There are some surefire signs you have PMDD. There’s not a month that goes by for the PMDD sufferer that she doesn’t question her sanity. Others question her credibility. She’s over the top. She’s too dramatic. She’s always making mountains out of molehills. That’s certainly what it seems like to everyone else. The downside is that she knows it. She’s painfully aware of what she looks like to the rest of the world, and yet, she can’t stop her tirades. She struggles to keep her feelings under wraps. She might cling to the idea that she’s just got one of those no holds barred personalities.
She’ll give it to you straight alright. She’ll cut them so deep that the bleeding may never stop. Her relationships will hemorrhage. Her career will suffer. Her kids will question why mom always has to blow up and then melt down before she can come back down to reality with everyone else. This cyclical disorder comes back with each menstrual cycle for most. It’s a constant reminder that there is dysfunction in her life and her cycle is alerting her to it. Sadly, so many suffer in silence and think this is just the way it’s supposed to be. Being a woman is supposed to such, right? It doesn’t have to.
More and more women are recovering from this condition, but you have to be aware of it first. So, if you’re struggling with the following, stop hiding. Embrace your cycle. Confront those issues head on the way you would during a day-26 rage and get to the bottom of what is ailing you. Help is here. Watch out for these signs you have PMDD.
1. Dropping Bombs on Your Bae Every Month
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is said to impact 3 to 8 percent of the menstruating population. Most would call it PMS on steroids. Though it’s still likely that the prevalence of this disorder is underreported, let’s just say women everywhere are suffering—and so are their loved ones. Something starts brewing in the PMDD sufferer during her luteal phase (between ovulation and the first day of the next cycle) each cycle. She may go completely apathetic. She loses the love she normally feels for her partner. Instead, she finds him/her repulsive. She can’t fathom why she ever chose to be with them in the first place.
Despite the fact that she’s aware she goes through this every month—and that once she bleeds, those negative feelings melt away and the love returns—she can feel nothing but hatred and disgust for her other half during this time. If you can’t stand their presence every two weeks or so and you resort to some variation of abuse or even kicking them out of the house, it’s safe to say you might be dealing with more than PMS here. This is one of the most unfortunate signs you have PMDD.
2. This Girl is on Fire
Try fire doused with gasoline. Women who struggle with PMDD aren’t just moody. They aren’t just eye rolling at their beau’s latest attempt to crack a joke. They are fueled with rage. They’re so severely annoyed by the tone of their voice, their allegedly stupid banter, and the outfit that he or she is wearing as they enter the house breathing too loudly that they’re tearing them apart. From their character to their job skills, to their friends and family—nothing is off limits.
PMDD makes a girl go for the jugular. She knows what to say to make it hurt, and everyone needs to feel as badly as she does. Irritability doesn’t seem like a strong enough word for what PMDD puts a woman through. Her boss makes her skin crawl. Every noise the kids make seems louder than usual. Every task that is a normal part of her day becomes too much to bear. She’s on fire alright, and striking matches everywhere she turns.
3. Midol Isn’t Going to Cut It
Take this pill, they say. It’ll help, they say. LOL, girl, you know better. A whole bottle of Midol (which we strongly warn against) wouldn’t spare you from this premenstrual hell. The headaches. The insomnia that keeps you up at night wondering if you’ll drive your partner away and alienate your kids. The fatigue that keeps you in bed each morning, late for work and wondering if you’ll soon lose your job. The cravings for every processed food product you can stuff your face with each month at the exact time that you know you should be giving your body quality nutrition.
But good grief, that bloat! It’s not unusual for the PMDD sufferer to have 4 different sizes of jeans in her closet just to carry her through the month. Ugh, brutal!
4. The Clouds Roll in
One of the most obvious signs of PMDD is depression, though some women do experience more anxiety. Often, there’s a mix of the two, but most women find that one dominates. Anxiety doesn’t have to be a repeating cycle of worry in the mind. For some women, it’s an obsession with their erratic behavior—a repetitive cycle of behavior each month that drives them to figure out how to fix this and understand themselves better. They dwell on the arguments they’ve started.
Over and over again in their minds, they play out the mistakes they’ve made and all of the times they’ve lost control in front of others or embarrassed themselves. They look back at who they used to be before this disorder and wonder if their life will always be like this. Why did it happen to them? What made them deserve this? Tears, lethargy, fatigue, and a total lack of interest in getting out of bed and sustaining life most days—and it comes back every month like clockwork. That’s PMDD.
5. The Release—and the Regret
Here’s the kicker. Sure, a woman with PMDD may tailspin in a violent rage. She may attack her partner—verbally, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. She may neglect her responsibilities, and behave as though she’s entitled to more from this life than everyone else, and she might even act like a total narcissist while she’s in rage mode. But then it lets up. It stops. Usually, there is a breaking point during each argument.
For example, she’ll push her partner as far as they can be pushed until they lash back and say something hurtful to her. Then she’s crushed. Then she can’t believe they just said that. And she’ll cry—profusely. She’ll retreat to someplace where she can be alone to protect herself, only to be left with thoughts like, "why in the hell did I just say those things?" She may feel completely awful about her behavior all day long. That is, until something else sets her off and she goes after that person again—or someone else in the same fashion. The real release comes after the period starts. For some women, day 1 is better. For others, they may not see an improvement in their minds and bodies until that first week is over with. If you’re struggling with PMDD, you are not crazy and you are not alone. Reach out.