The tragic suicide of Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand shocked her fans -- and devastated her loved ones. No one ever expected it. Gia was young, healthy, beautiful, had many friends and family. What could cause someone like that to be in so much emotional pain that she felt she had to end it all? No one can ever know the full extent of the turmoil that lurks in the minds of others -- and no one should speculate on what "caused" someone to take their own life. However, Gia's mom, Donna Micheletti, who knew her better than anyone, and who was horribly on the phone with her when Gia died, has strong ideas about what pushed her daughter over the edge. And it may be controversial. But she believes that Gia's mentrual cycle contributed to her state of mind that day.
Donna appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss Gia's life and death. About that tragic day, Gia's mom revealed that her daughter would suffer horrible mood swings around the time of her period. She said:
With how she felt with her menstrual cycle, she could not see clearly ... It was like night and day.
Donna said that when Gia was menstruating, she would suddenly begin feeling terribly insecure about her relationship with NBA player Ryan Anderson. Says Donna: "It would come out of nowhere. All of a sudden, something would click in there and she would say, 'This isn't right. He doesn't love me.'"
Can a woman's menstrual cycle really affect her emotions and state of mind to the point that she commits suicide when otherwise she wouldn't have? Well, according to experts, there is something called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which can send women into a deep depression during their cycle.
If you think about how hormonal changes can affect a woman -- this is exactly what postpartum depression is all about -- then it's not too surprising.
Fortunately, there is treatment for PMDD. Unfortunately, Gia perhaps did not receive that treatment (no guarantee it would have helped, but it certainly would have increased her chances of finding relief).
Gia's mother also discusses how her daughter had severe abandonment issues, which she believes stemmed from her estrangement from her father. So there was probably more going on here than severe PMS.
Experts say that women are often embarrassed to talk about their PMS symptoms with their doctor, and therefore suffer through it and go untreated.
If you think you suffer from this, do NOT try to brush it off. Do not be embarrassed. And also do not stick with a doctor who downplays it or suggests it's "all in your head" or otherwise tries to persuade you that it isn't happening. There are good docs and not so good ones. Find one who listens to you.
And if you are at all contemplating suicide, please get help. Call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
Do you suffer from PMS symptoms?
Image via Dr. Phil/Harpo