Using EFT For Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

What’s PMDD?

According to the Wikipedia entry for PMDD, it is defined as severe PMS leading up to the menstrual cycle as well as a few days after menstruation has begun.

The main emotional symptoms are listed as:

  • feelings of deep sadness or despair, and suicide ideation
  • feelings of intense tension or anxiety
  • increased intense sensitivity to rejection or criticism
  • panic attacks
  • rapid and severe mood swings, bouts of uncontrollable crying
  • lasting irritability or anger, increased interpersonal conflicts; typically sufferers are unaware of the impact they have on those close to them
  • apathy or disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • difficulty concentrating
  • chronic fatigue
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • insomnia or hypersomnia; sleeping more than usual, or (in a smaller group of sufferers) being unable to sleep
  • feeling overwhelmed or feelings of being out of control
  • increase or decrease in sex drive
  • increased need for emotional closeness

Sufferers may have many of these symptoms or one. This is an issue close to my heart as once a month my world would turn upside down. I felt like I was possessed by something I had no control of. It impacted on my husband and children and friends and family and relationships. It impacted on how I saw the world around me. It was a thick emotional filter that existed between myself and the rest of the world.

How Can PMDD Be Managed?

I had tried herbs and vitamins and breathing and journalling and was still plagued by this ‘demon’. I took the flower essence She Oak for many months, and although my cycle regulated and became much shorter (from ~45 days to ~30, an 11 day period to 7 days), I still had the severe PMS which I came to understand as PMDD.

I asked a wise woman for her advice on how to handle it emotionally/energetically. Her first suggestion was to de-stress energetically, step one for any emotional issue! However I was using EFT and de-stressing constantly through this emotional storm and feeling as though I was using a bucket with holes in it to bail out a sinking boat. I wasn’t getting anywhere fast!

Her second suggestion was to treat this PMDD part of me as a separate part of me. A part of me who is needing much support and assistance and exploding in rage and emotion once a month, perhaps because of unmet needs. If I gave attention to this aspect throughout the cycle, would ‘she’ no longer need to release fury once a month? It is called the Aspect Model in Energy EFT.

Using The Aspect Model for PMDD

So I decided to track my progress through one menstrual cycle to see what presented and what the PMDD Aspect was going through. (CD = Cycle Day)

CD 6
The PMDD aspect just wants a break, and is frantic to get all of the unfinished things done around the house so she doesn’t have to see them (and be overwhelmed at PMS time). I decided to paint my laundry, and gave objects a permanent ‘home’ that needed them. I also gave things we had no use for to my local op shop to declutter.

CD 9
The PMDD aspect wants to cry and has a heavy heart. I had noticed a tension and sensitivity in general on this day. My husband was frustrating me. I tapped for “needs to cry”. I reassessed the PMDD aspect and felt anger and tapped for “the aspect is angry”. Once the anger had been cleared I felt the PMDD aspect was confused and overwhelmed and tapped for this. When I asked her what it was that she needed, I felt that she was needing: a friend, love, support, and feels like she has none of it. My husband was distant emotionally and criticising things and it was hitting a nerve in the sense of not meeting any of the PMDD aspect’s needs. It made it more obvious to me that I needed to seek out what I needed in a positive way – for example, ask for a hug and initiating a conversation instead of getting annoyed and feeling unloved.

CD 17
The PMDD aspect is happy, just needs sleep.

CD 18
The PMDD aspect needs reassurance. I tapped for “the aspect is okay”. I was then given the impression (mental image) that the aspect could march in and take control of everything and get things tackled very quickly. As though it was an issue if things weren’t under control. I tapped for “the aspect doesn’t need to be in control to be safe”.

CD 20
The PMDD aspect is frustrated about mess with her childrens’ toys, so I decided to sit down with my children (and husband) to work out how to manage the toys and what would happen if they weren’t tidied, rather than the mess being my responsibility all the time and causing emotional stress. The PMDD aspect is relieved that there are now rules in place. The PMDD aspect is worried about the period being on its way in the next week or so. I tapped for “the aspect thinks she will lose her cool”.

CD 28
The PMDD aspect needs to have a cry, and focus her attention inward. I tapped for “The aspect wants to cry” and “the aspect wants to focus within”. I also had a bath and took time for myself and gave myself permission to focus on me and me alone.

CD 31
The PMDD aspect is highly annoyed at her husband. I tapped for “The aspect thinks her husband is useless”. (sorry honey – this process was well before we had worked through our issues with intimacy)

My period started the following day. I expected to feel far more out of control than I did at this stage. It was significant progress. I recognised each feeling as it arose and gave it the attention that it needed.

Life After PMDD?

It has been several cycles for me since then. I don’t consider myself to have PMDD anymore. There are emotions that surface prior to a period (which I still call PMS due to the timing of when they appear). However they are MUCH more subtle and I no longer feel out of control or possessed by them. I am aware of the emotions, not driven by them. These emotions are healing opportunities that I welcome – each cycle revealing different issues to give attention to and shift beyond. I use EFT for these issues as arise and still occasionally ask the PMS aspect what she needs. She is quietly content most of the time these days. 🙂

Giving ourselves (our aspects!) the opportunity to express what we need and want for balance and happiness is so important. The answers are there within us and just need to be given permission to come forward and be heard.

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Loving My Children, Completely

Yesterday I created an energy habitat for my ‘food mojo’. I was presented with a simple image of a meal of wholesome and fresh food over a family lunch with my parents. I was touched by how good this had felt. I felt looked after, loved, and cared for.

