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We Need To Talk About Black Women’s Struggle With PMDD Leave a comment


“I feel everything everywhere all at once during that time [of my menstrual cycle],” Fiona tells Unbothered over Zoom, looking towards the sky. “The emotions are so big and so huge, and there are many running thoughts of suicide. It can be debilitating,” she confesses, sighing. Based in the US, Fiona Williams is in her 30s and suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), an under-researched and undertreated mood disorder that can cause extreme emotional and psychological distress up to a week before a person’s period. Online it has been dubbed “premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on steroids,” but for sufferers, this explains little of the hormone condition’s life-altering impact: nearly one in five people suffering from PMDD can experience feelings of suicidal ideation, and more than half battle with self-harm. Other symptoms include rage, anxiety, and sweeping bouts of depression which typically go away two to three days after their period starts. “You start going down this spiral of everyone hates me and everyone is out to get me,” Fiona continues. “And as a Black woman, you’re just expected to be strong and see through it all.”


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