I suffer from a condition known as PMDD— a literal cycle of depression and anxiety that correlates with the phases of my hormone shifts throughout each month.
This condition is often debilitating. I have been misdiagnosed numerous times before finding an appropriate name for this affliction.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects approximately 5-8% of women of reproductive age in the United States. PMDD was first recognized as a distinct clinical entity in the 1980s, and it was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2013.
PMDD is characterized by a range of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to menstruation. These symptoms can include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and physical discomfort. The exact cause of PMDD is not known, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle.
Current treatment options for PMDD include lifestyle changes, such as exercise and stress reduction, as well as medication. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medication for PMDD, and they have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms in approximately 60-70% of women. Other medications, such as hormonal contraceptives and anti-anxiety drugs, may also be used to treat PMDD.
It is estimated that approximately 3-5 million women in the United States are affected by PMDD. However, many women with PMDD may not seek treatment or may be misdiagnosed with other conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
My hope is to work with organizations that can increase the amount of PMDD and other common female mental health conditions so that we can end this once and for all.
It’s 2023. It’s time we fix this.
Founder— Modern Merfolk