A new study is going to be published in the next few months (you heard it here first!) that shows that women with PMDD have a hard time with difficult memory tasks in the couple of weeks before their period. This symptom is familiar to millions of women with PMS and PMDD, and it’s not news to doctors and others who understand PMDD symptoms.
What is new is that this research proved, by giving women with and without PMDD a memory task, and measuring the results. Before this, all we really knew is that women who suffer from PMDD symptoms (and PMS symptoms, for that matter) reported that before their period, they had more trouble concentrating and focusing.
I believe, however, that what this study proves goes much further in explaining premenstrual suffering. If you have difficulty using your memory to solve complex problems—which can be anywhere from “what was I just doing?” to “how do I integrate this set of data into this spreadsheet?”—of course, that is going to mess with your concentration.
But that’s not all. Wouldn’t that make you feel confused? Of course—and confusion is a real symptom of PMDD. (I get a little tired of saying this, but I’ll say it again: the symptoms of PMS are the symptoms of PMDD, one hundred percent. The premenstrual symptoms of these two conditions are identical. The only difference is the intensity, and the degree to which they interfere with life.) Wouldn’t problems with memory and concentration lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed? Certainly, and feeling overwhelmed before your period is another important PMS symptom. Might all of these premenstrual symptoms combine to make you feel irritable? No doubt.
Could PMDD difficulty concentrating and PMS confusion and premenstrual irritability combine to make a woman feel depressed and out of it? Could all of these add up to the classic PMS brain cloud or PMDD brain fog? Absolutely.
My point here is that all these premenstrual symptoms are connected, and the connection is that women with PMDD—and probably those with moderate or severe PMS, too—have brains and hormones that don’t play nicely together for roughly two weeks out of the month. And now, there’s scientific proof that all those symptoms are real.
I can imagine you might be reading this and thinking “OK, great, but what can I do about it?” We have a whole site, and holistic premenstrual relief programs, that answer just that question. For the moment, though, women with PMDD will appreciate knowing that that premenstrual brain fog is a scientific fact.