What Is PMDD? | Different Between PMS and PMDD - Symptoms & Treatments
If you think your PMS is bad, think again because you might be actually experiencing PMDD -Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
What is PMDD?
PMDD shares common symptoms with PMS such as anger, irritability, depression and internal tension EXCEPT PMDD is more severe version of PMS.
Most women find PMS distressing but are still able to cope with it. However, if you suffer from PMDD, you are most likely not able to continue with your everyday routine or activities and it can also affect your relationship with your friends and family too.
Do you know that about 15% of women with PMDD attempts suicide? In other words, it is so bad that it can affect you mentally and physically.
Many claims that the causes of PMDD may have something to do with your femalehormones that fluctuate during your menstrual cycle. It is also believed that women who develop PMDD are highly sensitive to normal changes in hormone levels. Some even said it may be associated with eating disorder or smoking.
Too bad, there are no studies -yet able to confirm what the real cause of PMDD is.
If you are curious whether it is PMS or PMDD that you are experiencing every month, I’ve got more bad news for you. There isNO physical exam or blood test that can diagnose PMDD.
You may provide information to your doctor by keeping a calendar or diary of your monthly period symptoms. From there, they can give you advice or determine the best treatment for you.
What are the treatments for PMDD?
Commonly, doctors may recommend you to opt for conservative treatments first, including regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and vitamin or mineral supplementation. If these therapies do not bring sufficient relief, prescription medication can be considered as a second option.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are highly effective for the treatment of PMS and PMDD symptoms. Common SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac and Sarafem), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and Paroxetine (Paxil). You can consume this medication only during the second half of the menstrual cycle, but keep in mind, only under the consult of a doctor.
Some women will experience sexual side effects with SSRIs. The most common sexual side effect is difficult to have an orgasm. If this occurs, using a lower dose or trying an alternative drug in the same drug class is recommended.
Other treatment that may help, including taking birth control pills or pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Though you might be well-equipped with the background knowledge of PMDD and you already know what is best for you, it is safer if you would discuss with your doctor and get a recommendation before attempting any treatments.
Disclaimer: This article is not written by professionals or doctors. It is for the sole purpose of sharing information.