How do you explain PMDD to others?

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PMDD affects our lives in many ways on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, it’s hard to make sense of it all. So, where do you begin to explain what it’s like to others?

Here are some warriors sharing how they explain what PMDD is like in their own words:

Mentally, it’s like all of my fire and passion for what I love about my life has been drained from me. Physically, like the blood in my veins has been replaced with lead, making me feel heavy and exhausted. I look forward to my period because with it, my spark and ambition return.


It makes my life an endless dance with depression and anxiety to the beat of my menstrual cycle.


It’s like PMS’s suicidal sister.


It’s my body reacting adversely to normal hormone fluctuations. So, a normal rise or fall in estrogen or progesterone causes my emotions and mind to react negatively.


It’s like pressing the self destruct button and not giving a damn about the consequences. Then spending the next two weeks of your life rebuilding every thread of a relationship/career/friendship – every month.


A mental and physical intolerance to the hormonal fluctuations that happen during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. It’s not PMS – it’s a complete physical and psychological shift. 


I experience suicidal ideation for a week solid. I have so many panic attacks I lose count. I cry so much my face gets sore. I ache all over and am so damn tired but can’t sleep. I can’t concentrate, or think rationally. And the scariest part: I have absolutely no control over these thoughts and feelings.


Not being able to pull myself out of a bad mood and dragging everyone else down with me.


It’s like PMS on steroids, bipolar disorder, and amnesia all at the same time. It’s pure hell.

Kari Jean

 It’s a hormone-based mood disorder. 
A sensitivity to hormone fluctuations. 
Every time our hormones fluctuate we have a severe negative reaction in our bodies and brains.


The loneliness is the same as when my dad died and I realized I would never hear his voice again. 
The worst emotion you’ve ever felt but amplified to the point of it being debilitating and it lasts two weeks every month.


PMS on steroids. Fighting a war against yourself.


I explain that it’s an endocrine condition that leads to physical and mental symptoms. I don’t over embellish. It takes enough from me as it is. It isn’t going to ever define me as a person and I will not feed into its drama.


How do you explain PMDD to others?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments (11)

  • Amanda 3 years ago Reply

    Once a month for … half the month i am someone else, taken over in every sense; physically, mentally and emotionally. physically i am bombarded by terrible symptoms that effect my whole body, pain not only physically and emotional, as i am pulled through Emotions I never usually feel, Rage Anger and Lack of control follow me through out my days, sometimes debilitating me, and other days i can struggle through. Mentally I am lacking, and at times can not produce regular thought patterns or even remember what i said 2 seconds ago. I am reduced to the mental capacity of a 2-5 year old. Every Month is a nightmare all over again, and consistently through the “good days” … i forget how bad it gets.

  • Laurianne 2 years ago Reply

    I call it having werewolf syndrome. Like every month, I turn into an emotional bomb that can wreak havoc …

    Yes, it is like entering a completely different state than how we are the other part of the month! That makes so much sense.
    ~Brett, editor

  • Sarah 2 years ago Reply

    Everything is normal and then I wake up one morning and I feel like someone has died. Everything is off kilter and wrong. My brain desperately tries to find a cause to match my feelings until it settles on something to blame: my partner, my friendships, my job, my home, my life, me. Living feels too hard; I’m too tired, too messed up. I want everyone to just shut up, stop looking at me, stop judging me, stop ignoring me. I want to escape, scratch my skin off, stop the endless negative thoughts. I’ll blow my carefully constructed budget, blow off some steam, blow up my life. I’m screaming inside; bile leaks out of my brain and out through my mouth and into the ears of people I love. I didn’t mean it, this isn’t me. It’s not who I really am. Then one day I wake up and I’m bleeding and I feel calm. I have returned. For a little while, until the cycle begins again.

    The way you described it resonates with me so much in my journey with PMDD. Thank you so much for sharing!
    ~Brett, editor

  • Bea 2 years ago Reply

    I explain it as the seether coming. That I either have massive physical symptoms, horrible emotional issues or both. That I don’t know who I am for a week before my period. I’m like an emotional bull in a china shop. I’m tired, irritated easily, angry, forgetful and short tempered. It’s depressing and confusing and I’ve learned to say sorry and repair everything I’ve broke during it.

    Yes, “like an emotional bull in a china shop,” volatile, like the damage is inevitable. Thank you for sharing! It’s so hard to put into words sometimes.
    ~Brett, editor

  • Merry 2 years ago Reply

    Its feeling intense rage for all the things that have accumulated in your subconcious. You try to keep your shit together untill the most random of thing tips the scale and you burn people around you with a rage filled spirit. Including yourself. And then you rebuild. – the ultimate cleanse, via ultimate destruction. Its exausting.. and scary. And you wonder how many times untill people will just be done with your shit.

    It’s so true that the rage builds from the little things we’re bothered by subconsciously until a trigger, even something so small, makes the emotion all pour out. Thank you for sharing what PMDD is like for you!
    ~Brett, editor

  • Kayla Schrock 2 years ago Reply

    For me, it’s a subtle trip to the tipping point. I’ll be watching and monitoring, and then suddenly, I’m picking fights right and left, I’m drained, I hurt, and I just want to cease to exist. And then my period starts and it’s like someone turned on the lights in a room you didn’t realize was dark.

    It’s strange that it both builds gradually and spikes suddenly. Thank you for sharing!
    ~Brett, editor

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