TV personality and Dancing With The Stars contestant Angie Kent has opened up about a debilitating health struggle that makes her feel like a “different person.”
The reality TV star was diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, earlier this year.
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PMDD is an extreme form of PMS, a hormonal condition that causes depression and mood swings in the lead up to a person’s period.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Kent, 32, said before he was diagnosed, his mood swings were so extreme he thought he might be bipolar.
“Going into my period I’m a different person,” she said.
“I thought I was bipolar. I was so manic and completely not myself.”
She added that the moods triggered by PMDD sometimes made her feel like an “alien” or a “psychopath.”
“I have thoughts every day that Angie wouldn’t have,” she said.
Earlier this year, Kent told 7Life that she also has endometriosis and that she “grieved” the woman she was before her health issues began, which also include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS ), adenomyosis, fibroids and interstitial cystitis.
“If we could wear (our health issues) on the outside for a day, I’m more than sure people would start taking it more seriously,” she said.
“People with endometriosis are fighting a battle with their bodies, the healthcare system, and people who have no room for it due to a lack of education for female anatomy as a whole.
“This has to change.”
PMDD affects approximately 15% of women of reproductive age.
Kent said, as with endometriosis, she wanted to shed some light on PMDD and let other women with the condition know they’re not alone.
“I want to create a space where people can be diagnosed faster and get the right help instead of having to suffer as long as I have been suffering,” she said.
In addition to mood swings and depression, other PMDD symptoms include anger and irritability, anxiety, lethargy, food cravings, and insomnia.
Treatment can range from lifestyle modification to medical therapy.
Lifestyle modification can include a change in your exercise routine, learning sleep and relaxation techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medical therapy usually involves the use of antidepressant drugs and the oral contraceptive pill.
Kent, who rose to fame on Gogglebox before appearing on The Bachelorette, said PMDD has left her “much more sensitive to things.”
“I’m functioning, but I’m not present, I’m floating,” she explained.
“Everything hurts; you can’t explain it, people would think I got drunk.
“With more education they would understand.”
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