Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

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Each month, you’re probably ready for the dreaded Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and the mood swings, cravings, bloating, etc that come with it.

But if you’ve found that no amount of preparation made you feel better, and you even ended up getting depressed, maybe it wasn’t PMS after all. Maybe it was Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). 

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)? 

PMDD can be confused with PMS because you can start to feel symptoms 7 to 10 days before your period starts, and you could continue to feel them for up to 3 days after your period officially begins. They both have symptoms in common, such as: breast sensitivity, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, etc. But with PMDD, you get additional, more severe symptoms, such as: sadness or hopelessness, anxiety or tension, extremely bad mood or even angry outbursts.

Even if the exact causes of PMDD are unknown, it is thought that hormonal changes that occur during your period are responsible for all of the symptoms. 

PMDD symptoms are so intense that most people who are afflicted need to be evaluated by a medical professional who can give them proper care and recommendations. Some of the treatments used to reduce symptoms are:

Antidepressants. Symptoms can be so intense that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - such as Prozac, Zoloft, etc - may be needed to help treat symptoms. 

Birth Control Pills. For some women, taking birth control may be enough to remedy the symptoms. 

Vitamins or Other Nutritional Supplements. Increasing calcium, vitamin B-6, and/or magnesium intake may also reduce PMDD symptoms. 

So, if you ever begin to feel sad, irritable, or angry before or during your period, it may not be your average PMS, it could be the more serious PMDD, and you may need to see a doctor to put an end to those debilitating symptoms. Be sure to make an appointment with 

your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you may be experiencing PMDD symptoms.