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

Nichomi_H
Guide
Guide

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.

11 REPLIES 11

jennabbey
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.

balance4me
Member

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!

Lauren_R
Guide
Guide

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.

MichelleM564
Member

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!

Nichomi_H
Guide
Guide

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. 

WhollyWellAub
Member

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!🙌🏽