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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EFT Case Story – Birth Fears

A case story using Emotional Freedom Technique to help heal fears relating to caesarean childbirth. Contact DogRoseHealing@gmail.com to organise your own session.

 

I had the pleasure today to use Skype to assist a client relating to childbirth and their feelings about it. The baby is in breech position and attempts to turn her with positioning exercises and acupuncture have not been successful as yet, so my client is faced with the likely possibility of a caesarean birth. This is not what she wants at all and is a source of anxiety, fear and worry. She had hoped for and planned for a birth in a birthing centre with midwives to support her, where she is more in control of the situation with freedom to birth how she wishes. A birth in a hospital bed without freedom of movement and choice is a source of stress for her.

I began by teaching my client the method of EFT (Energy EFT to be specific). I asked my client to choose a word to tap for that helped her to de-stress and relax. She chose “Love” and we tapped for that together.

From here I asked her to think about what a caesarean birth might be like for her and what her impressions are at this stage. She gets a mental image of being behind a curtain, not seeing anything of what’s going on and a feeling of being scared. She can feel this scared feeling in her stomach. It reminds her of the churning of a washing machine.

So we did a round of EFT together for “That churning in my stomach”.

After this she noted that the churning had lessened. It was more of a gentle rocking now. And the feeling was less of a fear or scared feeling, it was more of an uncertainty.

We did a round of EFT together for “That rocking feeling”.

After this round she noticed that the rocking has gone and the feeling has evolved. She recognised that it was now a tension. This tension was felt in her arms, chest, heart chakra and top of her stomach. The feeling reminds her of appointments where her midwife is pressing her stomach to see where baby is positioned. She is feeling uncomfortable. She is sensitive around her stomach area in general and doesn’t like this area to be touched at the best of times. She said it felt like an invasion of privacy and like an invasion of personal space.

We decided to tap for “Tension in my personal space”.

She said she felt good after this. When thinking about a potential caesarean birth she feels more relaxed now. It is less about any ‘blood and guts’ behind the curtain and now she is noticing that her husband is there beside her. She said there is a bit of tension still, but much more love. She felt a rigidity, more in the arms now than anywhere else. It seemed to originate in her clenched fists and travel all the way up to her shoulders. She recognises that she is feeling that she is not in control, yet is in a situation where she can’t express that. She felt that she was holding onto that in her hands, feeling as though she has no say. She also worried about expressing herself as if she did so her opinions or desires may not be possible and she may not get what she wants anyway.

We decided to summarise all of this and return back to the physical feeling of tension that originates from her hands, and tap for “This feeling in my hands” with some variations along the way that came to me intuitively, such as “This feeling in my hands.. that I’m ready to let go of”, “…that I won’t miss when it’s gone”, and “…that I no longer need”.

After this round my client says she feels good. Her arms feel floppy and relaxed and so do mine. (I heart borrowed benefits!) She says she is feeling calm about the birth and ready to meet her baby.

I feel this is a great statement to tap for and we tap for “I’m ready to meet my baby, in whichever way she comes.”

This was a beautiful round of tapping. We both got goosebumps, felt warmth of energy, feelings of love, a glow, lightness of being. It was a real high for both of us. At the under mouth point I felt an emotional release and a sense of letting go. My client felt a sense of readiness and related it to there being a light now, which had previously been overshadowed by other things. There are less shadows now.

When she thinks about the birth in general she feels much more peaceful and more more focused on the end result which is having her precious baby in her arms, more than on the way in which she arrives into the world.