PMS is hysterical. Or so they say. Google “PMS jokes” and click on “images.” Here are just a few of the memes I found:

201503_2054_dgfdg_sm

But, although we can joke about PMS, there is a darker side. It may sound like a joke, but it isn’t… PMS can kill.

Now, I’m not talking about your run of the mill, feeling bloated, emotional/angry for a day or two before your period begins. I’m talking about EXTREME PMS, which has been given it’s own name: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, aka PMDD.

There are doubters to whether regular PMS even exists. There was a speaker on TedTalks that refers to PMS as a “myth” claiming that the emotional fluctuations that women experience every month are “normal” and “natural.” And while she makes some valid points about not sweeping a woman’s emotions under the rug, she does the rest of us a disservice by claiming that woman are using PMS as a crutch to not deal with their actual issues.

PMS is not a crutch. PMS IS the issue.

For women who’s PMS has become so severe that they are diagnosed with PMDD, every day is a struggle. Instead of a few days of unpleasantness, they live 1-3 weeks out of the month with debilitating anxiety and/or depression, along with scores of other symptoms ranging from pelvic pain to migraines and everything in between. At least 15% of women with PMDD will attempt suicide. That is a remarkably high number, and far too many of these women succeed.

In 2013, the beautiful model and actress Gia Allemand took her own life after struggling with PMDD.  Her family started a foundation in her name to raise awareness of this disorder and to prevent any more loss of life. They are currently fundraising in an effort to win a $1million grant from Revlon, and fund research into the root cause(s) of this disorder.

There is a doctor in Chile that claims the root cause of PMDD is due to cervical trauma, and a fertility doctor in New York that claims that the root cause is due to malicious bacteria (either sexually transmitted or genetically inherited.) Both of them have successfully used antibiotics to heal women’s reproductive organs and have noted a dramatic reduction in their emotional and physical symptoms. It’s alternative treatments like these that need more ground-breaking research to back up their theories and prevent the destruction that extreme PMS/PMDD can cause.

Please donate to this fundraiser and save lives.

What is PMDD?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (also known as Premenstrual Dysphoria, Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD) is a cyclical, hormone-based mood disorder with symptoms arising during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and lasting until the onset of menstrual flow. It affects an estimated 2-10% of women of reproductive age. While PMDD is directly connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is not a hormone disorder. It is a suspected genetic disorder with symptoms often worsening over time and following reproductive events including menarche, ovulation, pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, and menopause. Women with PMDD are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and suicidal behavior. Many, but not all, women with PMDD have a history of sexual trauma or depression. 1,2,3 (source napmdd.org)

Symptoms of PMDD

  • Feelings of sadness or despair or even thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Panic attacks, mood swings, or frequent crying
  • Lasting irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
  • Trouble thinking or focusing
  • Tiredness or low-energy
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling out of control
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

These symptoms occur during a week or two before menstruation and go away within a few days after bleeding begins. A diagnosis of PMDD requires the presence of at least five of these symptoms.4,5

Advertisements