What is PMDD?

PMDD(Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)

PMDD is the severe, often disabling cousin to PMS. While PMS includes all the annoying symptoms we all know like bloating, food cravings, headaches and moodiness, PMDD takes all of that to a new level. Either the physical symptoms, mental or both become too much for a person to deal with while keeping up a “normal” life. Believe me, I know, seeing it related to PMS makes it seem like it’s not so bad. But that would be wrong.

Symptoms of PMDD may include:

  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness/pain
  • Headaches
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Cramps
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of desire to do things you enjoy
  • Lack of interest in sex and relationships
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Fierce anger and lashing out uncontrollably
  • Frequent crying and feeling low
  • Thoughts of hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Numbness (anhedonia)


The stigma surrounding PMDD is dangerous. Because it’s linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, it’s often not taken seriously, despite the fact that 15% of women suffering will attempt suicide due to this condition alone. In fact, it was the death of Gia Allemand that started making waves and made people pay attention. You can find a ton of support and information from the foundation created in her honor to spread awareness of this horrible condition.

The Gia Allemand Foundation.

While it has only become recognized as a real medical condition by the DSM-5 in 2013, more and more research is going into it and more people are finally becoming aware of it. There is still debate on why this happens and what causes it, although it is believed to be a neurological issue with our bodies not responding correctly to our natural hormones. I don’t like to go into the scientific stuff that I don’t understand but below are links to different websites where you can research yourself, find support and a bit more understanding. As someone who suffers from PMDD, I can only hope that I can make the tiniest impact in spreading awareness so women can stop suffering in silence.


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