Hello, beautiful creatures! Today, I wanted to talk to you personally about the best way to treat PMDD. Just for a refresher, PMDD stands for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PMDD is one of my chronic invisible illnesses. I don’t want others to suffer the way I have in life, so I am sharing this information with you in the hopes that I can prevent others from suffering.
Please note, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I am sharing my experiences with my condition and what has worked for me.
My Backstory with PMDD
Back in January, I shared with you what my life has been like living with PMDD. I was desperately searching for the best way to treat PMDD because it can make my life a living hell.
I was diagnosed with PMDD in 2019 and have searched for relief from it ever since. From that initial diagnosis in 2019 until June 2021, I saw many doctors trying to get help for my condition. I spoke with multiple gynecologists who were unable to help me. My primary care physician tried his best but failed to solve my issues. My therapist and my cannabis doctor both assisted as well.
My cannabis doctor instructed me to start taking a hefty dose of CBD at night. I take one 25 mg CBD pill right before bed. The CBD helps with some of the physical discomforts of PMDD, like cramping, as well as helping me with getting a better night’s sleep.
My therapist deduced that I must be having hormonal changes when the PMDD flares, 1 to 2 weeks before my period. As a stopgap measure to help me out, she and my primary care physician put me on a temporary medication to use 1 to 2 weeks before my period to help with the PMDD mood swings. My therapist also recommended that I see a reproductive psychiatrist.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve made a ton of lifestyle changes over the years to try to mitigate my multiple chronic invisible illnesses. I start the day with gratitude journaling and meditation. I eat a low carb, low sugar, high protein, high healthy fats, and no caffeine diet. I avoid processed/refined sugar whenever possible. I rarely drink alcohol. I make sure to schedule at least 9 hours in bed for sleep to give myself the best chance of getting a good night’s rest as I possibly can.
I have tried absolutely everything within my control with diet and exercise to see if they were the best way to treat PMDD for me, but they weren’t enough on their own.
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In addition to the health and medication changes I made above, I also changed my exercise routine. I started working out twice a day to help mitigate my issues. I take a 40-minute walk in the morning before work to get my blood flowing and get in around 5,000 steps. After I get off work, I go to my home gym and strength train for 30 minutes. I walk seven days a week, and I lift weights six days a week. I average between 11,000-13,000 steps a day right now.
Reproductive Psychiatrists are the Key
It took me over two months to get an appointment to see my reproductive psychiatrist. My reproductive psychiatrist specializes in PMDD and post-partum depression. She only accepts women as clients.
In preparation for my appointment, my therapist ordered me a GenoMind test, along with hormone and thyroid tests from my primary care physician. My hormone tests showed that I am not in menopause or pre-menopause. I have no thyroid issues or anything out of the ordinary that could be seen with those tests.
What to Expect when you see a Reproductive Psychiatrist
Once I finally got in to see my reproductive psychiatrist, I had to give her my entire life history of trauma. It would be best if you were mentally prepared to do this. I wasn’t ready for it, and it wasn’t easy to do.
After she listened to me recount the traumas I’d encountered, she told me she was surprised I wasn’t someone who self-harmed by cutting. She said everything I’d gone through typically pushes people into that unhealthy situation.
My New Treatment Plan
After speaking with my reproductive psychiatrist and telling her what I wanted, she decided to have me try Fluoxetine HCL and see how I respond to that medication. I’m very leery of SSRIs and SNRIs, but I was desperate for a solution to my PMDD flares.
The first month I was on Fluoxetine HCL, my period snuck up on me. I didn’t have any crazy mood swings from my PMDD. Aside from the initial side effects of adjusting to the medication, which was nausea and being spacey, I had minimal PMDD symptoms. I still experience cramping from PMDD, but not the feeling that everything is life or death.
My therapist, cannabis doctor, and primary care physician all very much wanted to help me with my PMDD but were unable to. The multiple gynecologists I went to see varied from ‘this is all in your head’ to ‘we want to help but can’t find anything wrong with you.’ In my experience, the best way to treat PMDD is to find a reproductive psychiatrist.
The Best Way to Treat PMDD
Unlike your average gynecologist, the reproductive psychiatrist will have an intimate understanding of what PMDD is, how it affects women and the best treatment options for you and your lifestyle.
I cried tears of joy when I realized I no longer needed to suffer from my PMDD the way I have in the past.
I have no idea why none of the gynecologists I saw even suggested seeing a reproductive psychiatrist as an option, but it makes so much sense to see someone who specializes in women’s issues.
If you have been suffering from PMDD and are frustrated with doctors’ inability to find answers, I recommend that you speak with a reproductive psychiatrist. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Again, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. This information about PMDD is for general informational purposes only. Information in this post may not constitute the most up-to-date information. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this site are hereby expressly disclaimed. The PMDD content on this posting is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.