A hot water bottle, craving for chocolate and coffee and that unending stomach cramps! Most of the girls can relate to the situation. But have you ever observed erratic moodiness few days before you experience that time of the month, every time? If yes, then you might be suffering from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
What is PMDD?
PMDD is a condition where the woman exhibits excruciating depressive symptoms, irritability and disruptive mood swings before menstruation.
What Causes PMDD?
There is no specific cause for the PMDD. The hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle are often regarded as the cause. The other causes that may induce the condition:
- Alcohol and drug addiction
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family History
- Thyroid Disorder
- Other mental issues like anxiety, depression, etc.
What is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
PMS is a condition which prevails around the 5 to 10 days before the menstrual cycle commences. The usual symptoms are bloating, clumsiness, digestion issues, food cravings, etc., which subside 1 or 2 days after the menstruation begins.
PMDD and PMS are not the same. The former is more severe than the latter.
What are the symptoms of PMDD?
PMDD and PMS share similar symptoms but the former’s are more enfeebling. They surface approximately a week before the periods and at least one mood-related symptom would prevail. Following is a list of symptoms-
- Hopelessness, suicidal
- Lack of interest in daily life activities
- Mood swings, usually feeling low
- Extreme food cravings
- Fleeting attention
- Unexplained body aches
- Low on energy
- Annoyed and angry with people around
- Panic Attacks
There is no specified test for diagnosis this, but a thorough physical examination including thyroid, pelvis and a psychiatric evaluation is preferred.
Tips to deal with the issue
This includes healthy eating habits, regular exercise regime and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, avoid artificial food and junk and make minimum consumption of salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc. Regular exercise can help reduce the PMDD symptoms up to a great extent. And taking proper sleep will help you avoid the mood-related symptoms.
Keep a track
There are a lot of applications available lately that help you keep a track of your monthly cycle. You can also note down your symptoms and their intensity as well. Or you can always maintain a diary for the same.
Birth Control Pills help to keep the symptoms under control. Their regular intake proves to be helpful. Other prescribed painkillers can also help with the physical symptoms. Antidepressants are also often prescribed based on the symptoms and their intensity.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help you find the triggers that affect your mood and also help you to handle the same.
Know more about Dr Prerna Kohli
Read more about Post-Partum Depression