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Premenstrual Madness
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PMDD, help and advise please

Hi ,

Please bear with me as I have a feeling this will be a long post ..

I’ve always attributed some symptoms to pms whilst growing up . For example severe sugar cravings before my period , as in I’d so much sugar , hunger , tiredness , feeling low, alone , isolated , headaches .

I’ve been taking the pill since 20 , ( am 34 now ) Dianette , then later Yasmin for acne and hormonal induced acne . Come to think of it , before this time my PMS was quite bad but I dealt with it . I guess being on the pill helped somewhat .

I’ve also been on citalopram since I was 23, for depression , but in the past year I have been questioning this . I’ve tried to come off the citalopram but am unsuccessful. I wanted to try and come off all medication so I tried to come off Yasmin the start of 2017 .

I knew it would be hard but by , August I couldn’t cope . All my symptoms worsened , including this out of mind state , not recognising myself , forgetfulness, suicidal thoughts, I’d fall asleep thinking of ways to end it and what I would write to my family , just wanting to stay in bed . I went back to my GP who said to just go back on Yasmin , she was very reluctant to discuss PMDD with me , although I had been and still keep a diary . Since starting on the Yasmin again , my suicidal thoughts have lessened and are not as bad . I still feel hopeless, lost . I get into fits of rage and lash out to those who care and sound like a crazy lady not physical but saying things in a calm way , but what I do say is crazy .

I live alone so it’s easy to just stay in . I make it into work and try to be ‘normal “ but straight then it’s home and shut the world out . I struggle to concentrate with anything , forget things , people at work laugh how bad I am . I have headaches , feel so tired and heavy . The list goes on .

My question is how what can I do to help these symptoms . I’ve been reading lots , manage sugar , eat healthy , take the pill , take citalopram, ( doctor last year said to increase the dose for 10days a month but I don’t want to take more antidepressants. Eat small meals and regularly . Increase water , take anti inflammatories. What else can I do ? Exercise may help , but how to a get myself to get up , when I just want to sleep because of my mental state and tired state . It’s like for 6days before my period I can’t control myself or head . 3 of my close friends know about this but don’t quite understand or know what to do to support , my family. Just hate this cycle of feeling so crap . Within a few days of my period coming , I’m ok . It’s mad .

Is there an actually test I can to diagnose this ? I’ve have my thyroid checked and all is fine . Any advise would be appreciated xxx

7 Replies

Hello, Simmi83! Welcome! So glad to have you here. There is no test to diagnose PMDD which I think can be problematic, as many healthcare "professionals" are still so ignorant and biased about it. Luckily, it already sounds like you're great at tracking your symptoms and getting the help you need. You're doing EXACTLY what you need to be doing.

I know that getting out of bed some days is hard. I've been struggling recently with getting enough exercise as I feel so lethargic so much of the time. I've decided to lower my standards quite a bit. Instead of aiming for 30 minutes of exercise per day, I am for 10 and if I get more done--great. Here is an article with some great ideas about what to do when you're struggling to get out of bed:


One of the reasons it can be hard to get out of a funk is that we set our expectations too high and then when we can't do it, we beat ourselves up for failure and have even less motivation than we did before. So set SMALL, MANAGEABLE goals and give yourself plenty of praise along the way. Your small successes eventually turn into bigger ones which helps you to build momentum to feel better.

I hope this helps a tiny bit.

Know we're right there with you, sister.



Hi Red ,

Thank you for you reply and support . This forum in itself is helpful, as although I wouldn’t wish these symptoms on others , it’s touching to see others go through the same . I do have high expectations on myself , I’ve been told it lots by others. Thus when I rest and take a step back I feel like I’m wasting valuable time . However , idea of small tasks , sounds like a good idea . Thank you for the link too xxx

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Massive hugs hun. XxxxxX I have just successfully weaned off citalopram. I have given up sugar in my diet, caffeine and anything processed and added in probiotics like in yoghurt. I also take a supplement from happyhormones.com.au its early days for me to say if that is working but just being in their Facebook group and reading recovery stories gave me the hope and strength to give up sugar. The no sugar lifted the heavy tired feeling after about 10 days, although I suffered really bad headaches in those ten days. Lifting the fatigue has helped me get out and excercise as well.

This week I was able to work full time when had only been managing 2 days per week :D been a month off sugar I think. For me that’s now a lifestyle thing rather than just temp thing. Ovulating now and some symptoms are back but no where near as bad and I have a bit more energy to get through it. check out happyhormones.com.au/articles for lots of articles that really helped me understand why food was important. I had just overlooked it before, I always said I had no energy to eat healthy and it was a viscious cycle.

Becky xxxx

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Hi Becky ,

Congrats on wearing yourself off . Although early days .. you’re making massive strides each day

Thank for your words of support and encouragement. I have cut down on caffeine . As for sugar , again I have cut down , but think the next steps are for me to cut it out . I try to eat healthily but not consistently . I do well for a few weeks , lapse , then do well again . Like you it’s a vicious cycle .

I’ll be sure to check that like and forum .

Once again massive congrats on the how far you have come . Thank you for the support x


Have you tried looking for another doctor? It sounds like you have textbook pmdd and you need someone to really listen to and help you. You might not want to take medication, but you may need to if your symptoms are interfering with you living a normal life. Also, see if you can't find someone to take you through a 12-step program. You don't have to have an addiction for the 12 steps to help you, and they help tremendously with PMS. Finally, see myhormonology.com and download the Hormone Horoscope app and get plugged in with that. You can email its creator, Gabrielle Lichterman, and see if she has any advice for you. She's the one who turned me on to this Health Unlocked forum.


Hi Emmy ,

Thank you for your message.

The first doctor I saw last year specialises in woman’s health ! I saw another recently at the same practice who was dismissive. I had some blood tests privately last year as I thought I had a hormone imbalancement . I’ll be sure to check myhormonolgy.com. I’m not adverse to medicine , am on Yasmin and citalopram already , just reluctant to increase it

Thank you again , much love x


Unfortunately, the cliche birds of a feather flock together is very accurate when it comes to docs in the same practice. And these hormonal swings never show up in blood tests. I would suggest you inquire about adding a mood stabilizer like Lamictal or oxcarbazapine to an SSRI (paroxetine, sertraline, escitalprolam). In my experience with mental health drugs, they have all needed to be increased and/or changed at one time or another. That's just the nature of the beast. You've been on the same dose of escitalprolam since you were 23, so 11 years?


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