Living with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)



PMDD is a hormone imbalance, but what is PMDD you ask? Think premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on crack!

‘The exact cause of PMDD is not known. It may be an abnormal reaction to normal hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle. The hormone changes can cause a serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a substance found naturally in the brain and intestines that narrows blood vessels and can affect mood and cause physical symptoms’ – Johns Hopkins Health System

Firstly I am running on around 2 hours of sleep right now so this might be the most incomprehensible blog I’ve ever written so I apologies in advance.

Throughout my 20’s I was a nightmare. I would cry for no reason, be depressed, Irritable and even hurt myself emotionally and physically through poor self-image. Three weeks a month, I’d be fine, everything would be honky dory and then I would feel horrible for no reason, like the world was ending. Each day it got worse until I would explode and then the next day I would start my period and ‘hey ho’ I feel fine again. This went on and on and on and on. I went to the doctors’ and they thought it was depression. So I had counseling, which was nice, it is always helpful to talk through your issues. Did it stop this cycle of depression I was in… No!  It affected friendships, my self esteem and at times I became a physical danger to myself.

Serotonin is known as the body’s happy drug, so imagine once a month your body drops its levels. Not good, believe me. Not only is Serotonin believed to act as a mood stabilizer, It’s said to help produce healthy sleeping patterns as well as transmitting impulses between nerve cells and regulating cyclic body processes.


Finding out I had PMDD was a moment of pure relief. There was a reason! I was not crazy! I just have a hormone imbalance. It can all be explained!

I do find that it hurts my weight-loss goals. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite. I crave high sugary foods because my body is asking for that quick fix, that sugar high to get some energy. Then I crash and it wants another hit!

One of the physical side effects is itchy skin! You feel like your blood is on fire! Now try sleeping through that! Hah, bet you cannot. I cannot, hence I am running on 2 hours sleep.

With birth control, a healthy diet (I find a high healthy fat diet helps PMDD) and excise mixed with medication I am pretty much balanced, some months are just a little harder than others. I normally just get a little fatigue with a bit trouble sleeping and I can be a little emotionally sensitive. Not too far off what every women suffers from each month, but some months it hits hard. My Serotonin levels must really drop, like last night. I spent the night awake itching and now I just want to cry because I am so tried it hurts. All because my monthly cycle has begun.


The good news is I know what is causing it. Knowing there is a medical reason behind all of this helps me get through the 5-10 days a month.

It can be a roller coaster or it can be a bump in the road each month but I have my safety helmet on at all times and I can get through it.




If you want to find out more about PMDD, this is a great website.,P00580/


About Lisa McKeown 28 Articles
I'm a stage & screen writer who has become a fitness enthusiast on a lifestyle change. I fell in love with nutrition during this journey which has lead me to study Human Nutrition at university from September 2016. I am also a trained actress.

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