5 Reasons Your PMS Might Actually Be PMDD

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is the diabolical best friend of PMS; only she is louder, badder, and won’t take “No” for an answer. (Yeah, we all have one of those friends in our circles). And when she visits, she packs with her the same carry-on bag full of moodiness, food cravings, anxiety, uneasiness, fatigue, and sadness—except this overachiever brings it to a whole new level. PMDD is PMS on steroids; and women who suffer from this beast can attest that it isn’t your average moody week. And while the two troublemakers may look the same at a glance, there are actually real clinical differences that set these two apart. Being able to identify them can mean the difference between losing and gaining control of your life. Here are some pointers to help you differentiate.

1) You Transform From Dr. Jeckle into Mrs. Hyde.

The week before your period can bring on shifts in mood where you can be a little more touchy, a little more sensitive, and a little more unlike yourself. That’s because Premenstrual hormones start to shift as they bring about changes in the body as per the reproductive system and sometimes your emotions can follow suit. But, while PMS will make us feel al little off and a tad emotional, PMDD shifts cause straight up havoc on your whole life. Mood swings disrupt your personal relationships, your ability to regulate your feelings, cause real crises at work, and if left untreated, can actually damage your relationships as others begin to notice your mood swings happen consistently each month and want to avoid you. You lose complete control over your emotions and your closest relationships suffer the most, not to mention…you feel like a you are losing your mind and you can’t figure out why.

2) You Start To Think You Are A Failure At Everything.

If the roller coaster of emotions wasn’t enough problems, PMS’s bigger and badder buddy can start making you feel like you are a complete failure at life. Take a gander at one patient’s account of the struggle she encounters when her PMDD is in high gear:

“PMDD is out of control. I cry really easily for about a week. My biggest issue is that I am convinced that I am failing at everything—being a wife, a mom, work projects, fitness, my whole life! And even though it feels so real I constantly have to question if my feelings are valid or if they are amplified by my cycle. I just set an alert in my phone to remind me to consider my hormones the next time I feel that way.” —Krysten B., 32, Toronto, CA

3) Your Heart Feels Like Its Going To Jump Out Of Your Chest.

As tensions get high during full-blown PMDD episodes, your anxiety will reach an all time high and send you spiraling into a panic. Suddenly, you will notice, sometimes when you are minding your own business or even asleep, your heart will begin to speed up and those palpitations beat against your chest like the mighty hammer of Thor. And before you know it, you feel overcome with a sense of utter panic, anxiety, stress, and fear. These episodes last about 15 minutes but can make you anxious and not want to leave your bedroom, in some cases.

4) You Need A Sick Day During A Routine Period

Menstruation is normal part of the female cycle and a little discomfort can be expected. But, feeling as though you cannot get out of bed is a sure sign that something serious is wrong. Women suffering from PMDD report nausea, extremely painful menses, muscle spasms, debilitating cramps, hot flashes, and abdominal upset during their cycle and it can lead them to take more sick days, more bed days, and more days of missed productivity. Pair that with mood swings and women truly suffer from all sides.

5) You Feel Like You Wanna Just Die, Already.

Suicidal ideation is no laughing matter. And when PMDD starts to suck your mind into the rabbit hole of pulsing emotions and negative self-talk over your perceived failures, suddenly you can start to question why you are worth living anymore.

The surge of unstable emotions, feelings of hopelessness, and debilitating physical symptoms all start to really take its toll on a girl, month after month, and some women begin to contemplate their entire self worth the week or so before a period will begin. Suicidal ideation can begin as just simply feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness and then quickly morph into fantasizing about how one would accomplish it and even attempt to see it through. This dangerous territory requires immediate help from a qualified mental health professional.

PMDD can be a debilitating issue but it doesn’t have to take over your life. If you feel like you might be experiencing any of these issues talk to your mental health care professional today and get help as soon as possible. Total Wellness Clinic is a leader in helping women battle and win their sense of selves back from the clutches of this monster. Give us a call to see how our cutting edge treatments can naturally get you back in your own shoes again.

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