Elizabeth s Story

Simi Valley, CA USA

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"My story started at age 13 when I first got my period. And, it continues still today. Although, many years ago I didn't know what was wrong. All I knew was every month I had weeks of unbearable anxiety, avoiding friends and family, mood swings, fits of uncontrollable rage, and depression that eventually led to a suicide attempt.

 

I couldn't wait to get my period each month because then I knew it would go away. I thought I just had bad Premenstrual Syndrome, also called PMS, only to find out that it was Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, which is a very severe form of PMS affecting less than 8% of women.

 

As I aged the symptoms got worse. I lost jobs, friends, and boyfriends. My family thought I had Bipolar Disorder. Five years ago, I stumbled across a PMDD blog that talked about the woman having PMDD and it all made sense.

 

'Yes!' I thought. 'Finally someone that understands'. Every month, like clockwork, two weeks after I start my period the symptoms slowly rise- anxiety, feeling out of control, feeling overwhelmed, sensitivity to noise and lights, anger, rage, insatiable food cravings, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and the list goes on. When I start my period, a wave of relief comes over my body and I'm 'back to normal'. The clock starts over.

 

I have since explored what works for me in managing my symptoms- from medications, psychotherapy, holistic teas, and even requesting a workplace accommodation. I now feel I'm surviving my PMDD.

 

But, there are many women out there undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. I hope my story will empower someone else to get help."

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