Ova Moon Cofounder, Dana Bruck, interviewed Amy Salisbury about the difference between PMS and PMDD.
PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome
PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
What is the difference between PMS and PMDD?
PMS: one may get a bit down, experiencing moodiness, irritability and weepiness in the 2-5 days before one's period. Normal activities are still possible. As estrogen and progesterone drop, the energy and emotional support that these hormones provide, dwindles. It is when they drop to their lowest that menstruation is triggered and we bleed.
PMDD: is a more severe experience, where the person feels less control. This can last longer, up to two weeks, and show itself as early as ovulation (literally half the month). With PMDD there can be extreme rage and depression while not being able to do normal activities due to anxiety.
There is little medical evidence of biological differences between people who struggle with PMS or PMDD. There is not enough research to know what is going on. However, 80% of women who experience PMDD have experienced some sort of trauma in their life. It is possible unexamined early hurts that have not yet resolved may reappear in emotional struggles as the hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that give us energy and equilibrium decrease in the latter half of the menstrual cycle.
Ways to “heal” from PMDD:
The most obvious and important way to recover is to recognize and address the unhealed hurts of ones life. This is easier said than done. Our society profits from making it seem that our struggles are our own personal ones and not the effects of societal oppressions such as sexism, racism, and economic exploitation. We may easily internalize these larger struggles and think we are the problem when we are not. However, we do experience these struggles personally and they can “feel” very much like they are ours alone. While it is not our fault, we do have the opportunity to “go after” these hurts and heal from them to ease our lives. Looking at these hurts with the thoughtful care of a close friend or therapist can help you to release them and restore your true self without the imprint of the hurt.
Lifestyle choices such as getting a reasonable amount of sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in excess are the most effective ways to set your body up for success throughout your month.
Vitamin C - progesterone
Flax seed oil - detoxification, constipation
Taurine - detoxification
Fish oil - mood
B6 - helps with mood and brain
Magnesium - helps with sleep and calming
Calcium - helps with physical symptoms
Vitamin C, Taurine, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium are all found in Ova Moon’s Hormone + Cycle Balancing Multivitamin.
Click here to watch the full interview:
Amy is a therapist, a coach and the founder of PMDD Wellness Warrior. She is passionate about the mind and the connection between the brain and body.