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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Sunday, April 10, 2016

PMDD Quote of the Week - A Doctor's View

April is PMDD Awareness month.  I can't begin to imagine how much further we would be along the path to health and healing if we only had more doctors like this.  This woman "gets" it.
What is PMDD?
"A reproductive disorder whereby women experience transient physical and emotional changes around the time of their period, PMDD is associated with a level of impairment that is similar to major depressive disorder and poorer quality of life compared with community norms, therefore it should be considered a serious health condition. PMDD can have adverse consequences on a woman's social functioning, relationships, work productivity and healthcare use..."
"Treatment generally continues for duration of a woman's reproductive life.  If one considers that a female typically menstruates 300 - 500 times during her lifetime, timely identification and initiation of appropriate treatment may prevent impairment.  This, together with support and TLC from loved ones or spouses, can go a long way in improving the quality of life of PMDD sufferers."
~Dr. Eileen Thomas, a specialist psychiatrist at Akeso Clinic, Milnerton (Cape Town, South Africa)

To read the full article, go here.

As Dr. Thomas so rightfully points out, a female can experience up to 500 menstrual cycles during her lifetime. I also mention this in my books, PMDD and Relationships, and PMDD:  A Handbook for Partners.  Below are a couple of sample excerpts:

Let’s do the math. The average age of female puberty is 12; the average age of menopause is 51. Round that off to 40 years of menstruation. Multiply that by 12; that gives you 480 months of periods if you never have children, less if you do. Let’s go with 450 periods for now. That gives you 900 weeks of pre-menstrual issues. Divide that by 52 weeks per year, and you get 17+ years that a woman can spend in the living hell that is PMDD.
Seventeen years, people!
Seventeen years is a long time to feel and/or be out of control. Seventeen years is also a long time to be on medication, especially medication that studies now show doesn’t work more than half the time.
Listen, nobody knows for sure what causes PMDD. All scientists know is it is a biological event that manifests as emotional symptoms. What does that mean? It means PMDD is caused by something that happens in your body and shows/expresses itself in your moods. The closest science has come to defining what happens is that whatever happens, happens in concert with your menstrual cycle, and involves your hormones. The hormones they have looked at the most are estrogen, progesterone, and now a metabolite of progesterone, called allopregnanolone.
Some schools of thought are convinced it has something to do with the levels of these hormones in your body, and whether they are in the right balance or not. But you can’t detect PMDD with a blood test, and every estrogen/progesterone blood test I have taken has shown my levels to be perfectly normal, even when I was in the middle of a PMDD episode.
I think the best science has come up with so far is that yes, PMDD does have to do with your hormonal fluctuations, but it’s more that something goes awry in your brain when processing these normal and natural hormonal fluctuations in your body.
That’s right. Something goes wrong in your brain.
No news to us, right? We’ve known all along something wasn’t right with our brains, with our thinking processes, during an episode of PMDD. Why else would we say and do the things we say and do during an episode, but not during the rest of the month?

As part of PMDD Awareness month, I invite you to share in the comments section below any adverse consequences YOU have experienced in your social functioning, relationships, work productivity and/or healthcare use due to your PMDD.  Share to help make aware!


  1. It's ruining my life. I'm 40 and my symptoms get crazier and crazier as I get older.

  2. I have always had PMS and painful periods, 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Endo and even after a lapscope, I haven't had much relieve. Currently I have a fibroid, cyst and endo and the best the Dr can offer me is wait the cycle out.. REALLY.... does he have a uterus? I am sure all of this is related.

  3. I have been doing well taking chaste berry, but the past few months have gotten worse again. I'm 41 and have always had bad pms, but things took a serious turn after my girls were born in 2011 and 2013. It's been a difficult road. :( I don't want to go in meds because of the bad side effects I've dealt with. So I'll be getting back into meditation and considering my supplementing, maybe looking into larger doses of calcium. Best wishes to everyone dealing with this. It's such a shock to go from living a normal happy inspired productive life to the exact opposite for ten or so days. :(

  4. I am 43, and have been a prisoner in my own body with this terrible disorder for over 15 years. Every month, all I think is that I don't want to be around the next month for it to happen again. It seems to have gotten worse as I age, or maybe I'm just worn out from the intensity. I know, (or hope) that those feelings will pass in a few days, but my brain and body convince me otherwise at the time. I get headaches/migraines for up to 9 days at time. I just had open heart surgery for AVR, and trying to deal with recovery and PMDD is a lot. I am a single mother, and feel like it has ruined my relationship with my son, as with many others in my life. I miss out on so much, and when I used to be a social butterfly, I have become a hermit, and even developed social anxiety. When you are sick for 2 weeks out of the month, that's half of your life. I find myself asking the question:when you are someone else half the time, (depressed, angry, combative) are you becoming more of that person? It convinces me that I can't have anything real: no real job, no real relationships, no real social life. I cannot take antidepressants. I have thought about hysterectomy for years. It's like having to learn to crawl and then walk again, and start over every month. PMDD has stolen much of my life, and I just want it back. :(