PMDD.

 


 

 

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Types of Depression II Depression in Women II Depression in Men II Childhood Depression II Adolescent Depression II Depression in the Elderly II Clinical Depression II Major Depression II Dysthymia II Atypical Depression II Bipolar Depression II Cyclothymia II Seasonal Affective Disorder II Postpartum Depression (PPD) II Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) II Holiday Depression II Workplace Depression.

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD is a condition associated with severe emotional and physical problems that are linked closely to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms occur regularly in the second half of the cycle and end when menstruation begins or shortly thereafter.

PMDD can be considered a severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). A woman with PMDD experiences the same ailments as a woman with PMS, only the woman with PMDD suffers to a far greater degree. Between 30 and 40 percent of women can be diagnosed as having Premenstrual Syndrome. Between 3 and 7 percent of those women have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms:

  • Very depressed mood, feeling hopeless.
  • Feeling out of control or overwhelmed.
  • Sudden mood shifts (crying easily, extreme sensitivity).
  • Marked anxiety, tension, edginess.
  • Loss of interest in usual activities work, school, socializing.
  • Persistent, marked irritability, anger, increased conflicts.
  • Marked appetite change, overeating, food cravings.
  • Difficulty concentrating and staying focused.
  • Fatigue, tiredness, loss of energy.
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much.
  • Physical symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, headache, and muscle or joint aches and pains.

PMDD is often confused not only with PMS, but also with depression. To separate the disorder from PMS, PMDD symptoms must exist in such severity as to inhibit the woman's day to day living. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder consists of symptoms more commonly associated with chronic depression: sad, anxious, or empty moods; feelings of pessimism or hopelessness; emotions such as guilt or worthlessness; insomnia; oversleeping; change in appetite, resulting in weight gain or loss; suicidal thoughts/attempts; uncontrollable rage or anger; lack of self control; denial; anxiety; and frequent tearfulness. What separates PMDD from depression is a sudden disappearance of most symptoms shortly after a woman's period begins.

Basic research links the onset of PMDD to neurological and hormonal differences in some women's bodies. Some women's bodies cannot effectively handle the hormonal shifts that occur every week in a menstrual cycle. Routine changes in estrogen and progesterone associated with menses may, in vulnerable women, induce a serotonin deficiency that could trigger the symptoms of PMDD.

Women in their late 30s and 40s are most vulnerable to experiencing PMDD, further suggesting a hormonal balance. This is the time in a woman’s life that is often marked by perimenopause, the time leading up to the end of childbearing years.

The diagnosis of PMDD is based on the regular presence of certain symptoms for part of each menstrual cycle. A physician can diagnose PMDD only if the woman has five or more of the symptoms described above for most menstrual cycles and the symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with occupational and social functioning.

A physician also will need to consider and rule out other possible causes of the symptoms such as thyroid problems, lupus or other mental disorders such as depression or an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of all these conditions may worsen before menstruation and so could be confused with PMDD.

Three options exist for treatment of PMDD. The first is conventional medicine; antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs or hormones. The FDA approved the antidepressant Sarafem (fluoxetine) for the treatment of PMDD. Sarafem is Prozac, just renamed for the treatment of PMDD. Physicians also prescribe other SSRI antidepressants “off-label” to treat depression — such as sertraline, citalopram and paroxetine. All of these pharmaceutical drug options have side effects - some of which are serious or potentially fatal.

It is important to note that while antidepressants are often the first line of treatment, there are safe alternatives to most types of depression. Discuss natural alternatives like Deprex with your health care provider before using prescription medications with potentially serious and life-threatening side effects.

The woman suffering from PMDD may instead try focusing on the behavioral aspects of the disorder. This includes stress management, psychotherapy, and relaxation. The same lifestyle changes that sometimes help women with PMS may help relieve the symptoms of PMDD.

The third option is a nutritional modification, including dietary restrictions, extra vitamins, rigorous exercise, and herbal remedies. Many doctors have found homeopathic remedies are most effective, thereby decreasing the validity of antidepressant drugs. Deprex is a nutritional, herbal and homeopathic remedy that is safe and highly effective.


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