When it comes to the benefits of microdosing, the list is endless — so it’s really no surprise that a number of women have turned to it as an alternative treatment for PMDD.
For those of you who are new to this topic, whether a menstruator or not, read on to find out exactly what PMDD is and how microdosing can help.
Most people have heard of PMS, but what is PMDD, and how are they different?
Whilst both PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) occur during the luteal phase (the week or two prior to menstruation) of a woman’s menstrual cycle, PMDD is a much more severe form, and often-debilitating extension, of PMS.
Characterised by severe physical and psychological changes, PMDD affects only an estimated 2-9% of menstruating women, whereas PMS affects over 50%. Though symptoms are present in many areas, the psychological ones are some of the most prominent and debilitating.
Here are some of the common psychological symptoms of PMDD:
Here is one woman’s experience of it — “the best way for me to describe it is that – once a month – I decided to press my own ‘self-destruct’ button and literally let my life (my normally very happy and satisfying life…) implode around me. Then when the dark thoughts lifted and completely cleared, I spent the next 2 weeks trying to pick up the pieces.”
PMDD is still not fully understood, and its exact cause is unknown. Many speculate, however, that it is a response to changing hormone levels that occur during each cycle. The rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone has an effect on levels of serotonin — the mood stabilizing hormone — and as a result, some women experience a severe reaction. Some also suggest that genetics may play a part in one’s susceptibility to PMDD.
With little known about the disorder and no specific test to accurately diagnose it, it can often be difficult to distinguish PMDD from other hormonal and mood disorders such as bipolar, major depressive disorder, or generalized anxiety. As a result of this, women are often misdiagnosed and offered unnecessary or ineffective courses of treatment for PMDD.
The current mainstream treatments available for PMDD are:
Although there is little to no official research on the correlation between the use of psychedelics and relieved symptoms of PMDD, anecdotal evidence suggests that microdosing is supporting many women as an alternative to mainstream treatments.
If you aren’t already aware of what microdosing is, it involves taking a very low dose of a psychedelic substance, the most common of these being LSD or psilocybin-containing mushrooms, but also 1P-LSD, 1cP-LSD, 1V-LSD and similar derivatives. The intention behind microdosing is not to get high or reach a point of hallucination, but rather to reap the benefits of being in such an open, present state.
So, why are women choosing microdosing over mainstream treatment for PMDD?
Well, this has a lot to do with the side effects and time in which it takes for them to provide relief.
SSRI’s for example can cause, amongst other things, fogginess, numbness, decreased sex drive, and insomnia. Moreover, some doctors prescribe them to be taken all month long, meaning that the user has to experience the side effects for the duration. Others, however, prescribe them only to be taken during the luteal phase — which is inefficient for those with irregular cycles and unpredictable symptoms.
Similarly to SSRI’s, birth control pills are also known to come with a whole host of side effects that have an impact upon one’s mood, physical appearance, and overall health. Additionally, many women dislike the idea of disrupting the natural rhythm of their body by taking synthetic hormones.
For those turning to diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress management for relief, it can take a considerable amount of time and money, as well as a lot of trial and error, to see any change.
Microdosing, on the other hand, has little to no reported side effects, and, unlike other mainstream treatments, begins working shortly after ingesting, thus providing the sufferer with almost instant relief — ‘took a microsdose an hour ago and can already feel a difference.’
As previously mentioned, there is little to no official research on microdosing as a treatment for PMDD but an abundance of anecdotal evidence.
From the threads that exist online, it appears that women have been coming together to share in their experiences and support each other through the dark times.
In a reddit thread, one woman describes how she felt ‘really grounded and present’ and ‘was able to enjoy things for the first time in a long long time’ after microdosing.
Another woman shared her PMDD journey on her blog ‘Woman in the basement’. She explained that her experience with microdosing has changed her life for the better and she no longer lives in constant fear of her own thoughts for one week out of the month.
Microdosing as a treatment for PMDD was also popularised by author Ayelet Waldman who documented her 30-day microdosing experience in her book ‘A Really Good Day’.
By searching the internet, you’ll find stories upon stories of women’s positive experiences with microdosing and how it really helped to diminish their symptoms of PMDD and improve their lives as whole.
Here are a few more excerpts:
‘I feel like MDing has helped me to make better choices – eating, exercise, just in life. My boss has even noticed a difference in the work I’m now producing’.
‘It changes me from I can’t get out of bed and I have no will to live to I’m gonna go to the gym and get some errands done. And it makes me feel happy and alive again.’
‘For the first time in my life it wasn’t excruciating and life altering. I felt like I was normal for the first time.’
‘It’s like the cloud lifted up. Like, all the woes and inner dialogues that I could not handle without spiralling despite my best effort (I journal, inner dialogue work, exercise, self-care) become so much smaller, manageable, actionable.’
It is clear from the evidence that microdosing really is proving to be an exceptional alternative treatment for PMDD and, although official research is limited, it is refreshing to see women advocating for their lives and health.
So, there we have it, an exploration of microdosing as an alternative treatment for PMDD!
Whether you suffer from PMDD, know someone who does, or had never even heard of it before today, I hope this article has opened your eyes to power that microdosing psychedelics can have upon our lives.