Sunday 16 August 2015

Health Spotlight - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Have you ever felt as if your body is screaming at you, trying to tell you something is not quite right but you simply put it down to one of those things that happens to a lot of females during their monthly cycle? Take my advice, listen to your body because sometimes it isn't all that normal.

As you all know I was diagnosed with severe PMS back in November. The proper name for my condition is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD.  I prefer calling it severe PMS as it means when people ask me what is wrong I don't need to explain what is really wrong but as time went on I realised those people started thinking that if it was "just PMS" then there isn't anything really wrong with me. So today I have decided to shine a light on the condition in the hope I help someone who may be going through the same as I am and to help educate others too.

PMDD is a rare condition with only a small percentage of women being diagnosed. The symptoms usually appear 7 days after your last period both physical and psychological.

Physical Symptoms

  • bloating
  • abdominal pain
  • headaches
  • backache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • breast pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • feeling sick

Psychological Symptoms

  • feeling of being hopeless
  • anxiousness 
  • irritability
  • oversleeping or not sleeping at all
  • lack of interest in favourite activities
  • no motivation 
  • no energy
  • problems concentrating or focusing 
  • feeling overwhelmed 
  • severe manifestation of physical symptoms (as above) 
  • Suicidal thoughts

To be diagnosed with PMDD you must have at least 5 of the above symptoms and have one week during your cycle where you feel fine with no symptoms at all.  

Last year I was having one great week and 3 terrible weeks and I was constantly being told "it is just your anxiety Angela" The doctors did not want to listen until a male GP made the diagnosis.  Once I had a name for what was wrong it didn't scare me anymore.

There are many different ways to cope with PMDD

  • change in diet
  • regular painkillers 
  • Exercise
  • contraceptives (the pill)
  • Antidepressants (in some cases)
  • Psychological therapies (talking therapy, CBT)

It can be a hard conditions to live with some days but with the right treatment you can live your life. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above symptoms please make an appointment with your doctor. Write down a list of the symptoms you have and when they occur. You will feel much better for it I promise.

More information can be found on the NHS website here


  1. Some good information on this post most important to get to doctors too.

    1. Thank you. I know what it is like to be scared of going to the doctor, we all understand, but as you say it is most important.

  2. A really helpful post and the first time I have ever heard of PMDD personally.

    1. Thank you. It was only through research when I was having symptoms (thanks Google lol) that I found out about it and of course the diagnosis