“We don't see things as they are,
we see them as we are”
- Anais Nin
Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)- is characterized by more significant premenstrual mood disturbances that can have a harmful impact on a suffers life, relationships, and work. Also, according to UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders is a severe form of PMS, it affects approximately 5-10% of women in their reproductive years, Unfortunately out of those women, 15% either have attempted or committed suicide.
The battle to have recognized has been long and hard, but PMDD was finally recognized as a disorder in the DSM-5(Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5th Edition) on May 18, 2013. Before the official changes to DSM-5, PMDD appeared in the appendix of the DSM-4 making it an undiagnosable condition.
In the editorial Severe PMS/PMDD-is it time for a new approach?, the authors note that it was “confusion with bipolar disorder ”(Panay and Fenton 331). The misdiagnosis or the lack of diagnosis, eventually led to many under-treated or over treated women, with some women hospitalized for psychosis as a result of improper care.
We are all biologically different; symptoms can vary from woman to woman no one person will have the same exact symptoms. The lack of appropriate medical research makes it hard to identify the exact symptoms and the precise nature of PMDD.
Below I have identified the most common symptoms of PMDD; they are the most spoken about in articles studying PMDD and books regarding PMDD.To receive an accurate diagnosis of PMDD, you must have five of the symptoms listed below with two of them being from mood symptoms during the luteal phase. Approximately 15-10 days before menses.
To be diagnosed as having PMDD, a suffer mos present with five of the symptoms including, two of the symptoms being mood-related and it must disrupt the quality of life of the sufferer. The time frame in which Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) symptoms appear should be at the peak of the luteal phase,( 15- 10 days prior to the start of period) and must end at the start of menses. For some, it could stop three to five days after menses(period) depending on the biological chemistry of each (remember we are all built differently.)
The best and most efficient way to get diagnosed with PMDD is to keep track of your symptoms by keeping a journal or using a Monthly Period Tracker.
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As a Neurodivergent woman that struggles with PMDD, I sometimes need a place to connect with others that feel like I do. I also want to find someone I can share my struggles with that wont judge me and allows me to just vent. Living in a Neurotypical world has its challenges and can sometimes become very overwhelming. If you are in need to a place or someone to chat with, I am here to do just that for you. Just click below to be connected to my Facebook Messenger and I am here to listen, judgment free!
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