Recently on #The Doctors, a syndicated American talk show, they did a segment called 'Do You Suffer From 'Period Rage?' As the name would suggest The Doctors, it's reasonable to assume they had a genuine concern for #Women and their struggle with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) what they called 'Period Rage.' As the medical professionals they profess to be, they displayed nothing but terrible bedside manners, which left women suffering from PMDD angry and frustrated.

What is PMDD

According to UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or in The Doctors word 'Period Rage,' is a mood disorder that affects 5-10% of women in their reproductive years.

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PMDD appears in the luteal phase of a woman menstrual cycle,(usually the 1-2 week before menses), and ends once women begin the Menstrual Phase (menses). The symptoms of PMDD are as follow;

  • Irritability
  • Depressed Mood and feeling of hopelessness
  • Anxiety, tension, and/or irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Intense anger and/or conflicts with others
  • Lost interest
  • Fatigue and/ or insomnia
  • Intense Food Cravings and/or Binge eating
  • Cramps and/or bloating
  • Breast tenderness, headaches, joint & muscle pain, Hot Flashes
  • Suicidal Ideation

The estimated number of women that will attempt and some succeed at committing suicide is 15%.

PMDD was finally recognised as a disorder in the DSM-5(Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5thEdition) on May 18, 2013. Women have had their menstrual cycle for thousands of years; it took until the 21st century to have it recognised as a disorder.

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Finally making it possible for women to receive the care they need and deserve.

As for the medical field, and what we can see from The Doctors, many fail or refuse to acknowledge PMDD. In her book Abnormal Psychology, Susan Krauss Whitbourne states "Critics argue that the PMDD diagnosis pathologises (regard or treat someone or something as psychologically abnormal or unhealthy) the normal monthly cycle..." Meaning they believe there is no such thing as PMDD and they would just be treating expected symptoms of menstruation.

No laughing matter

Unfortunately, The Doctors, aside from the only female ( Nita Landry M.D.), on the panel, did not feel it was a serious enough condition that would warrant an actual explanation or conversation. Depriving possibly thousands, if not millions of women, that watch the show a chance to finally have a name for symptoms that they have been experiencing for years.

Instead, they chose to belittle every woman affected by PMDD, based on an extream example of a woman that claimed she had enough rage to murder her husband.

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Giving the male doctors, Travis Stork M.D. and Andrew Ordon M.D., a chance to make jokes about women on their menstrual cycle specifically women that suffer from 'Period Rage.' In particular, Dr Ordon, he jumped at the chance to attribute PMDD to women he feels are dangerous drivers by exclaiming "That was an aggressive crazy woman."

The antics continue even after Dr Landry attempts again to provide the critical information needed. Keeping with his theme Dr Ordon aims at women with PMDD, by telling the men in the audience " Make sure you go through a few cycles before going out and buying a ring." insinuating that they are not women that should be married or loved. For a woman with PMDD that already feels unlovable, useless, and troublesome, that just confirms their irrational thinking. Making a statement that provides validation to their feelings of unworthiness, which could lead the 15% of women over the edge.

#IamPMDD

The Doctors need to know that the Face of PMDD is mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, these are the women who suffer from the invisible illness they called 'Period Rage.' Thousands of women that seek advice from other women on the social media platforms in an attempt to find understanding, comfort, support, solutions, tools, and some a reason to keep on living.

They are the faces of the women we lost to suicide due to lack of awareness, resources, information, and appropriate medical care. The actual number of suicide deaths because of PMDD is unavailable, making it difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the forgotten. Additionally, many women are mislaid to jails and mental institutes because they have been labelled as "aggressive crazy women," unable to prove they suffer from PMDD.

We also don't know the countless divorces and family separations caused by the effects of PMDD. How many wifes lost their husband or partners due to the belief that they are just "terrible women", or for some "terrible mothers." The reality is that those kinds of symptoms are not regular menstrual cycle symptoms. PMDD does not just affect the women it affects all aspect of a woman's life, relationships, and employment.

Finally, for The Doctors, what these women need is factual information that would help them get the best care possible. What these women need is real research and education on what Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder really is and how it affects women. They need actual medical providers to be available to them, that will help them understand their condition and guide them in treating the symptoms. What they need is a place they can go to when all they can think about is ending the pain. What they didn't need was a segment on 'Period Rage,' that involved a women's only mental disorder becoming nothing more than a joke. #mental health