The Reality of PMDD

This video is a true reality of what it is like to live with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. As she stated in the video, each month the individual becomes a prisoner of their own mind. Everything she says is so true and I can relate! More often than not, it’s like I’m a stranger standing outside of my body looking in. The only problem is, it’s like there are chains holding me down and not allowing me to pull away from the evil that lurks inside. I want nothing more than to be the happy person I know I can be, but it feels impossible. Remember, it is temporary and will go away in a few days.

Know that if you struggle with PMDD, you are not alone. Seek help from doctors, family, friends, and support groups. Don’t let it take control! You are stronger than it is.

The PMDD Survival Kit

There is no one thing that takes PMDD away completely, although there are things that can help alleviate it and make the individual feel better. It’s always there, like a demon monster, just lingering in the background waiting for that one simple thing to set it off.

Each month, I have to fight this ugly demon! I can feel it creeping up on me, but just don’t know how to stop it. I try so hard, but I just don’t seem to be strong enough. One second I can be happy and laughing, then the next I’m in a fetal position crying my eyes out wanting to end it all. “What’s the matter, you ask?” The answer every time is “I don’t know,” and that’s the honest to God truth! Through the hopelessness, I reached for anything and everything that could make me feel better. I wanted nothing more than to be my happy, loving self.

I opted to stay away from medicines because it’s bad enough I have multiple daily meds to take for my asthma. Instead, I opted to put together a ‘No Medication’ survival kit.

1. Keep A Calendar

I can’t stress the importance enough to keep a calendar of your monthly cycles. It not only alerts you to when you can expect the monster to visit, but it’s also a great tool to share with your doctors. There are a number of different calendars you can use, but when tracking cycles and PMDD symptoms, I recommend Me vs PMDD.

2. Essential Oils

There are several essential oils that can help with mood and sleep (2 of the main things that’s missing during hell week).

A couple of my favorites include Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Lavendar, and Peppermint.

3. Meditation

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and clear your head. I have this CD and love listening to the relaxing music, as it helps me focus and get rid of negative thoughts.

4. Journal

How many of you use a journal or diary? I do and I love it! I actually use a journal just like the one pictured. When you are able to write down your thoughts, you are able to see them more clearly and it allows you to deal with the emotions you may struggle with.

In addition to the things I listed above, I also include me time. It’s important to know when you need to remove yourself from others so you don’t say things you don’t mean. In addition, I take warm baths, exercise with Beach Body on Demand, eat healthy, watch a favorite movie, read a good book, do a craft with my circuit, and just keep myself busy so my mind doesn’t wander to scary places.

PMDD – Wrong Diagnosis

What can I say? I went to the doctor for years…yes, I said years. I even went to different doctors hoping to get some different answers and possibly a correct diagnosis.

They all thought I was crazy and in turn, I thought they were crazy!

Nobody knows their body better that you own self, right? Well, that’s where the problem was, I knew I was ok…most of the time, but they were treating me with being depressed or having bipolar issues. I kept telling them they were wrong, but they didn’t listen. Eventually I had an appointment with a gynecologist and he knew exactly what was wrong with me. It was called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)! I’m thinking ok, what the heck is that? I kept telling them I felt fine except 3 to 4 days prior to my cycle starting. I would be a crazy, out of control beast from another world! Then, it went away just as fast as it came. From there, the trial medications began; one anti-depressant to the next. They were useless! They didn’t work! Anyhow, I believe have found what works for me and all has been well the last 6 months or so.

How to get the correct diagnosis?
The number one most important thing of all is track your moods, track how you feel, and don’t give up when you know the doctors aren’t right. Be your own BEST advocate! I began tracking with paper and pencil, well, really some markers because I’m a color coder. That’s when I started to realize when it was happening. Lucky for you there is now an awesome app that you can track everything on. It’s called PMDD v Me. Here’s a link to get it for free.

Below are some screen shots of the app. It will also allow you to run a report so you can compare when things are the worst. Wishing you all the best!

XO Dawn

PMDD – The Secret Suicide

It’s inevitable. It comes month after month and there’s just no stopping it! We think it’s just PMS symptoms, because that’s what we are told by the doctors. It comes with bloating, fatigue, heavy bleeding and irritability. You go from happy to sad, to angry and irrational within minutes and you feel as if you have no control. You don’t know why you feel the way you do and you couldn’t give an answer to someone when they ask you what’s wrong. You feel like you are going crazy inside! It’s like an out of the body experience and you are looking at yourself not understanding who that person is, or if you are going crazy. Within days, a switch is flipped at the of your menstrual cycle and you become real yourself again. It’s as if you are two different people like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.

This is me! This is my struggle each and every month. It’s debilitating and it is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

What is PMDD?

PMDD can have debilitating, severe emotional and physical symptoms. It causes ugly mood swings that you can’t control. It can also have damaging effects on relationships and in the workplace. It is not well known condition and just recently was put into the diagnostic manual in 2013. Often it is misdiagnosed for depression, bipolar disorder, or PMS.

Where does PMDD come from?
According to my Gynecologist, Dr. Kingsbury, he told me it was like my brain was having an allergic reaction to the fluctuation of our natural hormones. It affects the serotonin in our brains, which is responsible for making us happy, sad, mean, and yes, even suicidal.

What are the symptoms of PMDD?
I have probably had every single symptom there is, but recently learned how to keep it under control naturally. I’ll share that a bit later. Anyhow, known symptoms include:

  • depressed mood
  • anxiety
  • feeling of hopelessness
  • suicidal ideations
  • appetite changes
  • trouble sleeping
  • lack of interest in the things you once loved
  • anger
  • low energy
  • mood swings
  • lack of concentration
  • migraine headaches

How I have learned to cope
It took me a long time to figure it out…years actually! After being prescribed multiple different anti-depressants and birth control pills that didn’t work for me, I decided to try things my way. Besides, I HATE taking medication, so I quit all of it! I changed my eating habits, I began exercising on a regular basis with Beachbody on Demand, and I started taking some of the best natural supplements that have helped a number of women feel better. This supplement has been a life saver. I take 2 pills everyday, even during my good days and I feel 98% better. Once I started taking them, I noticed a difference within a few days.