Table of contents
We’re all familiar with the hormone imbalance that occurs the week prior to getting our periods known as premenstrual symptoms (PMS). But what happens when your symptoms are a lot more severe and it’s difficult to attribute your behavior to PMS? Then, it’s time to get familiar with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), understand the difference between PMS and PMDD, and recognize whether you suffer from PMDD to start figuring out how to deal with the symptoms.
What is PMDD?
The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe form of premenstrual symptoms where women may experience the regular symptoms of PMS such as bloating, cramps, and mood swings, along with extreme, often disabling, symptoms of PMDD such as severe anxiety, extreme mood shifts, and depression.
Symptoms of PMDD:
The symptoms of PMDD can vary from one woman to another. They tend to appear 7-10 days before your period starts and disappear a few days after you get your period. In addition to common PMS symptoms, you may experience:
- Severe anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Extreme mood swings
- Food cravings
- Binge eating
- Low energy levels
Causes of PMDD:
While there isn’t enough research to conclude the causes of PMDD, women with depression and anxiety are more prone to suffer from PMDD. It is suggested that there’s a possibility of hormonal changes that can worsen the symptoms of mood disorders.
Treatments of PMDD:
PMDD doesn’t have to impact your life and leave you helpless. In fact, one of the reasons to educate yourself about PMDD is to get the necessary treatment to prevent the extreme symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant that contains serotonin such as Prozac, Sarafem, or Zoloft to reduce the emotional shift, improve energy levels, reduce food cravings, and help with sleep problems.
Birth control pills
There are certain types of birth control pills with no pill-free interval or a shortened pill-free interval that could help monitor and reduce the symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
Vitamins and supplements
By taking your required daily dose of calcium, Vitamin B-6, and magnesium, you can help reduce symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
Diet and lifestyle changes
Exercising frequently, reducing your caffeine intake, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness and meditation can severely reduce PMS and PMDD symptoms.
- PMS: Signs Your Period Is Coming
- Separation Anxiety for Mothers
- How to Stop Overthinking and Overcome Anxiety
Sources used in this article:
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – Cleveland Clinics
- PMDD – Hopkins Medicine
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Different from PMS?