Do you know about PMDD?
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a much more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It’s a severe and chronic medical condition that needs attention and treatment. It straddles mental and menstrual health and training is lacking for health professionals.
According to Endometriosis-uk.org, 15% of those with PMDD attempt suicide, stating it is ‘crushing.’ Lifestyle changes and sometimes medicines can help manage symptoms.
The exact cause of PMDD is not known. It may be an abnormal reaction to normal hormone changes that happen with each menstrual cycle. The hormone changes can cause a serotonin deficiency.
Some people suffer from it from puberty – for others it is triggered along the path of their reproductive life.
While anybody can develop PMDD, the following may be at increased risk:
-a family history of PMS or PMDD  
-a personal or family history of depression, postpartum depression, or other mood disorders
-cigarette smoking
Symptoms of PMDD appear during the week before menstruation and end within a few days after the period starts. These symptoms disrupt daily living tasks. Symptoms of PMDD are so severe that people have trouble functioning at home, at work, and in relationships during this time. This is markedly different than other times during the month.
Over the course of a year, during most menstrual cycles, 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present:
* Depressed mood,Anger or irritability, Trouble concentrating, Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, Moodiness, Increased appetite, Insomnia or feeling very sleeping, Feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
It might take people a while to realise symptoms are related to menstrual cycle so it’s always a good idea to track anything that is going on in our minds and bodies. *mevpmdd* is a symptom tracker app.
Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic exam, there are very few tests to diagnose the condition. Doctors might make lifestyle change suggestions such as: regular exercise, changes in diet, regular sleep, try to reduce stress levels, reducing alcohol intake, cut down or stop smoking, reducing the amount of caffeine in diet.