Battling PMDD in High School

By Jenna Rossell

I am Jenna and I am a 16 year old from Pennsylvania. I was diagnosed with PMDD at the beginning of 2017. Ever since, it has been an absolute roller coaster and I hope sharing my story can just give assurance to women out there that they are NOT ALONE.

If I could describe my 9th grade year of high school with one word it would be terrible. Why you may ask? I constantly went through mood swings, I would go home crying, I would be in excruciating pain. Now you’d probably assume I was being bullied, or something along those lines, after that description, right? PMDD was my bully. I couldn’t seem to get a break without it constantly ruining my overall day. There were times I would leave school early because I just felt so upset.

I already knew I had anxiety, so I just assumed it might  be my medication affecting me, or even my anxiety getting worse. I figured out soon though that wasn’t the case.

Eventually, after a few months of dealing with this, I realized these feelings would appear a few days before my period. I decided to tell my mom because I figured maybe it was PMS. She then sat me down and talked to me about how I might have something called PMDD. I had no clue what that was. I had never heard of it before. I was scared and confused. I knew no one around me that had it. I felt like I was almost crazy. I felt like it was my fault and that people would judge me. I felt so alone and lost.

I went to my gynecologist and explained everything. She immediately looked at me and said it was PMDD. I just sat there and felt embarrassment. I was prescribed a birth control that would help regulate my periods and decrease the severity of my symptoms. After a few months, it seemed to have worked. I felt good. And then the December of my sophomore year arrived…

I was constantly miserable. I felt angry being around anyone. I would cry constantly because I felt so hopeless. I went home at least 3 times every other week because I couldn’t bear being around everyone crying so much. My cramps were unbearable. Sometimes my period wouldn’t even show up.

I didn’t tell anyone what was going on though until May. I just told my mom or friends I didn’t feel well, or it was just a stressful day.

Eventually, I sat down with a teacher at my school and I am very glad I did. I finally just broke down and told them everything. I felt like if I didn’t I would do something I would regret and drive myself insane. The teacher then called my mom. That was the peak of embarrassment. I felt like I had hurt my mom hiding it from her and me just being in so much emotional pain. After she then knew, I finally went to the gynecologist and told them how bad it had gotten.

They prescribed me a medication that would have my period only come 4 times a year which would lessen the amount of PMDD to deal with. I started this medicine at the end of May and I have not had a PMDD symptom since! I am so grateful for the people that helped and were there for me when I absolutely needed it most. PMDD is so beyond difficult to understand and deal with. It can make you feel like the world is ending.

I know I will eventually struggle, but I am a warrior. Because of that, I know anything is possible and I can get through it.

To all the women that struggle with this, please know you are not alone. There are so many of us that understand what you are going through and as a group we can get through this TOGETHER! I and people in this community are always here for you, you strong beautiful women!❤

About the Warrior:

Jenna Rossell

Jenna Rossell is a 16 year old student that attends Hazleton Area Arts and Humanities. She is involved in multiple extracurricular activities such as marching band, concert band, and a visual arts class. She hopes to help people understand what women like her go through every month to help shine light on the disorder.

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