PMDD... Huh? What's That?

I have come to the long awaited conclusion that I have PMDD. When I tell people (even healthcare professionals) this, they usually ask me what it is. I reply that is it basically suicidal PMS because that has been my experience with it. Every month I get severly depressed. I stop doing stuff I need to do or even enjoy doing because I cry all the damn time for like 4 days. I hate it! This has been increasing in severity for the last 2 and a half years. Now I am at the point where I have thoughts of suicide or of just generally not wanting to be alive any more. This is not mentally healthy for a 22 year old with a bright future ahead of her. *sigh* I have been in two mental hospitals. The first was out patient and the second was 10 days inpatient. No offence to the other people there but I have seen what "crazy" looks like up close and I am far from it. If any one else experienced the same jarring mood swings in the extreme that I do, they would be just as frazzled. I have never tried to hurt myself as of yet but somedays I feel that it is only a matter of time. I give God all the glory for keeping me strong as I have been living with this. It has only been recently that I have started pressing PMDD as the cause of my problems. I am on anti depressants and those do fine all month long before I get my period but then as soon as I get it, I am at the bottom in deep deep depression. That's when I cry and cry and think of any way out. I don't know how this will help anyone except maybe to know that you are not alone and maybe it could be worse, or get worse if left untreated. I have found a doctor about 2 hours from where I live that has treated PMDD successfully. My appt is the 28th of July and I am hopeful to give increasingly possitive feedback on here after that.

~Ciao, bella!

CrimsonRose CrimsonRose
20 Responses Jul 26, 2008

Dear Crimson Rose - You are not alone. I believe, my daughter has PMDD. (I've been aware of it since she entered womanhood). But hoped as she got older the symptoms would lessen for her. She is 25 and still has moodswings during the luteal phase (1-10 days before menst period). But she refuses to think there is a problem. While she drives everyone away with her anger moodswings and sharp tongue. She blames everyone else but herself. Therefore, you should be very proud that you are more self observant - and that you have chosen self improvement. With this awesome attitude - you will be successful in finding balance and happiness. When you find that right physician, medication, and or vitamins, exercise...please share? Would you please -Thank you. Good luck dear. This is the second private support group for women with PMDD. Join us there. this is a closed (private) facebook group full of women who sure know PMDD! join us, PMDD sisters

I am in tears reading about all the suffering. I can empathize because I have pmdd also. I have 3 bad weeks and one good week out of the month. the one good week occurs after my period ceases and sometime not until it has been over for 2 or 4 days. because of the pmdd alone, I rate my quality of life as very poor! I often think, I cant do this one more month! I have been on many combinations of psych meds (SSRI's/ anti-anxieties), having not much luck with them, only the tolerance of undesireable side-effects. I have read that eating foods high in tryptophan helps which includes meat and shellfish< then I read to avoid meat and shellfish. I do not know where to turn! I want a hysterectomy! I want my insides torn out! I am hearing that's not a good idea for pmdd. has anyone heard of a hysterectomy helping with pmdd?

looking forward to hearing about the outcome and treatment options suggested by this upcoming appointment. I am 42 and have suffered with pmdd for many years. my quality of life is very poor for 3 weeks out of the month. I have 1 good week. for 2-3 days prior to my period I experience severe depression with suicidal thoughts. I go through this every month. not fun! there are many of us out there. pmdd is real! good luck to u and please post soon.

PMDD affects us prior to our period and stops within 1-2 of start of menses. Try keeping a calender to chart your symptoms. Good luck with that doctor.

I have only just discoverd i have pmdd.mine is severe when im going through "that" mood the onli way i can calm myself it to imagine myself dying! so scary i go soo crazy,n its getting worse any way i have just come from my doctors appoinment as we speak and she has never heard of pmdd..i cud not open up to how severe it is as she was thinkng its not serious and that alot of girls go "a bit crazy" and she has given me the pill calm my hormomes..i feel even more lost n scared as i thought i would go to the doctors and put an end do it but her brushing it off as made me feel 10 times worse..feel so lost now., :( :( :( n im onli 22 like u..jus want to be happy n normal..i just feel like gping home in my bed n crying..but im at work n have to force a smile

I have created a blog, Living on a Prayer, Living With PMDD, that shares all of my research on the topic to date. Perhaps you will find some answers there.

