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ask: Is Asperger's (high-functioning Autism) an exception to the rule that PMDD cannot be diagnosed in women with mental diosrders?

By Anonymous
 
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Hi,

I have Asperger Syndrome (high-functioning end of Autism Spectrum), and I get REALLY irritable and sensitive when I'm PMSing! During the 1-2 weeks before my period I'm mad at my parents, my brother, and everyone including myself! I have even said REALLY nasty things about people because of PMS! Like calling my old college roommate (who came across as being a little bossy) an a** and a b**** behind her back! Or yelling at my boyfriend (who is just a very sensitive, caring person)! I have even thought about hurting myself or others because of PMS! The good news is that most people come out unscathed. I have had suicidal thoughts because I was PMSing, and someone (particularly my parents or a teacher) reminded me of what the rules were or reprimanded me for not doing what I was asked! For example, if I'm PMSing and one of my parents says, "Leanne, I asked you not to do that, So you shouldn't have done it," I will have the kind of thoughts I mentioned! I always like to do the right thing, and I really throw my heart into it! I have talked with my mom about PMS and how seriously it affects me (and she already knew, anywho), but she still doesn't seem to realize that she needs to be extra careful what she says and does during the 1-2 weeks before my period! She has suggested birth control pills, but that's about as sympathetic as she gets (but she says her main PMS symptom is increased appetite/food cravings, and that her PMS isn't too intense)!

I read that PMDD cannot be diagnosed in women with psychological disorders, but is Asperger Syndrome (high-functioning Autism) an exception?

Add a Comment8 Comments

lkcty873

have you thought of asking your doctor about Lybrel. Its a birth control that stops your period all together, therefore stopping PMS/PMDD. Just an idea. I am a mom to a high functioning ASD teenage girl. Her PMS/PMDD is so bad that we almost have to Baker Act her every month because of violent meltdowns. We have tried several other treatments and have an appointment to talk about Lybrel.

March 8, 2013 - 8:34am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to lkcty873)

I did ask a nurse practitioner at my doctor's office (my doctor is a male) about birth control. I didn't ask about any specific pill, but I did ask her if she could put me on one where I would still get my period every month, just without the PMS. Because my period itself isn't that bad, it was just the PMS (1-2 weeks before my period) that was a prob. I have DEFINITELY found that I have better control of my behavior and train of thought, whereas before, it would get out of control!

March 13, 2013 - 12:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Leanne
I'm also hypersensitive to many things that a lot of people on the Autism Spectrum are hypersensitive to (I am on the Autism Spectrum) including: sounds, touch, and smells, so I'm thinking I might also be hypersensitive to the hormone fluxes that occur in my body right before my period.

January 25, 2013 - 10:54am
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hello Leanne,

Comparing the characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome and PMDD, I do not think there would be any difficulty in making a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD.

Women with PMDD have severe depression symptoms, irritability and tension before menstruation. Many women with this condition have anxiety, major depression, and seasonal affective disorders.

I can see where in these cases, it is difficult to make a diagnosis.

You may want to talk with your physician about PMDD treatment options.
Suggested lifestyle changes include eating a balanced diet with more whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and little or no salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Regular aerobic exercise throughout the month might reduce the severity of symptoms. Getting plenty of sleep might help.

Some women do benefit from using an antidepressant known as a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and cognitive behavior therapy. Birth control pills can decrease or increase premenstrual symptoms, especially depression.

Talk with your physician. You shouldn't have to go through this each month.

Maryann

January 7, 2013 - 6:07pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

If I'm ever diagnosed with PMDD, how do I tell people so that they will be less likely to feel guilty or like they did something wrong? I know PMS and PMDD are nobody's fault, but I'm afraid that some people might feel like my PMS symptoms are their fault or like they weren't treating me the right way!

January 12, 2013 - 10:05am
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

Once you have been diagnosed with PMDD, you may share this with the people who are close to you, such as your parents and siblings, trusted friends or boyfriend.

A friend of a friend who suffered from intense PMS wore a particular pin (brooch) whenever she felt the symptoms coming on. Those who were close to her knew that when she wore the pin-tread lightly! You might want to do something similar- a pin or necklace. That way you do not have to explain each month.

Maryann

January 14, 2013 - 6:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Leanne

What I'm asking is, what should I say to those I am closest to, if I am ever diagnosed with PMDD? I have never been diagnosed with PMDD, but I still would like to know what I should tell the people it may concern (boyfriend, parents, brother, boss, co-workers, etc.), so that they would not feel guilty or think they did something wrong. Should I say something like, "Mom, I've just been told that I have PMDD (that's an intense form of PMS). Please know that it is not your fault, and that you didn't do anything wrong. But please remember to be extra gentle and reassuring to me during the 1-2 weeks before my period."?

January 18, 2013 - 3:48pm
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Leanne,

That is perfect and exactly what you should say. Have faith in yourself and speak from your heart.

Best wishes,

Maryann

January 18, 2013 - 6:14pm
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