PMS On Steroids

11:27 am

It’s as if every single breath that I take might just be my last.

I feel sick.

My heart is being scrunched up by this invisible hand and god forbid my urge to tear it apart.

According to WebMD, it’s normal. Then again, a severe case of PMS would also mean that there’s a chance I have PMDD – Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder – where it “causes physical and mood-related symptoms that can seriously disrupt a woman’s life and relationships”.

That sure as hell is happening to me.

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11:28 am

When someone we know is having mood swings, we just brush it off. “She’s just PMS-ing lah. Let her be.”

I wanna cry.

Would it help reduce these feelings? Maybe.

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11:31 am

It’s not that simple.

I am torn between being in the company of friends and being alone.

A part of me wants to just be with myself and not talk to anybody, but the other part of me wants to be with my gang. We can go for a coffee date.

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11:32 am

I don’t feel it.

There’s nothing in me.

Everything’s meh. It’s snowing outside, so what? Who cares.

Some girls are talking about how they got infected with Malaria when they went over to Belize over spring break. The person you’re talking to isn’t even listening, she’s constantly looking at her phone. Why even waste your time?

Damn it, I’m being mean.

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11:38 am

Should I go to my Ecology professor’s office and get a job with him?

I’m scared.

I can’t do it.

What if I don’t speak properly and he’s left with a bad impression of me?

Then I’ll never get to work with him, ever.

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11:40 am

I want to talk about it. I want to scream, to cry, to get rid of it.

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11:45 am

“Why are you feeling this?”

“I don’t know. I would tell you if I can explain it, but I can’t. It’s like I’m a sim and I have someone toying around with my emotions. It isn’t fair. I shouldn’t be feeling this. Why isn’t everybody else feeling this way?”

“Would it make you feel better if everybody felt this way?”

“No. Nobody should be feeling this way. It kills you. Slowly. Bit by bit, shaving little chunks of your heart out. ”

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11:50 am

I’m not gonna feel this way.

That’s for the weak.

3 more days until my period. Then we’ll get back to normal.

It’s okay. We can survive this.

Don’t let it affect you.

Think of puppies: Golden retriever pups with paws that are bigger than their head. Husky pups that howl when they hear music playing. Pugs that have socks on.

To anybody who’s feeling the same way I do. We’ll be alright. You’re not alone in this.

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What is PMDD? 

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is essentially PMS on steroids.

What causes it? 

Although the actual reason for PMDD is unknown, we believe that the conditions result from the interaction of hormones produced by the ovaries at different stages in the menstrual cycle. It is also a possibility that the ovarian hormone levels are fluctuating normally, but the brain is unable to fully respond to these fluctuations. Vitamin deficiencies or stress are not causes for PMS or PMDD.

What are the symptoms?

There are a lot of symptoms, but the most reported ones would be: acne, fatigue, mood changes, bloating, irritability, anxiety, depression, oversensitivity to environmental stimuli, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, etc.

What is the treatment? 

Like PMS, there really aren’t many known treatments. Oftentimes, antidepressants like fluoxetine or sertraline are prescribed. However, the only reason they’re working is because of their ability to regulate the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. As per every antidepressant, it is likely to cause problems like nausea to the patient; it isn’t something I recommend.

What should I be doing? 

Chasteberry extract is a good supplement to be taking. Dietary supplements like calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin E are also useful in reducing PMS/PMDD symptoms. The best advice I can give is for you to keep a journal on your mood, have a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing your sodium intake. If it continues, bring your journal and talk to your gynecologist and psychiatrist. Just remember that it’s all hormonal and there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s not something that is in your control.


Special thanks to Hannah Gridwell – my counselor in MSU for the information.

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