TikToker’s PMDD diagnosis is shedding light on women’s health

Dixie D’Amelio uses her platform to raise awareness of a lesser known condition that many woman struggle with every month.

With more than 50 million followers, Dixie D’Amelio is one of TikTok’s most watched users. Now, the social media star is using her platform to shed light on a condition many women experience during their menstrual cycles.

Recently, D’Amelio was on the “Pretty Basic” podcast where she revealed her premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) diagnosis and talked about her personal struggles with the condition.

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“Once a month, for about two weeks, I go into this dark spiral of like a depression, no one cares about me, I’m doing everything wrong, I’m not proud of myself and cut everyone out,” D’Amelio explained. “It changes my whole entire brain, and also I snap out of it so quickly.”

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is similar to premenstrual syndrome, but with much more serious symptoms. The disorder can cause:

  • Lasting irritability or anger that may affect other people
  • Feelings of sadness or despair, or even thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings or crying often
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
  • Trouble thinking or focusing
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling out of control
  • Physical symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
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PMDD lasts anywhere from one to two weeks before one’s period, as hormone levels start to drop during ovulation. This causes an increase in severe depression and anxiety — something D’Amileo admits to being the cause of losing certain relationships.

“I look back, like, ‘oh that’s why I can’t keep a friendship or a relationship stable because I’m so back and forth between thinking the whole world is against me’ and having a normal brain where everything is like, ‘no, that’s not true,’ " she said. “I think everyone just thought I was a b**** and I’m like, ‘no, I know this isn’t me.’ I don’t know why I’m so angry all the time and attacking people because that’s not how I feel.”

PMDD is typically treated with antidepressants, birth control pills, over-the-counter pain relievers and sometimes stress management programs. Experts suggest healthier eating habits can contribute to the relief of symptoms.