Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Most menstruating women experience some premenstrual symptoms. About 35% of women have moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms that need to be treated and some 8% of menstruating women develop premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Women suffering from PMDD need a proper treatment.
Their symptoms are severe and sometimes disabling, which can cause a lot of discomfort and functional impairment. Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder usually occur in the last week of the menstrual cycle and improve within a few days after menstruation begins.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms:
PMDD symptoms can be divided in three groups as well as PMS symptoms. Also many PMDD symptoms are the same as PMS symptoms, however there is a big and important difference between these two groups of symptoms. Symptoms of premenstrual disphoric disorder are much more intense and severe than symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Physical PMDD symptoms:
• Muscle pain
• Abdominal pain
• Joint pain
Behavioral PMDD symptoms:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Mood swings
• Crying for no apparent reason
• Being aggressive
• Social withdrawal
• Nail biting
• Change in appetite
Emotional PMDD symptoms:
• Being depressed
• Feelings of worthlessness
• Low self-esteem
• Decreased interest in activities
• Low libido (sex drive)
The list of premenstrual disphoric disorder symptoms goes on however symptoms listed above are the most common symptoms for this disorder. The important thing that needs to be emphasized is that PMDD symptoms are severe and need proper treatment.
Treatment for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
What is the best way to treat PMDD? The best treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder is combined psychotherapy with medication or natural supplements and lifestyle changes.
Psychotherapy provides education, support and coping skills for the patient and her family. There are many types of psychotherapy’s available. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, gestalt therapy, interpersonal therapy as well as family and group therapy can be used for treating this disorder. Medication for PMDD:
• Antidepressants can be prescribed for symptoms such as loss of energy and sleep problems. They can be very helpful part of therapy, but only if a patient is disciplined and takes them properly. This means that the patient only takes the antidepressants that her doctor prescribed and in the way, she is instructed. Antidepressants can be harmful if not taken properly this is why it is essential to follow the instructions given by your doctor. In addition, another important thing to know is that antidepressants are not the sole solution to premenstrual disphoric disorder, but a part of a solution.
• Hormonal therapy: Oral contraceptives are frequently used for PMDD because they stop the ovulation, which causes hormone function stabilization, which in addition reduces mood swings.
• Nutritional supplements can be helpful. For example, calcium consumption on a daily basis can reduce PMDD symptoms. In addition, some vitamins can be useful such as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B6.
• Lifestyle modification is one of the most important parts of therapy. It is very possible that your present life style contributes to your premenstrual disphoric disorder. This is why it needs to be changed. Your disorder must be deprived from its energy source and one of its energy sources is in your life style.
Stress is your biggest enemy and premenstrual disphoric disorder’s best friend.
Many women run around in circles and never get proper treatment for their PMDD. This costs their family, their friends and most importantly themselves.
The cost can be great. Relationships are destroyed, jobs are lost, families are broken apart and it seems there is nothing that can be done.
There is a lot to be done to save your marriage, relationships and job, but you need to start taking care of yourself.
Schedule yourself in therapy and work hard on your recovery. The good news is that you can do a lot to help yourself. Start making changes in your life and confront premenstrual disphoric disorder with all your power until you win.