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I'm hypersensitive to sensory stimulation, but could I also have PMDD?

By Anonymous January 27, 2013 - 10:38pm
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I sometimes get SO irritable and sensitive during the 1-2 weeks before my period that I can hardly stand it! And I end up being nasty to people I care about such as my parents, brother, and boyfriend! For example, if my mom tries to discuss her concerns with me while I'm PMSing, I will sometimes get very defensive and upset! Usually, I'm a very gentle, caring person, and I still care about other people when I;m PMSing, but I have a lot more difficulty showing it! I have even thought about doing things to myself 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 my mom says, "Leanne, why did you do that after I asked you not to?! I'm disappointed in you!" I will have those kinds of thoughts I mentioned! I just wish the people I care about could wait until I'm on my period, or until after my period, to discuss their concerns, and not do it when I'm already struggling with my emotions! My mom just recently started waiting, but my dad, brother, and boyfriend? They still tell me their concerns when I'm struggling to control my emotions. They all love me very much, and would be DEVASTATED if something were to happen to me! I'm my parents FIRST BORN CHILD, and their ONLY DAUGHTER!

I'm hypersensitive to many types of sensory stimulation such as sounds, touch, smell, and many other things that a lot of people on the Autism Spectrum are sensitive to (I have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which I think is called High-Functioning Autism in the DSM-5). Could it be that I'm also hypersensitive to the hormone fluxes that occur in my body right before my period, or could it be that I also have PMDD?

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EmpowHER Guest

Well, my personal opinion, yes. Not saying you have PMDD, but is it possible? Yeah. I have it. I can't even watch football anymore (nor anyone else in my house) when it's that time fo the month. I cannot stand the noise that the crowds make. Among other things. Light sensitivity too.

February 13, 2013 - 2:29pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I'm sensitive to sound, smell, and touch in general (that's common for people on the Autism Spectrum), so I asked this because I was wondering if that could've been a contributing factor to my severe PMS moodiness. I also have Asperger Syndrome (High-Functioning end of Autism spectrum), and some of the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome make it difficult for me to express my emotions in a way that most neurotypical people would accept and understand.


April 24, 2013 - 7:52am
EmpowHER Guest

About the part where women who have a family history of PMDD or extreme PMS are more likely to suffer from one of those conditions. I don't know if I have a family history of severe PMS or PMDD, but my mom says PMS doesn't affect her too seriously (she is my birth mom). But guess what! It does affect me rather seriously!

January 30, 2013 - 12:33pm
EmpowHER Guest


What I'm trying to ask is, could my extreme PMS symptoms be due in part to the fact that I'm hypersensitive to sensory stimulation? And by the way, my name is Leanne, not Anon.

January 28, 2013 - 4:20pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


I am unaware of any scientific studies that have made this correlation but anytime a person is sensitive from a hormonal/emotional standpoint, they are often senstive to noises, lights and other sensations around them.  You will need to talk to a qualified doctor for more information about your individual case.


January 28, 2013 - 4:37pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

This time of the month can be very hard on some women but try not to take it out on family. The reason they want to talk to you at this time about your behavior is because it's better to deal with it at the time, not a week or two later. You can't expect people to hold off for 10-14 days - that isn't how life works or how it'll be when you have a job.

I think the fact that you are acknowledging your problems is great and I think that yes, the possibility of serious PMS or even PMDD could be at issue.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) occurs just prior to menstruation and is characterized by significant:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Tension

PMDD is much more severe than PMS .

Risk factors of getting PMDD include:



Symptoms include:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Frequent crying
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of anxiousness or nervousness
  • Unusually strong cravings for certain foods
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Physical symptoms include sore breasts, headaches, joint or muscle pain, swelling, and bloating

To be properly diagnosed with PMDD, usually at least five symptoms need to be present. Symptoms typically begin 10-14 days prior to the start of menstruation. They begin to decrease once menstruation begins. Symptoms that occur at other times during the cycle suggest other underlying mood or anxiety disorders.

For more, read here: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder

I think it's a very good idea to talk to your doctor about this. If you do have PMDD, it's not something you are causing, it's due to a hormonal issue. Getting checked out by a doctor may also help your family understand more what's going on.



January 28, 2013 - 1:30pm
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