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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