ATHLETAWELL | AUDIBLE MOVEMENT BOOK CLUB Listen and connect as you run, walk, or flow. Join the Club

Can we talk about Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?


If you've never heard of PMDD it is a condition similar to PMS that also happens in the week or two before your period starts as hormone levels begin to fall after ovulation. PMDD causes more severe symptoms than PMS, including severe depression, irritability, and tension.


A few years ago after I turned 40 and retired birth control I personally began to notice a pattern of falling into overwhelming, productivity halting, depression typically 7- 10 days prior to my menstrual cycle. This often looked like low motivation, extreme fatigue, brain fog, poor sleep, high irritability and anxiety.  As a busy high achieving mompreneur despite wanting to, I was struggling to show up to my life. 


Fortunately, when I realized what was happening. I gave myself permission to be a human being. I explored my treatment options and decided on a course of action that was right for me. The treatment of PMDD can include antidepressants and birth control. However, I selected to go the self-care route.  I made a commitment to myself to intentionally manage my schedule accordingly. This doesn't mean that I get to crawl into a cave 7 - 10 days out of every month! It simply means that I am more mindful of what I am committing myself to during that period of time. For me this can look like:

  • Meeting with less clients
  • Setting aside a budget for takeout
  • Taking time off from creating social content
  • Being strategic in how I schedule meetings (i.e meeting earlier in the day when I have more energy)
  • Going for walks instead of runs

Over the year I've noticed that proactively planning has also reduced the performance guilt that would often come up when I didn't feel like I was operating optimally.


I'm not sure if anyone can relate; but if you can I'd love to hear some of the things that you are doing to help you manage.


Community Manager
Community Manager

I have never thought about my cycle's connection with my productivity! I love the tip to plan my work and meetings earlier in the day for that week when I have more energy. Thank you for the guidance! 

So welcome! I know its not easy for everyone to do; but when you can it really helps.

Ugh. I feel u! I’d also consider wild fluctuations peri-menopause. Weirdness ensued for me in my late 30’s-mid 40’s. 


I can definitely relate, and not even sure I was able to articulate what happens to me during this time until reading your post. But low motivation, depression, and productivity halting is all what I experience (and then some!) around the timing you've outlined. This is so eye opening! Thank you for sharing this.

I agree with the "and then some"! While some months are a little less disruptive; I have gotten into the habit of planning for the toughies, lol!


Thank you for talking about this, @Nichomi_H ! So so SO important. Our emotional and mental health are inextricably bound up in our physical bodies. Having a better understanding of how our physical bodies (including our hormones and our brain) may affect us is the first step to supporting both awareness and effectively navigating the impact of our biology.

I agree 100%.


I have felt these symptoms for quite some time, often joking with colleagues that my period is the ONLY time I’m not suffering from PMS. I didn’t even know that there was a name for these symptoms. 

Same here! So grateful @Nichomi_H shared. Mine just started kicking in when I turned 39 and I had NO idea what was going on. Was mostly just confused about why PMS symptoms (especially sadness, irritability and fogginess) were lasting for 2+ weeks!


Yes, you are not alone!! Personally I have noticed it worsen after my 40's due to all of the hormonal ups and downs. Learning how to anticipate and care for myself accordingly has allowed me to feel less like I am going insane. 


I absolutely love this! I love the mind/body connection.  I love healing naturally.   I love taking your health in to your own hands!!  We need more of this and I'm so happy to learn and know more women are taking this route! 

Yes! No more being on tiny anxiety ridden islands alone!🙌🏽


This is me! You're tips are great - the food budget and schedule adjustments.  With your your tips, it will alleviate some of the guilt that happens during this timeframe. 

It also helps to have someone write what I often think with the struggle. 


Hi Nichomi,


Thank you so much for opening this important topic!  I have PPMD, as well, and am inspired by your advice! Along side my anti-depressant, I layer on intentional self-compassion, examine and change unhelpful thought patterns, eat healthy, get outside daily, and do my yoga practice.🙏🏻🌺

New Member

wonderful thought, I would also add to the viewers that after long term, birth-control use, ending that products can also disrupt thyroid balance. Having said that, and Endochronologist may or may not treat thyroid and balances with anything but medication. So, take a look at the thyroid reset diet, and the adrenal reset diet by Dr. Allen, Christianson. A life-changing view at more than just my cycle but at the source! 
Thanks for writing the article!

New Member

L-Theanine and Lithium Orotate are natural supplements I buy from my health food store, and can help even out mood. I take them once a day most days, but started out 3x per day when I first noticed symptoms. They help reduce shakiness and anxiety, and can be paired with progesterone, if that's a course a person chooses to take. Best of luck!