Menstruation triggers innumerable and uncontrollable hormones. With the prevalent taboo around menstruation in an Indian household, it took my family and myself some time to understand my PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a significant health condition that is related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In the week or two before period, PMDD produces significant irritation, depression, or anxiety. Symptoms often fade away two to three days after menstruation begins. To alleviate the symptoms, one may require medication or other treatment. Although this intense form of PMS is mostly seen in child-bearing women, I ended up being just a bit unlucky in this case. A family history of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can aggravate this condition and increase the risks of developing PMDD.
My grandma had clinical depression after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. For my first few teen years, I was completely unaware about anything related to either PMS or PMDD and the lack of education around sexual health and psychology in our country made it even more difficult. With the growing health issues of both my grandparents, my parents became more mindful of mental health issues and their treatments. While I grew up and began to develop an unending and bittersweet relationship with digital and social media, I have been trying my best to instil self-awareness and mindfulness about my mental health. And although I had an idea about my PMDD before my diagnosis (Thanks to the internet!), I consulted a relative (Never self-diagnose, my friends), who was a gynaecologist, in a family gathering and this might sound strange, but I was quite comforted when I was sure of it.
My despair and anxiety mixed in the ink that I tend to scribble
on the yellow aged paper being withered away gradually, like my mind,
The paper in a glass bottle fabricated of smiles and grins
In the vast, unending ocean of negligence and grudges.
Like the message in a bottle, my mind is a cry for help for an entire week or more, every month. The pandemic, being my condition’s best friend, has just been making it more and more painful, challenging and perplexing. I am blessed to have extremely supportive friends and family, who have always assured me that all my feelings are valid and it is okay to not be okay, but in case, you cannot find someone with whom you can share your emotions, or if that “someone” fails to understand what you are going through, I urge you to make use of this amazingly supportive platform, with so many compassionate women. Share Dil se! And, I hope you find help in some way.