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5-min read

Shehla Rashid Started a Twitter Thread on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and It's a Must Read

PMDD is real and it's time to start a conversation on the issue.

Parth Sharma | News18.com

Updated:September 24, 2018, 4:38 PM IST
Shehla Rashid Started a Twitter Thread on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and It's a Must Read
(Image: News18 Creative)

On Sunday morning, former vice president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU), Shehla Rashid took to Twitter to share a very personal story in "public interest, hoping to reach someone who needs to hear it."

Shehla began the thread by talking about having "strong suicidal thoughts", which she had been experiencing for two weeks when she even searched the nooks and corners of the Internet to find ways to end her life.

Incidentally, after Shehla had her period the next day, she looked up "PMS + Suicide" on the Internet and discovered about Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

PMDD is a "severe form of premenstrual syndrome" which affects 3-8 percent of all menstruating women. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), often used as a 'taunt' by men to justify 'irrational behaviour', in fact has more than 200 symptoms which include several emotional and physical symptoms like stress, insomnia, mood swings, abdominal cramps, and constipation.

According to a paper published in the American Family Physician, almost 80 percent of all menstruating women report having some symptoms prior to their menstruation cycle. However, these symptoms qualify as PMS in 20 to 30 percent of women and in three to eight percent are severe--which is called PMDD.

To confirm PMDD, a professional evaluates the previous medical history and carries out several tests to rule out any other condition. Treatment for PMDD may include anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory medicines and making lifestyle changes.

Shehla subsequently points out patriarchy as the reason behind the lack of acknowledgement and extensive research of PMDD, however, she insists that there is an urgent need for creating an awareness about the issue. Talking about how real it can get for women who actually suffer from it, Shehla tweeted that, "You start picking ways and spots to end your life. You start planning it!"

She went on to point out the 'sensitivity' of website algorithms, or lack thereof.

Talking about living in a world where even the "algorithms help you end your life" if you really want it, Shehla again insists on the importance of spreading information about PMDD. Shehla concludes by saying that it is unfair to women to dismiss "PMDD as a mood swing." She talks about the support women need and not sexist comments like "Even get stressed out."

Several women came out in support of Shehla and even narrated their own experiences.

PMDD is not an urban myth, it is real. Says who? Says the American Psychological Association. And while there are debates on the nature and intensity of the problem, the fact that it has adverse effects on women cannot be ignored any longer.

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