PMDD is a mood disorder that can easily and unpredictably bubble up and explode in bouts of anger, sadness, irritability and despair. Finding a community of others who can understand the tumult of extreme highs and lows eases the sense of guilt and shame that can often creep in after these outbursts.
For Laura Teare-Jones, host of the podcast My Hormones My Health, social media has opened virtual doors to finding a PMDD community. “I’ve met so many friends through Instagram and Facebook who I speak to often. I only have to say that I’m on day 26 [in my cycle], and they get it,” she says. On the flip side, it can be harder to initiate in-person discussions about topics like menstruation and mental health.
To connect with fellow PMDD sufferers, Teare-Jones recommends joining one of the many PMDD Facebook support groups, like PMDD Education Canada, which will provide a safe space to ask questions, share stories or seek support. The #PMDD hashtag on Instagram will also yield plenty of resources. Accounts like @pmddsucks offer an intersectional and trauma-informed approach to PMDD education, including tools for trans folk and sexual assault survivors, as well as free online support groups with trained facilitators and information on how to make work accommodations requests. Elsewhere on Instagram, PMDD influencers (yes, they exist) like @hermoodmentor provide bite-sized content with tips on how to manage anger or navigate romantic relationships.
But for Teare-Jones, the International Association of Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) is a must-bookmark site. “If you’re just learning about PMDD, the IAPMD is the place to go to,” she says. The resource hub includes a wealth of educational, self-screening and treatment tools. It also offers peer and crisis support and hosts regular conferences and events to raise awareness and connect people with PMDD around the world.