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Canadian influencer breaks down in candid post on PMDD: 'I'm OK, but I hate it'

The mom-of-four explained other influencers who were open about PMDD "likely saved" her "life" by making her feel not-alone.

Sarah Nicole Landry is getting deeper with her mental health struggle. (Instagram/@thebirdspapaya)
Sarah Nicole Landry is getting deeper with her mental health struggle. (Instagram/@thebirdspapaya)

Sarah Nicole Landry is giving her followers a deeper insight into her struggle with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a hormonal problem that causes mood and behavioral distress.

The Canadian body confidence influencer — also known as The Birds Papaya — shared an Instagram Reel on Monday, in which she broke down in tears when talking about her diagnoses.

"I felt so validated in the moment of finally getting a diagnosis, of putting words to symptoms, making me not feel like I was out of my mind — that this was all real," Landry said in the video.

"Then came the next wave of every month, I have this countdown," she said in tears. "I'm OK, but I hate it."

What is PMDD and what are the symptoms?

According to the B.C. Women's Hospital and Health Centre, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a "hormonal brain-biochemistry problem that results in mood and behavioral distress."

It can originate in the limbic area and up to the cortex of the brain, which are connected by different chemicals including serotonin and dopamine.

"Any changes in these chemicals affect a woman's mood and daily functioning," the health centre explained.

PMDD is a 'hormonal brain-biochemistry problem that results in mood and behavioral distress.' (Getty)
PMDD is a 'hormonal brain-biochemistry problem that results in mood and behavioral distress.' (Getty)

It added the limbic area is responsible for:

  • Memory

  • Appetite

  • Sleep

  • Strong emotions, including rage, anger and aggression

The cortex area, on the other hand, affects:

  • Judgment

  • Attention

  • Concentration

  • Moods

  • Perceptions and interpretations of what is happening

With PMDD, a woman's brain is unable to maintain its chemical balance in the last week or two of the menstrual cycle.

"However, within a day or two of menstruation, the chemical levels in your brain re-stabilize and your symptoms disappear," the clinic explained.

"Women who first experience PMDD in their late thirties and early forties often have a history of depression, sometimes related to the postpartum period. Perhaps the symptoms of depression did disappear, but we believe the experience is imprinted in the brain."

'It can feel so hopeless'

Influencer Landry paired Monday's post with a caption opening up about the condition.

"This is uncomfortable and messy and incomplete," she began.

"It can feel so hopeless but it's not. It's really not. Even if when I made this video, it felt it."

She then explained several fellow influencers helped her by being vulnerable about their struggles with PMDD.

"They likely saved my life by being open about it. This is a club I wish not to be in, but yet I'm so glad I'm not alone," the mom-of-four admitted.

Landry added it's not easy for her to share the bad parts.

"I hate sharing this. I hate that it'll be perceived as for attention or that it'll confuse people when I'm happy because it's hard to grasp the both/and of mental health," she penned.

She also thanked her followers for "allowing me the space to be this level of vulnerable when I want to just turtle up and hide like I have been doing."

The caption ended with an encouraging note to others who may be struggling.

"Please, don't be discouraged to get a diagnosis, because while it feels like a staircase in front of you, the first step is often the hardest but most important one — asking for help," Landry wrote.

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