On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, a friend in crisis needs advice on how to deal with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can be described as a health problem that is similar to premenstrual syndrome but is considered more serious. PMDD can cause severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week before your period starts.
This according to medical activist and founder of Imfundo Enhle, Lucy Khofi. “When we are looking into premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a lot of people normally confuse it with premenstrual syndrome because of how the symptoms occur or appear,” she says.
Khofi is also the founder of the Women’s Health Ekklēsia NPO, an organisation that tackles the reproductive realities and advocates for justice while uplifting, empowering, and educating individuals.
Why you should stop normalising the abnormal
PMDD was added to the list of depressive disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013. “It [PMDD] as a mental disorder; but there are so many controversies around classifying it as a mental disorder,” Khofi says.
If you notice any abnormalities in your normal cycle, get checked, Khofi advises. “That [abnormalities] then [means] there is an underlying factor. It is either it is PMDD or another related chronic condition such as endometriosis.”
“The most important thing you should pay attention to when it comes to premenstrual syndrome, is your mental health. I always advise menstruaters if any symptoms are affecting your daily life – and you are not able to function to do activities like you used to – something it’s not right there.”
On this episode Khofi also tackles:
- The controversies associated with PMDD diagnosis.
- Treatment options available to women who are living with PMDD.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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