Monthly Archives: August 2010

What is PMDD?


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a form of PMS at its severity. PMDD affects 5% of women that are menstruating. PMDD causes severe emotional and physical problems that occur before and during the women menstrual cycle.  PMDD and PMS share symptoms, such as: depression, anxiety, tension, irritability and moodiness. What sets PMDD apart is its severity.

Women with PMDD find that it has a very disruptive effect on their lives. Those women that suffer with with PMDD complain of irritability, anger, tension, a markedly depressed mood, mood liability (crying spells for no reason) and verbal outbursts, to such a severity that quality of life is seriously compromised. In addition to these symptoms, some women complain of exhaustion, fatigue, sleep disturbance, limited concentration and a host of physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, headaches, joint and muscle pain, bloating and weight gain.

Most of the time, the women that are experiencing these symptoms does not recognize that they are acting in a disturbing manner, but the family & friends closest to them notices that during a certain of month the women are unbearably irritable, angry, and depressed. It would behoove those around these women to take notice, make mention of it in order for the women to seek treatment.

This symptom is often under diagnosed or even ignored. This is just as serious as Post Partum Depression. This is a serious disorder that can be controlled if diagnosed.

Treatment should be sought & not ignored. Treatment could include simple things such as change in diet, reducing salt, caffeine and alcohol intake along with reducing the stress in your life.  For those that have a severe case of PMDD, a more aggressive approach is needed which could include medications. In either case, please seek treatment to get this disorder under control.

Some women view seeking treatment for PMDD as a sign of weakness. Additionally, physicians aren’t traditionally trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of PMDD; symptoms are often dismissed as just “part of being a woman.” I urge you to know your body, your temperament, and recognize when things have changed. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed, please seek help and if you don’t get it the first time, seek it again with another physician.

Family & friends, if you notice any of these symptoms in your love ones, inform them about PMDD. Sometimes the women noticed something different about them & being able to put a name to it & receive treatment will make everyone feel better & understand what is really going on.

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