No More PMDD

Leili V  •  Washington DC  •  37


I got my first period when I was 13. I was late compared to the girls my age. My best friend had just gotten hers. I was excited about it because I thought getting a period would mean I could be a grown-up then. I thought I’d be able to escape my abusive home life and take care of myself after I started bleeding. I also thought I would look more like an adult and lose my baby face. My period did none of those things. I wasn’t “cool” because I got it, in fact, I was even more socially isolated than before. It gave my mother an excuse to abuse me more because I was “hormonal.”

I had no idea at the time, though, that my first period also gave me Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD is actually quite common but not well known. It took me 22 years after my first period to finally get a proper diagnosis and cure, which for me came in the form of a full hysterectomy.

Leili V First Period Story

Those 22 years in between my first and last bleed were utter hell. PMDD is often misdiagnosed as Bipolar and/or Borderline Personality Disorder. For me, I struggled the most with mental and emotional symptoms like cyclical intensified depression, self-loathing, panic attacks, weepiness, irrational thinking, paranoia, brain fog, forgetfulness, insomnia, and suicidal ideation, among a myriad of other symptoms. PMDD gets worse with age, and toward the end, my cycles got longer and became more erratic. I was nauseous all the time, especially in the mornings and especially during ovulation until menses. I began vomiting daily. My cramps were more painful than when I gave birth. And suicidal ideation turned into action. I hated myself more than ever, couldn’t trust my own thoughts and feelings, didn’t want to wake up in the morning. I wasn’t sure I could keep fighting to live each cycle.

Thankfully, after decades of being ignored, dismissed, and told to just eat birth control by doctors, I finally found a psychiatric nurse practitioner that recognized PMDD when it was presented to her. She saved my life, as did my wonderful PMDD siblings in the PMDD support groups on Facebook that I joined. I am now two years post-op and finally able to live my life and be my most authentic self.

Leili V First Period Stories

Fake it to Make it

Sasha H  •  United States  •  24


I faked it at school, then when I went to change my "used" pad, I saw blood on it like a lot.

Sasha H First Period Story

I thought I had an infection, I got in trouble by my mom for faking it.

Sasha H First Period Stories

Cheesecake Conundrum

Aniya G  •  Louisiana  •  11


My sis had checked me out from school and we went get strawberry cheesecake bite sno balls. It was good. It was really hot and I felt wet everywhere. When we got home, I went to the bathroom and did my business and wiped myself. That's when I saw blood.

Aniya G First Period Story

I thought it could be the sno ball but it was not. So to test my theory, I put a pad on. After about 6 hours I took it off and it was covered in blood. I didn’t tell anyone but my sister. She told my parents and they didn't believe me. So I guess that’s how it is... :)

Aniya G First Period Stories