Plaid Cymru MS Sioned Williams today called on the Welsh Government to raise awareness of the support that is available to those suffering from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a hormone-based mood disorder which effects 1 in 20 women and those assigned female at birth.
Speaking at a Senedd event that she sponsored today to mark Premenstrual Disorder (PMD) Awareness Month and which was supported by the IAPMD (International Association for Premenstrual Disorders), the National Centre for Mental Health and researchers from Cardiff University, the Plaid MS thanked campaigners for their “hard work” in raising awareness of the condition and backed their calls for better support.
The event was organised by Becci Smart, a constituent of Sioned Williams from Bridgend, and whom Sioned is mentoring through the Equal Power Equal Voice programme. Becci Smart has lived with PMDD since she was 14.
Sioned Williams also raised awareness of PMDD during a 90-second statement today at the Senedd, in which she supported the call of campaigners to “make Wales a nation where people with PMDD can survive and thrive”.
PMDD campaigner, Becci Smart said:
“It's often hard to find the right words that can properly explain the totality of living with PMDD.
“I would like to pay tribute to the people who were kind enough to share their stories and allow me to use them for this event.
“I hope this provides a glimpse into the lives of those living with the disorder, as well as the lives of their loved ones, and shines a light on the struggles and heartbreak that cyclical hormone-based mood disorders cause."
As part of this year’s theme, ‘Spark Change’, IAPMD are asking for the creation of “lightbulb moments,” and “setting people on the right path for care and support.”
Senedd Members and members of the public were given the opportunity to learn more about PMDD at today’s event which was held in the Senedd’s Pierhead Building.
As part of the event, a short film, ‘Sabrina: Telling the PMDD Story’ was shown, and those in attendance were given the opportunity to use self-screeners to see whether they may have PMDD or PME. The event also included a broader conversation where attendants expressed how their or their loved one’s period make them feel.
South Wales West MS and Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for Equalities, Sioned Williams said:
“I was proud to sponsor today’s event on PMDD which helped shine a light on the connection between hormones and mental health, for those seeking support themselves, or for their loved one or peers.
“PMDD is sometimes misdiagnosed as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, and this is due to a lack of understanding of the condition.
“I would like to draw attention to the hard work of IAPMD who supported today’s event and campaigners such as Becci Smart who are bringing attention to this important, but often neglected issue.
“I would like to see the Welsh Government do more to raise awareness of PMDD and of the support that’s available to those suffering from it.”
“As those with PMDD are at increased risk for suicide and suicidal behaviour, it’s vital that those living with the condition are given all the support they need and know where they can find the support that’s available.”
‘Sabrina: Telling the PMDD Story’ is a collaboration between IAPMD, seven patient script advisors and London MetSchool Film Maker, Amy Greenbank. The short film offers viewers a raw insight into navigating life with PMDD and the potential struggles some face whilst searching for a diagnosis.
Also taking part in the event was Dr. Arianna Di Florio, who leads the PreDDICT study which aims to investigate whether genetics and environment can identify those at risk for Premenstrual Disorder.