My name is Amy. I am 29 and a PMDD warrior.
My Journey began when I started my period at the age of 13. I started to become very emotional and I seemed to have no control or emotional regulation.
Throughout my teenage years and early twenties I was very erratic. I would be severely depressed and then really high and happy. I was tested for Bipolar and BPD and diagnosed with BPD.
I then went through Dialectical Behaviour therapy, Psychotherapy and many other forms of therapy but nothing seemed to change my ups and down. Until 3 years ago my mum started to notice that my ‘episodes’ were always just before my period.
I am very lucky to have an amazing best friend and therapist who also supported me and tracked my cycle with me. Then another friend showed me an article in a magazine about a girl with PMDD and I just knew that was what I had.
Over the next year I began to track myself and really noticed that I would spiral badly in my luteal (PMS) phase. I went to the doctor and they put me on Yasmin, a contraceptive pill to help my moods level out. Unfortunately, the pill started to clot my blood within a few months, so I had to come off of it. Coming off of it was very difficult and caused me to have more extreme anxiety than I had ever felt.
I had gone from no tablets to being on blood thinners, Anxiety medication, stomach liners and given an inhaler as I was struggling to breath because my blood was thickening. I then got a UTI infection and felt I was overwhelmed with all these medications. So, after a week I trusted my body and refused to take anything else. Within another week I began to feel physically better and started my mission to look at how to holistically heal my body and mind.
I have always been a firm believer that my body can come back to homeostasis but I am not naïve to think that this is an easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy.
Whilst I was doing this, my therapist referred me to a Hormone Clinic in London.
I began to read into cycle syncing, researching herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals and tracking everything within my luteal phase.
I notice my most debilitating symptoms were extreme fatigue, paranoia, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I also noticed I struggled to feel any level of connection to anything around me as I went from day 4 to 1.
So I began to observe my thoughts, lucky for myself I had travelled a lot over the years and stayed in Buddhist temples and silent retreats so I know how to observe my thoughts and meditate already.
I started to see that the fatigue would cause brain fog, leading to feelings of shame. The shame would cause me to feel paranoid that people didn’t like me, that they thought I was lazy and useless. These feelings would lead to me having suicidal thoughts, like i should just give up, I’ll never change, life is to hard.
So I began to look up the best herbal remedies for extreme fatigue and brain fog.
I started to look at my cycle as a test each luteal phase was the practical and then other phases I would observe what had happened in depth. This was not easy, I would cry a lot, I was very scared of my ability to change and spiral but I knew I had to change it.
I tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and found nothing wrong. Then I found Primrose Oil and B6 tablets and began to take them in my luteal phase as well as Cod Liver Oil and Magnesium. The combination of these 3 seemed to alleviate the fatigue and anxiety about 70 %. Which was amazing and allowed me to work on the other symptoms: paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
By this point, I had finally heard back from the Hormone Clinic who unfortunately refused me because I refused to take any more medication. I will say, I am not against medication but it doesn’t seem to work well for my body. I was angry but I knew I needed to and wanted to figure this out within myself, working this out in a holistic way.
My next step was building a daily morning routine to support my mental health and self love.
I was now 28 and I was very aware this wasn’t my fault, this was a mental health condition, however, having spent my life in chaos due to my emotions. I thought processes and self belief were really low. I was ashamed of myself. I had struggled to keep jobs down for years because I was ill and wouldn’t be able to get out of bed at certain times of the month and I didn’t know how to explain myself.
My romantic relationships were really difficult too and honestly consistency had felt near to impossible but I always loved exercise, writing and meditation. So, I created a morning plan, to get up at 6am, work out, have a cold shower, do meditation, write a gratitude list and journal. Each part of this plan was strategically placed for a certain symptom.
I worked out to motivational music to get my head into self belief, I had a cold shower to help my anxiety and support my ability to endure discomfort (because my emotions can felt extremely intense and very uncomfortable). I meditated to focus my mind, I wrote a gratitude list to remind me of the simple good in the world so when I am feeling suicidal I can remember and I journaled to connect to God because I believe God can sustain me when I can’t.
I started this the day I came on my period to build momentum and I saw a profound difference!
I love nutrition too so then began to focus on food a bit more. I don’t like to stress this too much because food has been a big disorder for me. But I try to eat as good as I can and not allow myself to feel guilt for comfort food. Then, lastly, I started doing somatic therapy/tantric Yoga. Which has taken me to a new level. Each woman is different but I have a lot of trauma which is activated again and again in my luteal phase. Meaning I needed to move the trauma through my body which I have been doing and still do weekly and sometimes daily. I cry when I need to without placing a story behind it. I scream when I need to without placing a story behind it. I dance and flow the emotions through my body, because emotions are just energy in motion and I have learnt not to be afraid of them.
The more I did this and connected to my body the more powerful my feminine energy became. I started to notice that in my luteal phase, I would see visions and dreams and get very strong wisdom and intuition that would lead me to support other women.
I began to read into the divine feminine and it became clear that the menstrual cycle is not a burden but a superpower unutilised. Then 6 months ago I officially got diagnosed with PMDD and got offered tablets again. I refused and told the doctor about all I had learnt, unfortunately it wasn’t taken well and this was when I decided I wanted to do this for work. Now I support women like myself to find their intuitive toolbox and power.
I do still feel very emotional a lot in my luteal phase, I still do feel fatigued, anxiety, paranoid and sometimes suicidal BUT I have learnt, for the most part how to listen to my body through the flow of my cycle and now I see these feelings and thoughts as signals rather then problems. I accept my diagnoses and have learnt to work with it rather than fight against it. And I am no longer ashamed of it.
Amy run's the @femininerhythm she is a Wellness coach, Tantric Yoga teacher and Moon Ceremony facilitator. Amy has suffered with PMDD since age 13 and her mission is to support and empower women with her testimony and professional experience.