Vicky Pattison has revealed she's been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) after years of struggling with her periods.
The Geordie Shore star, 35, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share with her 5.4M followers that she has finally been diagnosed with PMDD after seeing doctors for years and speaking "at length" about her concerns.
She expressed that after feeling "exhausted and overwhelmed" she decided "enough was enough" and went to seek professional help privately where a doctor confirmed it was PMDD.
The symptoms of PMDD that Vicky said she struggles with the most are "Insomnia, extreme fatigue/exhaustion, depression, lack of interest in things that usually bring me joy, poor impulse control, sensitivity, mood swings, extreme hopelessness and dark thoughts".
What is PMDD?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), explains Mind.
It causes a number of emotional and physical symptoms every month the week or two before your period and sometimes is referred to as "severe PMS".
PMDD occurs in the second part of your menstrual cycle, also known as the luteal phase which is the time between ovulating and when your period starts.
The luteal phase typically lasts around two weeks but can sometimes be longer or shorter, during this time you may experience PMDD symptoms every day or for a few days within this part of your cycle.
While many of us experience symptoms of PMS, symptoms of PMDD are more severe and can have a serious impact on your life, "making it difficult to work, socialise and have healthy relationships".
In some cases, it can lead to depression or suicidal thoughts.
Symptoms of PMDD
Some of the emotional symptoms of PMDD as outlined by Mind include:
- mood swings
- feeling upset or tearful
- lack of energy
- less interest in activities you normally enjoy
- feeling hopeless
- suicidal feelings
- feeling angry or irritable
- feeling anxious
- feeling tense or on edge
- feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- difficulty concentrating.
While some of the physical and behavioural experiences include:
- breast tenderness or swelling
- pain in your muscles and joints
- feeling bloated
- changes in your appetite, such as overeating or having specific food cravings
- sleep problems
- increased anger or conflict with people around you
- becoming very upset if you feel that others are rejecting you.
If you have PMDD you might find that you experience some of the symptoms above, but it is different from person to person and so you might experience other feelings that are not listed.
In a lengthy caption sharing the news on Instagram Vicky openly wrote: "I have struggled with my periods my whole adult life- but over the last 5 years or so my PMS symptoms have been completely out of control l- it has affected my relationships, my work & my quality of life. At times, it made me feel like I was going insane – I just do not recognise myself for 2 weeks of the month & ever so gradually – that time frame is becoming longer – & sometimes, when I'm proper in the midst of this & totally consumed by my own dark thoughts I convince myself that I'm never going to get better.. that these feelings & thoughts aren't temporary. That this is who I am now. And that terrifies me.
"For years I have been to see doctors & spoke at length about my concerns & in best case scenarios I was pacified- repeatedly told: 'let's take out your implant', 'periods do get worse as women get older', 'that will be your cyst' etc.. & in worst case scenarios I was made to feel like I was hysterical & unable to deal with the physical & mental ramifications of a period like every other woman could. I was made to feel weak. And I felt embarrassed that I was making a fuss when everyone else seemed to be ok. So I would leave & I vow to take it on the chin.
"But the last couple of months have made me realise I can't go on like this- I'm getting married to the most amazing man, I have the best family & friends & a job I love- and yet I still spend half the month lost. It's like my brain hates me- I am depressed, despondent & hopeless & have no interest in things that usually bring me so much joy.. and trying to not only deal with that but hide it all from everyone has left me exhausted & overwhelmed.
"This week I decided enough was enough and went private & told myself I wouldn't be dismissed. When the doctor said to me 'it sounds like you have PMDD..' I cried. I cried because I felt f**king heard in a medical setting for the first time in years and also I cried because hopefully now I can start trying to manage this rather than just 'get on with it'- like I feel like women are expected to.
"For the first time in ages.. I feel more positive.
"For anyone else struggling with PMS symptoms & wanting to know more about PMDD, please head to my insta story."
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