To all my friends, family, or even the ones who aren’t in my life just yet, I need you to know, I have PMDD.

No idea what that is? Well, neither do most people. I didn’t when I first found out, so here it is, PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It’s said to be similar to PMS but BELIEVE ME, it’s really not even close.

I can only talk from my personal experiences but PMDD makes me extremely depressed and I’m writing this because that’s what I’m feeling right now. I don’t know who that woman is but I’m telling you now, I am far from her biggest fan. She’s erratic, angry, weepy and worst of all suicidal but I’m not like that usually.

I’m usually a happy person, always up for a laugh but I promise you, there will be a week or so every month where I’m nothing like that. Some of you will laugh that off and in fact, many of you have… to my face.

“Haha 7 to 10 days, that’s it? That’s not real depression.”

Well, no, it’s not constant but neither is what you call “real depression” anyway.

PMDD is bad reactions to a hormone fluctuation which can happen in the lead up to a period. In my case, my PCOS related hormonal imbalance can cause this when I eventually do have a natural period. Not having one for a long while can send my brain into a dark hormonal cloud and I don’t even know how to function anymore. It’s like I’ve gone into shock because my body has no idea what it’s doing month to month.

It can hit you like a tonne of bricks and almost instantly. The swift change in mood – and almost personality is why the condition is usually mistaken for bipolar.

So let me shed a light on how it effects me so maybe you won’t dismiss my feelings anymore…

Those 7 to 10 days are hell. They are agony both mentally and physically and there’s hardly anyway to control it. Some people can get therapy or medications but if like in my case, you’ve tried those and nothing’s worked then you are just out to fend for yourself, hoping the next period won’t be the one that makes you disappear.

It makes me suicidal – Those days all I can think about is ending it all. I’ll avoid doing simple things that link with thoughts of methods of ending it like shaving my legs so I’m not near the sharp edge of a razor. I’ll avoid people and pull away like I’m preparing to go so I can fade away into the background as though they won’t notice. I’ll spend the whole week telling myself that this is the only way out.

Did you know 30% of women who suffer from PMDD with attempt suicide during this stage?

I’m one of them.

My triggers get smaller and more seemingly insignificant – Yes, this one make me seem over dramatic and erratic but this is what’s happening to me. Any small inconvenience becomes linked with anything major that’s on my mind. A lost bus pass really does seem like the end of the world and why…

Because not only is my depression elevated… so is my anxiety. I begin to overthink everything and sends me into a deep hole that I have no control over. I’ll try to console myself by treating myself or taking time to relax but my mind stays busy.

It makes me angry, easily irritated, clumsy, forgetful and just plain isolated.

I’ll push myself into tears. Floods of tears. The only trouble is that once that starts. I can’t stop. I will cry and cry until I hit the worst levels of dehydration and fatigue… inconveniently tied up with a migraine.

So, if you notice me during this difficult time, don’t believe that I hate you or that I don’t suffer from “real depression” because it’s there around a specific time. PMS is mood swings. PMDD is a significant mental health issue.

Thanks,

Kirsty C.

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