From this simple habitat I had a significant realisation, however. Those familiar with the concept of the Five Love Languages might recognise that my Quality Time and Acts of Service ‘love tanks’ were given attention by the event of this meal. I thought about my own children and how sometimes I am not even sitting with them for their meals. I am savouring their distraction and the subsequent silence and cleaning the kitchen or preparing things for their bath, or reading an email. And with my ‘food mojo’ issue and disinterest in cooking, I am neglecting both of these love languages. And the other languages are not getting a significant look-in either. I love my children, but do they feel it? Am I giving it in ways that they can feel? Are their love tanks filling from their interactions with me? Sadly, I don’t think so. I thought about other relationships too and felt a heavy sadness as well as my stress levels rising. I was failing my kids, failing as a mother and as a person going through the world where love is essentially all there is and the best part about being alive and feeling.

This was a heavy realisation, yet something I’d been aware of (to some degree) for awhile. I had brushed it aside as me ‘just not being a nurturing kind of person’. As I have recently shifted some significant stressors with EFT, I had the capacity to give this attention, where before it was just one of many things I had intended to look at more closely in the future. This is also most likely a period of PMS for me which may be why this is so clearly in my face. (I have posted my thoughts on my Facebook page here) I feel virtually forced to give this attention. Ah the joys of being an energetically sensitive woman!

Some of this may well be ‘mother’s guilt’ but decided that giving the issue attention wasn’t going to hurt anyone and may do positive things in the meantime.

So after the food mojo habitat, I made my children a meal for dinner and was conscious of putting some love and care into it (versus slapping together ingredients) and both of them rejected it and refused to eat it. And it was something they’d eaten before. I was so angry. I instantly regretted putting ‘myself’ into this meal and being so open, feeling a hurt in my heart. Which I tapped for.

I decided to use a method of EFT where you treat several somethings as an energetic entity. You can use this method for a business or any group of people, such as “the clients” or “my students” or “the train company”. The aim being to improve the energetic relationship. I visualised an entity and where this was located. I saw myself holding my two children at arm’s length, to the right hand side of my body, and knew they were trying to get to my heart. My heart was protected by a layer of bubble wrap. I tapped for the bubble wrap.

The bubble wrap is off and what remains is thick layer of cling wrap over my heart and I see that instead of being held firmly at arm’s length, my arm had relaxed and bended, allowing them closer. I tap for “A safety net” because that’s what the cling wrap feels like. A layer between them and me and keeping myself ‘safe’. While tapping for this, I feel that I am preparing myself to be more vulnerable with them. But I’m not quite there yet.

I decide to tap for “This safety net” again. The entity is in my arms now. My two children, one on either side. There is a resistance there. An awkward and stiff hug. I’m not relaxing into it. To clarify, I don’t have problems in reality hugging my children, but as an energetic representation of our connection, I have problems ‘letting them in’ and this is how it is presented in the vicinity of my energy.

Considering what I feel I am on the verge of here, I began to feel my stress levels rising. I tapped for “stress” and “calm”, and reminded myself that it’s ONLY ENERGY.

I tapped for “I let go of fear”. When I consider the entity I see that I am melting into the hug a little more now. There is still some resistance. I tap for “I allow myself to trust”. I am feeling lighter and warmth at the heart. I tap for “I love openly and without hesitation or condition”, which triggers an emotional release, but there is still *something* there, still something in the way. I feel frustrated with myself!

I tap again for “stress”. And then “Love”. There is energetic improvement here but I’m still waiting for the ‘hit’; the moment where I recognise/feel that I have touched on the right issue which will unlock everything. This is where an EFT practitioner helps, because I am too close to the issue here and can’t see the forest for the trees. A practitioner is on the outside and could make suggestions that I may not willingly come up with on my own (for a number of reasons, fear being a big one).

Saying and feeling “I am too close to the issue” reminds me of another protocol I could use here, which is the Aspect Model. Treating parts of me contributing to things as a separate person, rather than something that I had done or felt or experienced. Perfect for situations like this where I might be preventing a healing event. The aspect symbol (a triangle – as per The Genius Symbols) has been coming up frequently in habitats for me if you haven’t noticed! I feel silly for not using it already for this.

  • There is an aspect of me that feels vulnerable when she lets someone into her heart.
  • There is an aspect of me that equates vulnerability with pain.
  • There is an aspect that feels like she will lose herself if she gives herself in love.
  • There is an aspect of me that is scared of being hurt.

So I tap for these women. I tap for them and give them love and acknowledgement. I give attention to what they believe to be true without judgement or analysis. And of course it’s emotional. Of course it makes me cry. And of course it feels like a weight has been lifted from me when I am finished.

I think about loving my children and letting them in, completely and without reservation, and there doesn’t feel like there is anything in the way anymore. It doesn’t feel like it was ever something I struggled with. I go back to the entity situation and I see her embracing them so closely and so completely that they become her, absorbed within her energy. I see her energy rise and fill, a glow emanating from her heart, and pink energy flutters outward and upward from her crown, much like butterflies. That version of me has her arms open outward, a pink glow around her whole body and a golden glow from her heart.

This feels like a relief to me. I tap for “Love” again for good measure. This feels light and bubbly and tickly.

I don’t know if other aspects will present themselves but I welcome them and allow them forward and feel positive about a future where I’m not afraid to love completely.