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The Challenges with PMDD

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

There are times that we as women experience unique challenges physically, mentally, and spiritually. In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to take a small dive into a condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) to briefly educate you on what to look out for and when to seek help if ever encountering severe psychological and physical complications around menses.

PMDD affects approximately 3-8% of women of childbearing aged and has a significant impact on day to day function. Severe symptoms (i.e gastrointestinal, psychological, respiratory, neurological, dermatological) typically can arise a couple of weeks before the onset of menses and subsides a few days after it begins. The psychological implications associated with PMDD are extremely debilitating but have sometimes been overlooked by patients believing that they are experiencing symptoms associated with premenstraul syndrome (PMS).

Major risk factors for PMDD include: family history of depression, PMS and/or PMDD, postpartum depression, smoking, and other mood disorders.

To be properly diagnosed with PMDD, over the span of a year at least five (5) or more symptoms should be present with most menstrual cycles:

▪️Depression ▪️Anger or irritability ▪️Trouble focusing on normal tasks ▪️Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed ▪️Moodiness ▪️Increased appetite ▪️Insomnia or fatigue ▪️Emotional instability

Most doctors will encourage proper sleep, adequate exercise, dietary adjustments, vitamin supplementation (i.e. calcium, magnesium, B6-vitamins), hormonal therapies, anti-anxiety (i.e. alprazolam) and anti-depression medications (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors-i.e. fluoxetine) to help managed the more severe cases.

If you or anyone you know is suffering with complications of PMDD talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage it.

Script for Success segments are aimed at providing brief healthcare information to our audience of readers.

Sources: International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

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