Real talk. On. Period. I’m broaching a taboo subject. It’s something we don’t seem to ever talk about. The dreaded “time of the month.” Even if I talk about the period, PMS or PMDD, most will still get theirs. If not, congratulations, you’ve graduated from this part of life, gave those reproductive organs their final farewell, or you might be expecting!
One way or another if you were born with a vaheen and the complete baby making factory, you have most likely been impacted by a visit from “Aunt Flo”. Let’s talk about PMS & PMDD. Real talk style. Thats on period.
PMDD & Me
30 years of experience qualifies me to speak on this subject we keep to the privacy of our porcelain thrones. It’s life. It’s just the more messy part. Add in 6 girls living in my house, <including me> and you’ve got a period every week of the month and then some. That’s a lot of emotional outbursts, PMS, and cramps to battle. Reminder: Buy stock in Tampax, Playtex, Divacup, Midol, and all the Always products available!
For some it’s easier to manage, but for others, it’s a bloody hell <pun intended> That’s just the truth. Personally, I fall on the latter side of that equation. I’m a raging, hormone fueled, emotional, overly sensitive, b!tch. In addition, it’s a 7-10 day event that rivals a crime scene. It’s overnight, heavy flow feminine products that make me feel anything but feminine. It’s cramps that feel like the worst case of food poisoning and back pain that silences me into submission.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder <PMDD> affects up to 9% of women today according to the American Psychological Association. PMDD is a more severe form of PMS. PMDD has increases symptoms with an increased impact on the daily life of the person that suffers from this disorder.
Symptoms of PMDD
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleeping more often than usual
- Fluid Retention
- Lack of interest in normal activities
PMDD Or Something Else?
The difference between PMS, which is the normal affects of hormonal changes on the body, and PMDD are the severity of the symptoms displayed. PMDD symptoms will be much more pronounced and adversely affect the person’s ability to perform their normal daily activities.
The symptoms can also mimic those experience with Major Depressive Disorder <MDD> The main differentiation between PMDD and MDD is the cyclic occurence of the symptoms, when they present, and the duration of their presence. MDD is more unpredictable and is the symptoms do not resolve on their own.
PMDD is diagnosed <by a medical doctor> using cyclic tracking of symptoms, general exam, blood work to rule out deficiencies or thyroid issues, and by pelvic exam. However, it is mostly relied upon by the tracking of symptoms over a period of time.
I have found this app I downloaded on my phone is the best way to easily track my symptoms and keep record of my cycles. It even generates reports, allows you to add symptoms not listed, track ovulation as well as sexual activity. However, there are average other out there. <Unpaid promotion>
First off, I must state that I am not giving medical advice and if you believe you are experiencing the extreme of the symptoms listed above, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your doctor, OBGYN, or treating physcian for guidance on how to best manage your symptoms.
Ovaries? Over IT!
There are many options available to help. The obvious is the support of your family, friends, and spouse. In addition, there are medical procedures, medication therapy, and hormone therapy that could be beneficial.
In more severe cases, surgery to remove reproductive organs, known as a hysterectomy, has become more accessible to most women via vaginally or laparoscopic with minimal impact compared to the one your grandmother told you horror stories about.
More Options for Treatment of PMDD
PMDD is not treated with a pamprin or midol. It is typically treated with medication therapy such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medication, and analgesic medications for pain relief. However, there are options in addition to medication therapy.
- Meditation, relaxation techniques and mindfulness
- Therapy or Coaching Services
- Massage Therapy
- Dietary changes
- Stress Management and reduction
- Vitamin supplements such as B6, calcium, or magnesium
Is it REALLY THAT BAD?
As someone who has suffered from PMDD, I know it’s not just my “crazy” showing again that I need to cover up. I am thankful, however, that I have been able to find a non-surgical and non-narcotic approach to treat my symptoms. Though surgery will one day be required, but it is a bit more complicated <per usual> than I can handle at the moment.
First and foremost, it is my opinion that regardless of the root cause, diagnosis, or label, it is important to validate the personal experience of the individual. After all, perception is reality. <Different tangent!> Treat the human, not the illness specifically.
If you have a partner, friend, spouse, or colleague that speaks about their lady business and it’s adverse effects on their well-being, take them at their word. I promise “it’s that time of the month” is an acceptable explanation of increased anxiety, emotional instability, fatigue, and pain.
However, it’s easy to minimize the issues that affect our lives if we don’t speak about them. If you can’t talk about it and no one can see it, in turn, it doesn’t exist! Momma, it does! It’s hard, it sucks, and it’s OK to say that sometimes. We aren’t all blessed with 2-3 day light flow cycles and reproductive organs matched only by the goddesses of fertility!
Real Talk. On Period.
As a firm advocate for those who live life with mental illness and care for those living with mental illnesses, I stand behind the PMDD diagnosis as a legitimate and proven medical condition. However, as with all medical diagnoses, especially psychological, there is controversy. In addition, where mental health is a factor, stigma is attached.
All of this to say, I know that these issues affect many women. I’m not the only person that is finished with their life giving stage of life and feeling like they could rips their own reproductive organs out a large portion of the month. I also know how little that these topic are publicly broadcasted. It’s not cute, or on trend to talk about our bathroom business in such public ways, and for goodness sake we are ladies!
If you need support or help, reach out to your doctor. There are options for most women. Being a woman is hard, but it shouldn’t be miserable.
You ane me, we’ve got this! That’s on period. 🔴