For most women, PMS symptoms are mild. However, a small percentage of women experience a more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In this post we will discuss PMDD and how to get premenstrual dysphoric disorder treatment.
What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), is a condition that is most of us would call PMS. PMDD occurs in the week or two before your period begins as a woman’s hormone levels begin to fall after ovulation. The difference between PMDD and PMS is the severity of symptoms, including depression and irritability.
Who Gets Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and What Causes it?
Approximately 5 percent of menstruating women have severe premenstrual symptoms. According to a study in 2008, at least an additional 20% of menstruating women have clinically significant premenstrual symptoms.
Causes of PMDD are not exactly known. Many researchers believe it may be an abnormal reaction to hormone changes related to their menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
The symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder typically appear one to two weeks before a woman starts her period and can last until a few days after it begins. Many times PMDD is severe, causing a woman to struggle to perform regular daily activities.
Symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Decrease interest in normal activities
- Depression or feeling hopeless
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Severe cramps
- Hot flashes
- Pain in the joints or muscles
- Increase in negative body image
Diagnosing Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
If you believe you that you have PMDD, you should see a medical professional as symptoms for some women can be severe enough to get professional help.
A medical professional will review your medical history and thoroughly exam you. Your medical professional will also do tests for your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Your doctor will diagnose you with PMDD if:
- You have 5 or more of the above symptoms
- Your symptoms start 1 to 2 weeks before you get your period
- Your symptoms disappear shortly after your period
- You aren’t dealing with these issues daily and they don’t improve when you start to menstruate
Treating Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Several common treatments of PMDD include:
- Hormone therapy, or birth control bills
- Talking to a licensed therapist
- Diet changes
- Regular exercise
- Vitamin supplements
- Stress management
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Speaking to a therapist can greatly help you deal with your symptoms and to learn coping strategies to ease your symptoms. Also, relaxation therapies such as meditation and Yoga may provide additional relief. If you suspect that you may be experiencing PMDD, your first step would be to document all of your symptoms on a calendar for a few months to see if you can detect any kind of pattern related to your period. Some people have depression or anxiety generally but it may get worse or present in a different way during the week before your period. It is important to get a handle on this so that you understand where your symptoms are coming from.
Get Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Treatment in Miami
If you are seeking premenstrual dysphoric disorder treatment, you’re already taking the first step to recovery. While this is a serious, you’re not alone in this fight.
While recovery is a process, I have dedicated my life to helping individuals overcome mental health disorders. Please reach out to me to discuss how we can work towards your freedom from premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
I look forward to helping you heal and find your path to recovery.
I’m Dr. Amy Boyers, a Clinical Psychologist in Miami who specializes in eating disorder treatment (all types including anorexia treatment, bulimia treatment, and binge eating treatment) and other long term conditions, including addictions, bipolar, and OCD. I offer personalized and sophisticated eating disorder treatment services, individual and family psychotherapy, family member support and education, in-home meal support, cognitive behavioral therapy, anxiety treatment, depression treatment, and much more.
I look forward to helping you obtain a brighter tomorrow.