Living with PMDD | Laura's Mental Health Story | Mind

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Hi, my name is Laura and I suffer from PMDD and that means premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is a cyclical mood disorder caused by a sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations between ovulation and the period. So, in general, it's about two weeks a month that people have it.

The symptoms are basically, imagine premenstrual syndrome but on steroids to the point where it is completely unmanageable. So instead of being irritable people crawl on their skin. Instead of being depressed, you are depressed chronically and you can not get out of bed. Anxiety is through the roof. Rage, anger for some people. There are also some physical side effects that some people have. Not everyone suffers from them, but they can be more extreme. My physical side effects tend to come more from anxiety, so the palpitations and dizziness, the weakness. And the fatigue is great and I sleep a lot just when I am approaching my time of the month.

So for me, my PMDD, I think, started around 17 when I took the contraceptive pill. And it was a pretty instant reaction. From that day forward I basically had panic attacks and episodes of depression for the next 20 years. I had bad reactions to most of the contraceptive pills and the Mirena coil also caused a large amount of hair to fall out. I was chronically depressed and suicidal for about 18 months.

In my twenties I think I was losing about two days a month. It was pretty horrible but it was bearable. Then, when I was in my thirties, it became more chronic, to the point of losing three days in this depression, about five or six days really unable to cope or handle, just overwhelmed, and then about three days to recover. of that. And all this time they told me "It's just PMS", so I thought it was just that I was being weak, which is a very common story. Most doctors have not heard of PMDD.

There came a moment of light when I read about the online PMDD and joined a peer support group, the UK support for PMDD, which I now direct. I received a referral to a specialist and 18 months later I am not responding to anything, so I am about to undergo a hysterectomy in the coming months.

So my advice would be if you think you suffer from PMDD; Join a Facebook support group. If you only type PMDD in the search bar, there are many tips. There are a lot of groups for absolutely everyone. Download a tracker, a period tracker and start tracking your symptoms daily to see if you notice that change in yourself between ovulation and around your period. It does not always stop that day, for some people it gets run over.

Get in touch if I can help. Thank you. Goodbye!

Video credits to Mind, the mental health charity YouTube channel

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    Living with PMDD | Laura's Mental Health Story | Mind

    Comments 8

    1. I always wondered what was wrong with me. Every period I get, I turn into a different person. My boyfriend who has put up with it for 8 years said he has feared for his life when I get into my "moods". The slightest thing can turn me into this evil destructive thing when normally I'm a very calm and happy person. I can't help myself! Thankfully my boyfriend is very understanding and knows to keep an eye out for that one week a month where I could rip his head off for next to nothing. It's sometimes best if I just curl up in bed for a few days until I stop feeling like the whole world is out to get me. But I'm very glad I know I'm not alone. I don't feel so bad for the way I can act now, knowing it isn't just me.

    2. Hi Thank you. My friend has this condition. She has had a hysterectomy and is still struggling with severe pmdd symptoms.

      I want to be able to understand this better.

    3. I can’t take the combined pill (history of stroke in family) and been told same for implant etc so I’ve been left with nothing really. Told too young for a hysterectomy too (38) all I take is paracetamol and multivitamins x

    4. Thank you so much this was so inciteful and made me feel normal as I could really relate to what you’re saying

    5. I was told a hysterectomy wouldn't help – that I'd simply get the menopause and the same symptoms as before

    6. It's interesting what you said about how pmdd started when you started to use the pill. That was the same for me which may just be a coincidence but I sometimes wonder if pmdd could be caused by talking the pill. I wonder if this is why Drs won't aknowlege pmdd because it would mean looking into whether or not putting synthetic hormones into the body could cause a problem in the brain resulting in pmdd symptoms. Something that disproves this theory is that some women take the pill and have no I'll effects. I know I can't guess at causes but it has crossed my mind and I have a fear of taking the pill now.

    7. YES MY SYMPTOMS ARE SO BAD, I haven't been able to get pregnant and i'm worried a hysterectomy will be in my future sooner than later, i'm so not ready for this, I really don't want to have one. I'm so sorry you're going through this, I wish you the absolute best in your mental and physical health and even spiritual if you are. Please take care and thanks for your video.

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