PMDD: premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Put simply, it’s severe PMS. In reality, it’s much more complicated. It makes any woman who has it feel like her emotions are completely out of her control. It has an extremely negative impact on her life and the people close to her.
Angry outbursts, severe depression, anxiousness, extreme irritability are all too familiar to the woman with PMDD. And just like clockwork, every month, the cycle repeats itself. Usually the only thing that brings relief is the onset of menstruation.
The symptoms can seriously disrupt a woman's life and in some instances, make it impossible to function normally. Many women feel helpless against the dramatic mood swings that happen every month, not knowing what to do to just make it stop.
It’s bad enough that she has to suffer through it. However, many times it’s not just her. It’s her husband or partner, her children, her parents, her siblings, her friends, and her coworkers that suffer too. They may be direct recipients of her uncontrollable emotions, or watch the damage created from the sidelines.
Living with PMDD is hard on everyone affected by it. Hard on the woman who can’t stand how she feels and acts for half of the month, and hard on the people that love her and that she loves.
The only saving grace is the fact that no woman has to live like this. No matter how long it’s been going on and no matter how bad it gets, something CAN be done to make it better.
There is SOMETHING out there that will work for EVERY woman, It will not be the same thing for every woman. But there are many things that can be done to improve PMDD symptoms.
The First Step
Do you or does someone you care about have PMDD? If you haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor, make sure what you’re experiencing is PMDD.
The most important thing you can do is educate yourself. Educate yourself so you can help yourself or someone else. You can start with this site, read up on what you find interesting and what you think you could include in your life.
You won't be able to learn everything there is to know about premenstrual dysphoric disorder in a week. But do start educating yourself. Little by little, you'll gain the knowledge that you need to start making your life better.
*Getting help from a health care provider is a great thing to do, but don’t put the entire burden of managing your health issues on any one person. The person with the disorder needs to take the initiative to learn about what will help them, so they can make informed and educated decisions about their treatment.*
There are three basic lifestyle categories that should be addressed no matter what other treatments are used:
Many women go to their doctor to try prescription medication to manage their symptoms. And it definitely may help. Other women want to try more natural methods, such as herbal remedies.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy) can be incredibly helpful in developing new and more productive ways of dealing with negative emotions. And believe it or not, light therapy can dramatically improve moods, and it’s as easy as spending time under the sun.
Some women will find relief by making one change. Many women will find a big improvement in their PMDD by just making some lifestyle changes of improving their diet, exercising and managing their stress. Most women will need to try a few things before they find their symptoms improving.
Finally, remember that…
Certain treatments aren't going to work for everyone. But you won't know if something works until you try it. You may have to do something for several months before you know if it's a good treatment option for you.
Just stick with it. Keep learning and keep trying. Work with your doctor. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Don't give up on yourself (or the woman you love if she has PMDD).
Asking for help, changing your lifestyle, or trying something new so you can feel better may not always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. The ability to feel good is in every person.