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 How to Get Rid of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder


"Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a real biological condition for which women seek treatment--and for which effective treatment is available," says Jean Endicott, PhD, director of the premenstrual evaluation unit at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

PMDD is not the fault of the woman suffering from it or the result of a "weak" or unstable personality. It is not something that is "all in the woman's head." Rather, PMDD is a medical illness that can be treated.

But approximately 3 to 9 percent of women experience premenstrual changes so severe they can't keep up their daily routines. Some experts say these women suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition characterized by intense emotional and physical symptoms that occur between ovulation and menstruation. This illness occurs during the premenstrual, or late luteal, phase of the menstrual cycle; symptoms remit during the beginning of the follicular phase. In psychiatry, PMDD is one of the few disorders in which both the precipitating and the remitting influences are linked to one physiologic process.

Medical research suggests that 80 to 90 percent of women of reproductive age experience symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).  For a fortunate few, the symptoms are relatively moderate.  However, many women experience symptoms that are disconcerting, and if left untreated, can reach critical proportions in many instances.  The latter describes a group of women who experience a devastating and debilitating set of symptoms known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

PMDD is distinguished from other mood disorders by a characteristic pattern of symptoms. There must be a clear interval of at least 7-10 days during each menstrual cycle when the woman feels well mentally and physically. If a woman is depressed or anxious all month long, even if she feels worse premenstrually, it is more likely that she has another kind of mood problem (such as major depression) rather than PMDD.

Diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

There are no laboratory tests that can diagnose PMDD, so measuring blood levels of estrogen or progesterone or anything else will not provide a diagnosis. The diagnosis of PMDD is based on the regular presence of certain clinical symptoms for part of each menstrual cycle.

Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic examination, diagnostic procedures for PMDD are currently very limited. Your physician may consider recommending a psychiatric evaluation to, more or less, provide a differential diagnosis (to rule out Other possible conditions). In addition, he/she may ask that you keep a journal or diary of your symptoms for several months, to better assess the timing, severity, onset, and duration of symptoms.

Keeping a calendar or diary of symptoms can help women identify the most troublesome symptoms and the times they are likely to occur. This information may help the health care provider diagnose PMDD and determine the appropriate treatment.

According to the appendix of the DSM-IV, a physician can diagnose PMDD only if the woman has five or more of the symptoms described in the pmdd symptom section for most menstrual cycles and if those symptoms seriously impair her relationships with others and her ability to be productive at work or school.

PMDD Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder - Learn about basics of PMDD, some statistics related to PMDD and its diagnosis criterion.

PMDD Information - "Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder" (PMDD) is a real biological condition for which women seek treatment--and for which effective treatment is available.

PMDD Treatment - Treatments include medication, lifestyle changes, supportive psychotherapy and nutritional approches.

PMDD Medication - To treat the emotional symptoms of PMDD (e.g., depression, tearfulness, mood swings, anxiety, anger, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating), the majority of experts recommend antidepressant medications.

PMDD Symptoms - Symptoms occur during the last week of most menstrual cycles and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.

Postpartum Depression basics and treatment : Many new mothers feel sad, afraid, angry, or nervous after their baby is born. These feelings, called postpartum or "baby" blues, are very common.

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