Understanding PMDD: The Intersection of Hormones, Trauma, and Body SensitivityJan 29, 2024
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a condition that has puzzled many, primarily due to its complex interplay between hormones and mental health. In recent years, there's been a growing interest in understanding how PMDD is connected to trauma, especially considering the holistic perspective of how our bodies respond to life experiences. Renowned figures like Gabor Maté have redefined trauma, “Trauma is not what happens to you, it's what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you”. It is not just major catastrophic events but it is an experience leaving a negative imprint on us. This blog post delves into the intricate relationship between PMDD, trauma, and our body's sensitivity, offering insights into how we can better understand and manage this condition.
What is PMDD?
PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD affects about 1 in 20 women of childbearing age in the United States. Other estimates have found that this number is closer to 1 in 12 and is characterized by extreme mood swings, depression, irritability, and other emotional disturbances. These symptoms typically occur in the lead-up to menstruation, dramatically impacting the quality of life.
The Hormonal Connection
At its core, PMDD can be defined as a hormonal disorder. The symptoms align closely with the menstrual cycle, suggesting a strong link to the body's hormonal fluctuations, particularly estrogen and progesterone.
These hormones, essential in regulating the menstrual cycle, also play a crucial role in mood regulation. The way a woman's body responds to these hormonal changes can trigger the symptoms associated with PMDD.
Trauma and PMDD
The connection between trauma and PMDD is a subject of increasing interest. According to the holistic perspective championed by experts like Bessel van der Kolk and Gabor Maté, our bodies "keep the score" of our life experiences, including trauma. This perspective suggests that traumatic events, however small they may seem, can leave lasting imprints on our physical and mental health.
PMDD sufferers with a history of trauma, which is safe to say under this definition, we have all experienced it, might have an altered stress response, affecting how their bodies and brains react to hormonal changes. This heightened sensitivity can exacerbate the emotional and physical symptoms of PMDD, creating a vicious cycle of worsening symptoms.
Sensitivity: A Double-Edged Sword
Sensitivity, often perceived as a natural gift, can also play a significant role in the experience of PMDD. Highly sensitive individuals are more attuned to their bodily sensations and emotional fluctuations. Where are my INFJs at?! This can mean a heightened awareness and potentially an intensified reaction to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, leading to more severe symptoms of PMDD.
A Holistic Approach to PMDD Management
Understanding PMDD through this holistic lens emphasizes the need for a multi-faceted approach to treatment. It's not just about managing hormonal levels but also addressing the emotional and psychological aspects. This could include therapies that work on the subconscious level.
Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) offers a natural approach to treating PMDD by focusing on reprogramming the subconscious mind. Utilizing a blend of hypnotherapy, CBT, and NLP, RTT delves into the subconscious to unearth and address deep-rooted beliefs and emotional scars that may exacerbate PMDD symptoms. Through guided visualization and positive affirmation techniques, RTT reprograms these underlying patterns, promoting a healthier response to hormonal changes. This shift in the subconscious can lead to a significant reduction in the emotional and physical symptoms of PMDD, offering relief through a holistic, mind-body approach.
Mindfulness practices, body-awareness exercises, and stress-reduction techniques can also play a crucial role in managing PMDD. These practices help in tuning into the body's needs and responses, potentially mitigating the intensity of PMDD symptoms.
The exploration into the relationship between PMDD, trauma, and body sensitivity is ongoing. However, it's clear that a holistic approach, which considers both the physical and emotional aspects of the condition, is crucial for effective management.
By acknowledging the role of trauma and sensitivity in PMDD, we open the door to more compassionate and comprehensive care for those affected by this challenging condition. As we continue to unravel the complexities of PMDD, we move closer to finding healing, relief, and understanding for the many sufferers impacted by it.
If you are ready to do the work and discover how a holistic approach can help you break free from the bondage of PMDD book a call with me HERE.