I hope this post I wrote on another PMDD topic helps:<br />
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As a woman, I would like to assure men that those of us suffering from PMDD (and I do mean suffering) do not want to experience the hell much less put our loved ones through it.<br />
<br />
One of the hardest things to grasp is the symptoms a woman experiences in PMDD from a first person experiential point of view. IOW: someone who has PMDD<br />
<br />
My heart goes out to the OP and others who have been around someone with PMDD. I have PMDD and I hate it. My heart also goes out to those who have it. <br />
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Even though I personally have PMDD, when I am not in that cycle life is okay. Those who have PMDD when I am not cycling seem as difficult to deal with for me as well. We are so relieved when our cycle is over and look fwd to a couple of weeks of reasonable lessened symptoms.<br />
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Please know that there is help available and you do not have to go through this alone. I recognize money and insurance is at an all time low in this wretched economy - and having said that - some (myself included) must turn to other methods. One not being shooting myself with a blowdart tranq. until it abates. :)<br />
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What helped me was to STOP EATING ANIMAL MEAT and SEAFOOD. Switching to vegetarian and organically so. Exercise is very important. I stopped drinking alcohol all together - not even one sip - and rarely eat refined sugar. <br />
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Age and stress load impacts PMDD as do underlying psychological issues and DX. <br />
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Get into a support group - this does not mean a ***** fest - I mean where solutions and shared ideas get passed about to assist those suffering - including those who love PMDD'ers. <br />
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Stress HAS TO BE LESSENED in some way to reduce the very very real effects of PMDD. Coping skills - outlets - therapy - and most definitely medical help as possible. <br />
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I am 47 so let me share a bit of insight to assist.<br />
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Years ago after my 1st child was born I experienced hellish PMDD. Crying, depression, suicidal, mood swings off the chain, crying, cursing, sleeplessness, restlessness, severe anxiety and panic attacks, unrelenting hunger...I went to my OBGYN who was supposedly progressive in that they employed MA Midwives for childbirthing in the associated hospital. <br />
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I sat across from him in tears...I begged for help. He said there is NO SUCH THING AS PMS and I needed to see I psychiatrist.<br />
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I almost ended my life that day.<br />
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But I did not. <br />
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My husband at the time helped me and thanks to him I was able to hang in there long enough to see a real diagnosis be put in the DSM - PMDD<br />
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You are NOT imagining it. You are NOT insane. You are suffering from a serious and very real problem that many women experience.<br />
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That should offer some relief. For both those who love PMDD'ers and those who have it. <br />
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Please support one another and get the help you BOTH need and deserve.

Ya. It sux. I usually drink red wine and cry and wait for it to pass and I don't kill myself. I am 35. Miss Kris;). Weeks 1-2 I feel great!

I was diagnosed with PMS when I was 29. Later that diagnosis changed to PMDD. I am now 45. I was able to find some very supportive doctors. My "female" doctor prescribed 20mg daily of Serapham (Prozac) to take the second and third weeks of my cycle. This was in addition to the 100mg daily of Zoloft that I was already taking. I was also taking Yaz. Although I was worried about taking all these anti-depressants, this combination worked for me. My doctor also gave me the option to up my Prozac to 40mg a day during those two weeks if the PMDD was especially bad. I will say to be careful with any hormones that you might take. I developed a blood clot. I could go on and on. It does get better. If anyone want to talk more inbox me. I'm new to this site. Thanks and good luck!

I've been doing the meditation too and it is relaxing, but I haven't found that it helps with the hormonal swings. They grab hold and I can feel the body changes.<br />
You can do online research 'help with pms' 'natural remedies for pms' and different things like that.<br />
You may find some help.<br />
I take a vitamin called Women's Formula. It is from Nature's Sunshine. Any health food store would<br />
help you find something to help, or as I said, you could do research online. This Women's Formula has red raspberry leaf in it, dong quai, black cohash root, ginger root, licorice root, blessed thistle herb, marshmallow root, and queen of the meadow.<br />
My family is huge into vitamins so I'm familiar with all these from the years I've been around herbs.<br />
I also have a Wild Yam and Chaste Tree vitamin here.<br />
You can look these up and more on the internet. I take my D vitamins, my calcium/magnesium, Bs, iron and some others, like Omega 3 and the Salmon fish oil. I also have ground flax seed every day.

I am much the same as you with the symptoms you go through paperwings79.<br />
I do take a number of vitamins that do help some. I use to have extreme migraines each month before I started. Migraines that put me right to bed with the covers over my head. Now I've got them down to a headache before I start with vitamins. Even though the vitamins I take help, they don't relieve everything. Then again I have some months where I have sore breasts and that's it, maybe some cramps the first day. The vitamins have helped alot with my emotions though. I still sometimes get depressed or easily irratated before I start, but I know the vitamins have helped with that.

what and how many vitamins are you taking that help with PMDD?

I too have been diagnosed with PMDD and sympathize with all of you. I am wondering how many of you experience extreme physical symptoms like bladder infections, sore throats, and sinus headaches along with the more pms associated symptoms such as breast tenderness, water retention ect.. Or if anyone gets severe cramping mid cycle? PMDD has been interfering with my short and long term plans for too long. I also have tried diet change, exercise and antidepressants without much success. I find it difficult to find support while dealing with this debilitating illness and wonder how others are coping. I am too often embarrassed and ashamed about being unable to maintain a my lifestyle.

