Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: what is PMDD?
Have you ever felt an emotional roller coaster just before your period? Do you feel overwhelmed, irritable, or even hopeless? If so, you may have experienced a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It is a serious mood disturbance that occurs before menstruation and can have a significant impact on quality of life.
In this article, dive with us into the depths of PMDS to better understand it and discover ways to manage it.
What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a mental disorder that affects some people before their period . It is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects approximately 3-8% of women of childbearing age . It is characterized by intense emotional and physical symptoms that occur in the days before menstruation (during the luteal phase).
Symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric syndrome
They can appear about 5 days before menstruation and generally disappear during the follicular phase, ie at the start of menstruation. You may also have painful periods (cramps or dysmenorrhea) following. During perimenopause , these symptoms may persist even after menstruation.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but are often marked by a combination of intense negative emotions , such as:
- Excessive irritability and anger
- Extreme anxiety and nervousness
- sadness, depression
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
Physical symptoms of PMDD may also be present, including:
- breast tenderness
- Excessive fatigue
- Muscle and joint pain
The type and intensity of PMS symptoms vary between people, and in the same person from month to month.
Here are several testimonials and information given by the Brut media on this subject:
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The causes of this premenstrual syndrome
The exact cause of PMDD is unclear, but it is widely believed to be related to hormonal fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle . Changes in hormone levels, such as estrogen and progesterone , can influence neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin . Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger, transmitting signals between nerve cells, called neurons. It is involved in the regulation of mood , sleep, appetite, cognition, pain perception, body temperature regulation, among others.
Other factors, such as genetic factors can also contribute to the development of PMDD.
Some research suggests that there is a genetic component in the development of PMDD. Studies show that women with a family history of mood disorders or severe premenstrual symptoms have a higher risk of developing PMDD. This may suggest a genetic predisposition that makes some people more vulnerable to hormonal fluctuations and associated symptoms.
Stress and environmental factors
Stressful situations can disrupt hormonal balance and affect sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations. Additionally, women who experience chronic stressful situations may be more likely to develop more severe symptoms of PMDD.
Diagnosis of PMDD
There is no test Diagnosis of PMDD is based on careful evaluation of the symptoms listed above and their relationship to menstruation . It is important to rule out other medical conditions that could be causing similar symptoms. If you suspect that you might be suffering from PMDD, we advise you to seek the advice of a medical professional such as a gynecologist, a psychologist or even a physchiatrist to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Doctors usually ask patients to keep recording their symptoms so they can get a clearer idea of the situation.
What are the treatments for PMDD?
Treatment may vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the impact on daily life. Common approaches to managing PMDD include:
Adopting a balanced diet (taking magnesium, vitamin B6, exercising regularly (to increase serotonin levels), managing stress and promoting quality sleep can help reduce discomfort.
Also called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), it is a therapeutic approach widely used to treat various mental health problems. It focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions and aims to identify and change thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to the difficulties encountered. CBT helps women with PMDD identify negative thought patterns or cognitive distortions that can exacerbate symptoms. For example, thoughts such as "I'm useless" or "There's nothing I can do to make myself feel better" can aggravate feelings of sadness and anxiety associated with PMDD. By identifying these negative thought patterns, therapy teaches how to challenge them.
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Let's address the case of medication in passing because they could be prescribed by health professionals depending on your case.
According to JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, University of Virginia Health System , "taking antidepressants, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, or sertraline [.. .] are the first choice for relieving anxiety, irritability and other psychological symptoms, especially if the stress cannot be avoided."
To these solutions, hormone therapy would also be considered (taking progesterone via pills, vaginal suppositories, injection every 2 to 3 months...) but here again it is important to seek the advice of a professional the health board to determine the best treatment approach for your personal needs.
Living with symptoms of PMDD
Living with them can be a challenge, but it is possible to manage them and lead a fulfilling life. We recommend keeping a symptom diary to identify patterns, triggers, and establishing self-management strategies that work for you or doing cognitive behavioral therapy.
Opting for natural solutions offered by Gapianne will also relieve your daily life. Our products are tested, approved, healthy for your body and almost all organic!
PMDD doesn't define who you are as a person, and it's important to remember that you're not alone in this struggle. There are resources, support groups and medical professionals ( gynecologist, psychologist, physchiatrist) ready to help you through this difficult time.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is much more than just a bout of blues before your period. It is an intense emotional state that can have a significant impact on the daily lives of women who suffer from it. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for PMDD is key to better managing this condition. Do not hesitate to consult our articles that accompany you or to contact us by chat for natural solutions that can soothe you.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is premenstrual dysphoric disorder common?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a relatively common condition, affecting approximately 3-8% of women of childbearing age. Symptoms can be severe and disrupt daily life.
Is PMDD different from premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?
Yes, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD symptoms are usually more intense and can have a significant impact on quality of life.
How to treat premenstrual dysphoric syndrome?
There is no definitive cure for PMDD, but there are treatment options that can help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Approaches to managing PMDD include lifestyle modifications, therapy, natural treatments and, in some cases, medication.
Does PMDD only affect women?
Yes, PMDD is a condition that only affects women of childbearing age, as it is related to hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle.
Is premenstrual dysphoric disorder recognized in France?
Yes, PMDD is recognized in France and can be diagnosed and treated by qualified healthcare professionals.