: Breakthrough Treatments for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Extreme Premenstrual SyndromeThe PMDD Phenomenon
Check out this great sites for more information and resources on PMDD:
International Association for Premenstrual Disorder (IAPMD)
Me v PMDD
National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome | NAPS