Premenstrual Dysphroic Disorder

It happens every month, as you become a version of yourself that you have come to dislike. You feel broken, disconnected from joy and love, and isolated. You feel tense…so tense. Like your body could explode. Frustration, irritability, uncontrollable mood swings, deep sadness to deep rage, and anxiety. These all come flooding towards you at once. Of course, it is the people you love most that get the worst of it. And then, you get a burst of guilt and shame around your inability to control your emotions, and how you treated your loved ones EVERY DARN MONTH!

 Defining Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a health problem that is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, PMDD is much more of a significant disturbance of mood and emotion that often has a damaging impact on your life and relationships. PMDD feels like PMS on steroids! It looks similar and shares similar traits; however, PMDD having hidden villainous qualities that can cripple the life of the women suffering from it.  It affects about one in twenty women. It is a condition of severe premenstrual depression, irritability, or anxiety. In short, PMDD symptoms show up around the 14th day of your cycle (typically a week or two weeks before your period starts).

PMDD was not a diagnosable disorder until May of 2013. Before that, PMDD was a provisional diagnosis due to insufficient research. PMDD used to be diagnosed and treated as a low-level depressive disorder that becomes worse during menstruation, which led many women to be treated incorrectly for their struggles.

 Symptoms of PMDD

The lack of proper medical research makes it hard to identify the exact symptoms of PMDD, as they can vary from woman to woman. Below are the most common symptoms of PMDD. Keep in mind that the intensity level of these symptoms is higher than common PMS symptoms.

  • Depression

  • Sadness

  • Hopelessness

  • Anxiety / Panic Attacks

  • Tension/Restlessness

  • Extreme Sensitivity / Mood Swings

  • Irritability

  • Rage / Anger

  • Racing thoughts / Difficulty Concentration

  • Relational Conflict

  • Low Self-esteem / Negative self-talk

  • Fatigue / Insomnia

Treatments for PMDD

Most conventional doctors will prescribe a psychotropic medication such as an antidepressant or birth control pills to manage the symptoms, which can trigger a host of other issues later on. I am not anti-medication, but I do believe a woman should have an accurate, informed consent to make her own choice before proceeding with any medication. I believe women should first be encouraged to find and treat the underlying cause(s) of their presenting symptoms, only utilizing medications when absolutely necessary.

I always start with the gut/ digestive function/ nutrient absorption. We can't optimize hormone and neurotransmitter health without balanced blood sugar, supporting the hormones (fats/ nutrients), and supporting the brain neurotransmitters. Food and your digestive function are where I start. AND - we also have to address the stress and trauma, as it can cause havoc on your gut health, hormones, and immune system. That's where therapy comes in. It's all for root cause healing.

How Therapy Can Help

  • Therapy can help you find ways to create more clarity and ability to address our damaging thoughts.

  • It can also help to ground you and connect you to who you are underneath the havoc that PMDD is wreaking on your life.

  • Therapy can help heal the damage that PMDD may have caused in your relationships. Also, help you battle any guilt or shame you may be feeling.

  • Therapy will assist in finding the root cause(s). SO it does not become a vicious cycle or having to take medication for the rest of your life to manage the symptoms.

    One of my primary goals is to accurately assess to understand your pain story, not just your pain symptoms, by fully understanding the organic cause(s) of the symptoms you're presenting. Based on your unique story and specific needs, I will help you incorporate natural remedies to help with the underlying causes. I will further assist in helping you build a professional health team, where necessary, to assist in your treatment with me.

I will help support, educate, and empower you to make the best decisions for your overall health.

Because PMDD is a relatively new diagnosis, and less widely known by the general public. It can be hard to find people to connect with. If you suffer from PMDD, I hope you will reach out for help and know you are not alone.