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

By Anonymous January 6, 2013 - 5:57pm
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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?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have exactly the same problem. I have found that taking Tranexamic Acid on the days when my PMT is really bad stops it completely. I looked into why it works, as it is usually prescribed for heavy periods (and I was actually prescribed it as something to help with some allergies I had). It has anti-anxiety effects and it also possibly binds to oestrogen, which is thought to normally be quite low in females with Asperger's Syndrome but may not be prior to getting periods (see: http://www.moray.gov.uk/downloads/file90875.pdf). Anyway, I really hope this helps because it has really helped me. I used to have the most terrible mood swings where I would scream and shout and break things, and would hate myself for acting badly afterwards. No one had noticed that it was cyclical until I was with my last boyfriend. I got treated for depression instead, which helped nothing at all. I had also tried contraceptive pills but they made me feel worse. One type made me just cry for the two weeks I was taking it for! The Tranexamic Acid was something that I was taking for a different reason, so I just stumbled across it as a cure for my PMT but now I take it each month (1 x 500mg tablet a day) when I feel I am acting short tempered/agitated and it just gets rid of the PMT completely. I am much nicer to be around for everyone I care about and that is so much better.

November 5, 2016 - 6:06am
EmpowHER Guest

I go through the same exact things myself. I swear seems like I wrote the question. Wish I could give advice just don't know any but remind yourself that u know that's not how you really feel and even though it can be hard or a pain remind family that it's that time to please help u get through it and just be there for u and disregard mean things u say. I know I have aspergers I told my husband but that's it it's so hard I can't even go to a Dr. I have suffered depression like my whole life and meds make it worse. So I started excersizeing and eating right and making myself do hobbies and I'm still depressed but I'm happy with my life. Just anything social is hard for me even with my husband and kids and idk what to do they know I love them but during pms I can be so mean to my husband but when I remind him I'm pms right now he is a little ok but it hurts me to be mean co I just want to be a good person and it's so hard being a aspie depressed and having pms.

January 20, 2015 - 12:09pm

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

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

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.


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
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.


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


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
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,


January 18, 2013 - 6:14pm
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