Battling PMDD as a Young Adult

By Leah Richards

“You can’t blame your anger on your period.” Said my ex-boyfriend. Little did he know.


Hi everyone, I’m Leah. I’m 23 years old, and I’ve been battling with PMDD since 2015.

I was a fairly “happy kid” in school. I did have bad anxiety at times, but I just brushed it off. When I got my first boyfriend in 2015 though, my freshman year, things started to change with my body all of a sudden. One night, my boyfriend at the time left me alone and all of a sudden I began having suicidal thoughts. HOLD UP, wait a minute. I’d NEVER felt like that before in my entire life. I felt hopeless and wanted to die. This was a week before my period started.

At the time, I thought it was just hormones. But as the months went on, I began to see a change in myself.

I was living in my dorm at the time, and I told my boyfriend to come visit me. He said he couldn’t because he had homework to do. I was filled with rage and anxiety; I thought he was rejecting me. Unfortunately, that night, I cheated on my boyfriend that I had lost my virginity to.

Now, before we start attacking me…I believe cheating is not okay and now that I look back I realize it was PMDD. Can you blame PMDD for your mistakes? Good question. When you have PMDD, you are a totally different person, and even your brain doesn’t know what’s happening with you.

We ended up breaking up, and the next day we got back together (yay us right?). Months turned into years, and it got ugly. We smoked weed every day and relied on drugs and alcohol to find attraction and respect for each other. (yikes…unhealthy). I stopped smoking weed out of the blue, and I started having withdrawal symptoms and started getting aggressive and abusive (Don’t attack me). It would happen like this before my period started and afterward, I would feel so bad for myself. He would tell me I couldn’t blame my period for why I was crazy.  

In Summer 2017, I was going through PMDD, and picked a fight with him. He ended up breaking up with me. Long story short, he was cheating on me the whole time! (woo!).  At the time I still didn’t acknowledge what was going on. I really did think I was crazy.

A few months ago, I met this guy on Tinder (roast me). He was super sweet, so cute, and really nice. We ended up hooking up on and off for a year and a half. Turns out the guy had Borderline Personality Disorder, and it was challenging for me to love him and love myself during the relationship. He would tell me (on multiple occasions) that I’m shit, my soul would go to hell, and no one on this planet actually loved me (I believed him).

I remember this day like it was yesterday. It was January 5th, 3 days after my period (on the 3rd day of my period I feel hopeless). I was at his house and he left me there alone. I ended up getting really depressed and self-harming myself in the bathroom and crying hysterically. He made it seem like I was doing it for attention. He told me if I cut myself again he was going to end it (and he did). I was so upset with myself. I had a plan to kill myself, I had what I needed to do it, and I did not care. I was in a PIT, but I ended up passing out drunk that night. I woke up the next day thankful and blessed to still be alive. The following week, I decided to leave my pride in the past and get some psychological help.

April 2019 changed my life.

I am a spiritual person, and I believe God showed me that I had PMDD at the perfect time. Having PMDD and being a Christian is tough. I ask God, “Why are you making this happen to me?” During my PMDD times, I would ask God to kill me because I was in so much pain. I told my psychiatrist that my SSRI (Zoloft) would stop working 1-2 weeks before my period starts and I could notice a difference in my moods. I would be really mean to my friends, family, and most importantly myself. I would ask myself, am I really crazy? Do I have BPD? Am I bipolar?  

My psychiatrist referred me to a gynecologist and turns out I needed birth control to regulate my hormones. I was so against birth control for years, and God kept telling me I needed to be on birth control. I’m officially on birth control, getting connected with PMDD groups on social media, tracking my symptoms, and MOST IMPORTANTLY forgiving myself!

Quote - Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can.

I am a warrior in Christ, and I believe that God wouldn’t give me this life if he knew I wasn’t strong enough. I’m graduating from college in May with my nursing degree, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I’ve been through HELL, but the Lord is good. If I had any tips for anyone suffering from PMDD or abusive relationships…ALWAYS be GOOD to yourself. You are the only person you have to deal with for the rest of YOUR life. Forgive yourself, please.

Tattoo of a cross and semi-colon on woman's forearm

My version of this bible verse helps me, and I hope it helps others too!

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.

A prudent woman foresees PMDD ahead and takes precautions; the foolish woman ignores the warning signals, and everyone suffers the consequences.

Proverbs 22:3

Be blessed y’ all xx

Young woman with PMDD holds blue balloons, smiling because she is a warrior.

About the Warrior

Leah Richards

I’m Leah. I’m a 23-year-old woman of God with PMDD. I’m graduating this month with my bachelors in nursing. I have a passion for mental health/suicide awareness, community health, youth development, and woman empowerment. In the future, I hope to get my Ph.D. in nursing to conduct more research on PMDD so we can find a cure for this disorder. 

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