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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Examining Psychological Symptoms – Neuroscience News

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Summary: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious mood disorder that affects one in twenty women. PMDD can have a debilitating impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. Researchers investigate PMDD and evaluate treatment options for patients.

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Singer and social media star Dixie D’Amelio recently revealed on Instagram that she has been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In her post, she shared how her condition left her feeling like she “didn’t want to be here anymore” and that she had never felt “so low.”

But even though PMDD affects one in 20 women, very few people know about it. This means that many, like D’Amelio, may suffer for years without knowing why they feel the way they do and may not get the help they need. On average, it takes 12 years before people receive a correct diagnosis.

What is the PMDD?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a serious mood disorder, in which people experience frightening and distressing psychological symptoms a week or two before their period.

PMDD is not the same as PMS. They differ significantly in severity. Up to 80% of women experience PMS symptoms, which can cause both emotional and physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, bloating, crying, or irritability. The symptoms of PMS are usually manageable and do not have a severe impact on daily life.

Instead, PMDD has a debilitating impact on everyday life and can even affect relationships, education, and employment. While many of the physical symptoms are the same as PMS, people with PMDD will experience much more severe psychological symptoms. These include mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, and difficulty concentrating.

Some people will first experience PMDD around the time their periods start. But others may develop the condition later, such as after pregnancy or after you stop breastfeeding your child.

Although the causes of PMDD are not fully understood, ongoing research is exploring several possible mechanisms. These include genetic factors, long-term exposure to the hormone progesterone and one of the chemicals it breaks down into (alopregnanolone), an irregular ratio between the hormones estrogen and serotonin, differences in brain structure, and even a history of trauma.

How is it treated?

Most people with PMDD experience thoughts of self-harm and suicide. One in three people with PMDD will try to end her life. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness of the condition, so more people can get the help they need.

If you suspect you have PMDD, it’s important to visit a GP for a diagnosis. But before you do, you’ll want to track your menstrual cycle for at least two months. This is essential as it will be able to show your doctor your monthly mood patterns and how this affects different aspects of your life. There are many apps you can use to help you do this, or you can record it in a journal.

The TDPM is generally handled in different ways. The treatment plan they give you may not be the same as the next person’s.

Many people will be given antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These can work within hours to improve symptoms for people with PMDD. Although SSRIs can be taken every day, they can also be taken only when symptoms return each month.

PMDD is not the same as PMS. The image is in the public domain

Another common treatment is the prescription of hormonal contraceptives that prevent ovulation, such as the pill. This helps prevent the sudden changes in hormone levels that trigger episodes of PMDD.

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People who do not respond to SSRIs or oral contraceptives can be given alternative treatments, such as GnRH analogs, which put women into a temporary artificial chemical menopause. The treatment of last resort for women who have been unsuccessful with other treatment options is oophrectomy, which surgically removes the ovaries.

What can you do?

It can be scary to learn that you might have PMDD. But luckily, there is support out there. The International Association for Premenstrual Disorders, for example, has many great resources not only for you, but also for your loved ones and health professionals. They provide information about TDPM and how you can control it.

Peer support can also be a lifesaver. Knowing that you have people to talk to about your experiences or who are going through the same thing can empower you and give you hope. Even if you don’t have friends going through something similar, there are moderated support forums, video support groups, and social media platforms where you can find an online community of other people living with PMDD.

PMDD was only recognized as a medical condition in 2013, which is fairly recent in medical terms. This means that there is still much work to be done in terms of improving the diagnosis and treatment of the condition. This is something that my own research aims to do.

Raising awareness of PMDD is critical to help people access the right support, but also to educate healthcare professionals about symptoms and management options. But thanks to people like D’Amelio, PMDD is finally being talked about, which will hopefully lead to more people finally getting the help they need.

Money: Lynsay Matthews receives funding from Research England and the Economic and Social Research Council to conduct research on PMDD. Lynsay is affiliated with the Scottish Government as a member of its Cross Party Group on Women’s Health.

About This Mood Disorder and PMDD Research News

Author: lynsay matthews
Font: The conversation
Contact: Lynsay Matthews – The Conversation
Image: The image is in the public domain.


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