Even though you might not know it by its name, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) could be the cause of your heavy periods, extreme pain, and mental anguish at “that time of the month.”
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions offers a range of treatments for women’s mental health issues, including PMDD, which can have serious mental health ramifications for affected patients.
What you don’t know about PMDD can hurt you
Unexplained symptoms can make you feel like you’re having a mental health breakdown at the same time as a physical body breakdown. Here’s what you need to know about PMDD so you can get help if you think you could have this condition.
PMDD is related to the super common PMS
It’s estimated that 75% of women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their lifetimes. PMDD is the most extreme form of PMS, and affects one in 20 women of childbrearing age.
Sadly, many never learn that this could be the root of many physical symptoms and mental health issues.
PMDD can start before your period
PMDD can happen every month, and symptoms can begin up to 10 days before your period starts and last several days into or even for the duration of your bleeding days. Severe PMDD can spread out for as much as 20 days out of every 30, making your life almost unbearable.
It’s a major anxiety trigger
PMDD can cause day after day of low-level or extreme anxiety. You might feel like your mind is racing constantly and that you keep hyperfocusing on small issues. Or you could just have a low-level feeling of dread or nervousness following you around all day, every day that PMDD affects you.
It can make you irritable and/or sad
People love to joke about mood swings just before and during your period, but PMDD is very real, so don’t be gaslit. You’re not losing it if you’re constantly on edge, can’t stop crying, or feel that every little sound is like fingers on a chalkboard.
You may want to curl up in a ball with a pillow over your head and yell at everyone to just leave you alone, but it’s best to seek help for your PMDD instead.
It often leads to insomnia or nightmares
Sleep disturbances are another hallmark of PMDD. You might find it almost impossible to fall asleep, might keep waking up during the night, or may have extremely vivid dreams that leave you feeling wrung out and exhausted.
It’s associated with increased risk of eating disorders
Loss of appetite, increase in appetite, and episodes of binging, purging, or even anorexia are among the eating disorders that have been tied to PMDD. This can seriously affect your mental and physical health.
If you believe you may be suffering from PMDD and want to learn more about how to beat it, get in touch with us by visiting our contact page. Our offices are located in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California; and Boca Raton, Florida.