I have also experienced very painful and seemingly unrelated physical symptoms during PMDD time. I have read recently that whatever other ailments we have show stronger symptoms when we are in a PMDD episode. I can have very intense abdomen heaviness and pain, before my menses. Last year was the first time a medical professional understood when I said "I feel like I have a bowling ball in my stomach". Only because she has PMDD, too! Even my hands hurt. How weird is that?

I have had this problem for over 20 years (I am now 41). I have tried many anti-depressants and bc pills. I found the bc pills did alleviate the symptoms slightly but the one I was taking (Dianette) gave me migraines! It seems we have sensitive systems to have these symptoms so severely and to react to treatment with the side affects. What amazes every month is how GOOD I feel once my period has started. The week before I am literally suicidal. The tearfullness seems to be constant for about 5 days and I could kill someone! I wonder how I have made it through the last 20 years! I seem to have lost a lot of friends and have not had a relationship with a man for nearly 4 years! How do you explain to someone that the person they are meeting will turn into an alien once a month! It really is the most debilitating illness. I am so grateful for the times of the month that I feel good though (luckily I seem to get 3 good weeks) the pmdd lasts about 5-7 days prior to my period. I don't have children - maybe a good thing! I was told by one Dr that my hormones would 'settle' if I had a baby. I doubt this from what I have read & a big risk to take for the poor baby! Please would someone post if removal of the ovaries has worked... Thank you. Lots of love and good wishes for all the sufferers of this truly awful illness.

Do I hear you. The switch flips and I am the happiest, most energetic woman. I believe birth control pills made me worse, but it was all any doctor told me about for years. I have two children and that did not improve anything. I just live with it. Try various supplements. I have found (emotional) relief with a SSRI. But the physical symptoms are terrible. Be kind to yourself. Do anything that gives a little relief. Know that it will pass. I am 53 and have had no stopping, yet.

Please post what treatment has been successful for you. I'm 29 and experiencing the same symptoms you describe. I take Celexa (SSRI) and Welbutrin (SNRI) and am fine the rest of the month. The week before my period I'm convinced I'm hopeless and want to commit suicide. Please help and thanks for sharing!

Hi there, I have been taking Citalopram for about a year now and I highly recommend. I have had PMDD since I started my periods aged 14 but only realised a few years ago thats what I had. I tried many different treatments but found nothing worked until the Citalopram. I still feel a slight change every month when previously I would have turned into a raging psychopath but its totally manageable, I guess just like normal PMT. Hope this helps
Hannah x

I am on Sertraline too although my GP has not heard of PMDD (UK) however, I really do feel that this is what I have following research. The meds are helping but I am interested that others up their dosage on bad days as this maybe something I could do. I find that my bad days start the week before my period and I feel really down then, I am on 50mg a day so perhaps I could increase this to 100mg. Am seeing my Doctor again tomorrow so will discuss it then. Thanks for the tip.

I believe that I have pmdd too - causing me to be very quick to rage. Is anyone trying a natural approach to combat this? I am looking into a more natural way because I keep hearing about people feeling even worse on antidepressants. I also know someone (a guy) on antidepressant who did kill himself while on them so I don't believe that they help all that much.

I take copious amounts of supplements. I can't say with certainty any have really helped. I do think SAMe and L-Tyrosine have helped. I do take a very low (10-20mg) SSRI when I need it. Look into PMS I did try them but too expensive so I buy my supplements individualy from Do use fish oil and evening primrose or black currant seed oil.
Good luck.

Crimson Rose, How did your Dr. appt. go? I also have PMDD....was diagnosed two years ago but I now know that I have had this since after my second child was born when I was 26....I went through severe Post Partum Depression w/ suicidal thoughts (I cut myself and did not realize it until afterwards) and though I never hurt my baby I would lash out at my husband and my son who was 8 yrs old at the time. Studies have shown that your seratonin levels start decreasing even more and it gets worse by your 30's, which was when I was diagnosed (I was 34). Please keep me posted on how the Dr. diagnosed you. Take care....((HUGS)) SavingMissy

sometimes I have thought that I too have the symptoms of PMDD. I know I have regular depression, usually a daily thing, but it is far worse by the time my menstrual cycle rolls aorund. I chocked it up to just the hormones making it extra hard on the already existing depression, but most people don't get suicidal and think their world is ending because of PMS. It doesn't sounds like anti-depressants are doing it for you, especially since you are fine for the rest of the time... I hope that you can find a method of treatment that will begin to help you. If you do, could you give me an update on your progress? I would really appreciate that, thanks.