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Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is a brain sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations through the menstrual cycle. It can feel like a cruel and debilitating disorder that makes it difficult to function for half of the cycle. Symptoms of PMDD can include: rage, intense irritability, mood swings, intrusive thoughts, depression, anxiety, extreme fatigue, a deep desire to be alone, noise and smell sensitivities and suicidal feelings. The symptoms of PMDD can make it extremely difficult to function in everyday life and may be disruptive to relationships, work and child-rearing. Neuro-divergent people often experience a heightening of their neuro-divergent challenges in this phase of the cycle. 

You may have been struggling for years and had a range of diagnoses that weren't accurate before you identified PMDD as a cause (self-diagnosis is valid) or were diagnosed with PMDD by a medical professional. It can often feel like nobody understands and there can be a sense of shame around not being able to function through the month as other women do. Though it is important to advocate for adjustments in the workplace, having to disclose a diagnosis of PMDD to one's place of work can bring up a range of difficult feelings. 

Many women have tried everything to help themselves feel better and have sought help through the medical system but are often left feeling unseen, unheard and dismissed by professionals. Women with PMDD often feel like they have limited 'good weeks' or even 'good days' and with limited treatment options there may be a fear that anti-depressant medication (SSRIs) or hormone therapy could make things worse.

Counselling can help to explore what may be happening in the thought-stress-PMDD cycle, find ways to manage stress and ease tension, help navigate the challenging days, support you to feel your emotions, guide you back to the wisdom of your body, express some of what you are holding in, break the shame spiral, explore further ways to ease symptoms and be heard by someone who gets it. 

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