Episode number 5 has just been released and is available for you to listen.
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So what is PMDD? It stands for Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder and it affects between 2 - 10% of women. The pathogenesis is not fully understood but it is often referred to as a more severe form of PMS. We do know that PMDD is not so much about an hormonal imbalance but rather a sensitivity to the fluctuation of the hormones throughout the cycle. The main indicator of PMDD is that the symptoms occur after ovulation and before the period, so whilst there are often symptoms of mental instability, it should not be confused with something like bipolar. If this important point is not recognised by your health professional, there is the risk of being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs unnecessarily.
The symptoms of PMDD can include:
Feeling sad, depressed and even thoughts of suicide
Feeling tension & anxiety
Irritability and anger
Tired and low energy
Feeling out of control
The symptoms are generally quite disruptive and are often associated with much distress, impacting the woman's quality of life. If a woman presented with at least 5 of these symptoms, she may be diagnosed with PMDD.
In this episode I interview Eleanor Cooper, a 41 year old woman from the UK. Eleanor had a Women's Health Counselling session with me recently and naturally, we were talking about her cycle and the history of her experience with it. PMDD became the topic of conversation and the way she found her way through it is very inspiring and is the same approach I take when working with women experiencing these or similar symptoms with their menstrual cycle.
Here are some of the main points shared by Eleanor in this episode:
Her experience of her cycle growing up and how she thought it was normal because this is what all the women in her family also experienced
Here symptoms were clearly between ovulation and the start of menstruation, meaning she was hanging out to get her period every month so that the symptoms of fatigue, moodiness, anxiety and insomnia would ease.
She chose not to take anti depressants and see if she could find another way, which is when she began to slowly change her lifestyle.
Changing simple things like going to bed earlier, her diet, not watching as much TV started to shift a lot of what she was experiencing.
Esoteric Healing was a huge support for Eleanor helping her to feel more settled in her body and being able to sleep!!!
She was able to turn things around so that she was no longer feeling a victim to her body but rather felt empowered and more in control of her body, now feeling more equipped to deal with any challenges that should arise in life.
Eleanor offers some fantastic advice for us all in terms of first steps we can take to support ourselves if we are feeling these kinds of symptoms and indeed any symptoms that we would like to address.
Enjoy this inspiring episode with Eleanor and all things PMDD.