For two weeks every month Rachel* would be engulfed in a depression so deep she felt like she was “walking through treacle”. As a gifted athlete and high achiever academically, it was entirely out of character. “Half the month I was extroverted, firing on all cylinders,” Rachel says. “Then I would hit ovulation. And at that time I became dysfunctional, shy and withdrawn. It’s like I woke up one day and became a completely different person. And from then until I started menstruating I became utterly dysfunctional. Then I would get my period and I would be fine. And this happened again and again and again.” She says these symptoms – which doctors have now attributed to premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD – have affected intimate relationships and friendships over the years because she would withdraw socially if she felt the fog of depression closing in: “I couldn’t stand […]