Definition of PMDD:
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a mood disorder that occurs at certain times in the menstrual cycle. Many women experience premenstrual syndrome PMS), and this may be thought of as the normal premenstrual experience. PMS symptoms are similar to those of PMDD. However, in PMDD the symptoms are severe enough to significantly impair, prevent or reduce the quality of social and personal relationships, home-life, work or study. PMDD affects between 3 to 5 per cent of women.
Many symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of depression. PMDD is distinguished from depression by the cyclical pattern and the typical physical symptoms. The core symptoms of PMDD that are similar to depression include:
- intense feelings of unhappiness.
- being unable to see a positive future.
- feelings of worthlessness – feeling useless at everything.
- increased sensitivity to rejection or criticism.
- feeling suddenly sad or tearful.
- crying a lot for no particular reason.
- marked anxiety or tension – a feeling of being keyed up or on edge.
- persistent and marked anger, irritability or an increase in conflicts with other people.
- finding it hard to be with people. losing interest in usual activities (eg work, school, friends, hobbies).
- difficulty concentrating.
- feeling tired all the time, or having less energy than usual.
- increases in appetite, binge or comfort eating – especially of salty or sweet foods.
- sleeping more than usual, or (in a smaller group of sufferers) being unable to sleep.
- feelings of being overwhelmed or out of control.
Other symptoms that are common and more specific to PMDD include:
- physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain.
- an altered view of one’s body – a sensation of ‘bloating’, feeling fat or actual weight gain.
When do these symptoms occur?
Women’s menstrual cycles are not all the same length. Typically, a cycle lasts from 24 to 35 days. However, in some women the cycle can be as short as 21 days or as long as 42 days. Because of this, the timing of the symptoms varies slightly from woman to woman.
In all cases of PMDD the pattern is:
- the symptoms occur during the week before menstruation.
- the symptoms decrease during the menstrual bleed.
- the week following menstruation is symptom-free, but in women with longer cycles this symptom-free time can be longer.
Normal treatment is to prescribe oral contraceptive or antidepressants, usually Prozac (fluoxetine). Other antidepressants, including Lustral (sertraline) and Seroxat (paoxetine) have been prescribed.
Oral contraceptives have side effects, but more importantly antidepressant drugs have a long list of side effects some of which can be life threatening. For alternatives to antidepressants see below:
Studies have shown that changes in diet can help. Increasing intake of foods rich in complex carbohydrates (such as pasta and rice) and cutting down on dietary fat and caffeine may help some women. Though I belive that a high carbohydrate diet is not the best nutrition-wise.
Taking B Complex Supplement has been known to increase and elevate mood. Start with a small dose and then increase slowly until you find the right dosage for you.
Someone close to me has PMDD. What should I do?This article is for informational purposes only and are the views of the writer. In the United States no one legally can give medical advice. Ensure that you consult the physical healer of your choice.
- It is important to be supportive and understanding.
- Encourage her to seek help from a n alternative medical doctor, before the symptoms prevent her carrying out normal, day-to-day activities.
All information posted in this writing is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.
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