Many women experience mood changes before their periods every month. But for a modest amount — between 5 and 8 percent — symptoms are so intense they interfere with relationships and daily tasks. These girls possess a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD.
“Women with PMDD report negative mood symptoms, including noticeably depressed mood, anxiety, and irritability,” explains psychologist Stephanie Collins Reed, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University in Nyc. “Symptoms could be similar in severity to people who have major depressive disorder, with obvious and noticeable impairment in social and occupational function during the last week of the premenstrual stage.”
As well as disposition, changes you might experience with PMDD entail:
- Desire or food cravings, especially craving more fatty foods
Obtaining a PMDD Diagnosis
To diagnose PMDD, your doctor will evaluate whether you have five or more specific symptoms recorded in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The symptoms must be restricted to the past week prior to your period, when bleeding starts, and ease off.
You must keep track of your symptoms for two cycles in a row in case you believe you may have PMDD. Make note of just when these symptoms begin and when they end.
In the event you curently have depression or an anxiety disorder, you might experience a worsening of depression symptoms in the days before your period, but you will not be considered to possess a PMDD diagnosis. You and also your doctor will probably manage to figure out whether you’ve PMDD too, once your depression is treated.
Receiving Treatment for PMDD
Data indicates that treating PMDD with antidepressants can relieve most of its own symptoms. The conventional approach would be to use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a category of antidepressant medication that corrects the imbalance in brain chemistry that causes some individuals to feel depression, anxiety, and irritability.
You can expect to be on these medications to get per year or maybe more. A recent study of 174 women with premenstrual symptoms, including some with PMDD, demonstrated that symptoms improved within four months of treatment with all the SSRI Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride), but that girls who took it for less than one year experienced a return of the symptoms. In some cases, when the symptoms returned, they were more serious.
As well as taking antidepressants, you should try:
- Aerobic exercise. Exercise is usually helpful in fighting negative dispositions and premenstrual symptoms.
- Dietary changes. Foster your nutrition level by eating more complex carbohydrates, eating frequent small meals, and cutting out sugar and caffeine. According to one study, taking 600 milligrams of calcium has been proven to facilitate many symptoms. Fish oil has also been shown to help.
- Oral contraceptives. One form of combination birth control pill, drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol (YAZ), continues to be shown to reduce mental and physical premenstrual symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral treatment. This therapeutic approach, which helps individuals shift their interpretation of scenarios, has been effective in treating premenstrual symptoms.
PMDD affects the lives of girls who experience it, but nevertheless, it can be medicated and managed after your physician has formed a diagnosis. Call you doctor and get the method started when the days leading up to your own interval are consistently miserable.