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Posted on 29th of January, 2013
215 notes

Tags: premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD,


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a form of depression that only occurs before, during, or after menstruation. Usually the symptoms only occur before menstruation and then stops shortly after the period begins but that varies from person to person. Many people with PMDD also suffer from anxiety and other forms of depression. The symptoms are similar to other forms of depression; disinterest in activities or relationships, fatigue, hopelessness, anxiety, irritation, food cravings, mood swings, panic attacks, problems with sleeping, problems concentrating, as well as common menstruation symptoms like bloating, headaches, joint and muscle pain, and breast tenderness. For people with more painful periods it’s more common for them to be irritable or upset, but this condition usually goes beyond that and usually greatly affects a person’s life and ability to function. A therapist will listen to your symptoms and diagnose you based on that. Treatment usually starts with managing periods by healthy behaviors like eating right and exercising. In my Menstruation post I have a lot of tips to deal with menstrual symptoms that can help with PMDD. It’s a good idea to keep a journal calculating how you feel and what symptoms you have every day as well as certain activities that may affect them like what you eat, how much sleep you get, and what physical activity you get. Look for patterns to help figure out certain things that may make your symptoms worse. This also helps you focus on the fact that these sympoms only come with your period, and that you will be better in a week. If you’re finding that you’re getting depressed besides the time around your period, talk to a therapist so that you can get treatment for more than just PMDD symptoms. Besides this, therapy, antidepressants, birth control, pain relievers, and vitamins (B6, magnesium, B12, Calcium, and D3) may help. St. Johns Wort can help with depression but don’t use it if you take birth control.

A lot of people with PMDD tend to isolate themselves during or before their menstrual periods. This can definitely be difficult on relationships. It’s important to tell partners about your PMDD and explain the symptoms and what you’re going through. PMS has kind of become a punchline in our culture, so explain the difference between regular menstruation and PMDD and how serious a condition it is. Your libido can go up and down with PMDD, some people have a really high sex drive, for others it goes away. Again, talk to your partner about this so that they know what’s going on. It’s good to have a partner who is very supportive. Let your partner know what you need from them to feel better. Do you need some solitude? Do you need someone to talk to? Do you need to just be held? Do you need them to go get you dark chocolate and some tea? Let them know what they can do to help! If you do get angry or upset at your partner, take some time to cool down and talk it out. Remember, PMDD is a cause and not an excuse so your emotions are still valid even if they are less controlled. It’s still important that you are getting your needs met. It is important not to make any rash decisions during an episode of PMDD. You may regret them later when you’ve cooled off. Again, look for patterns. If you start doubting your relationship once a month it’s probably the PMDD talking. The main thing is to communicate and to work together.

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