The thing to remember is that PMDD is impairing and disabling to many. The symptoms often lead to some sort of dysfunction if not addressed. Signs that you may have PMDD
- You are consistently depressed for 1-2 weeks per month. If you log the symptoms you would see them begin shortly before your period and end afterwards.
- You have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but your up moods are only occurring during the 1-2 weeks before your period and end afterwards even without treatment
- You have difficulty getting along with people around you during the 1-2 weeks before your periods and then things go back to normal afterwards
The good news is that all is not lost, and this disorder can be treated. The first step is to see your primary care physician or gynecologist to discuss this issue. Having a routine physical exam and workup can rule out any other disorders that could be showing with similar symptoms. If you are thought to have PMDD, treatment options include
SSRI antidepressants – Antidepressants can be taken daily or only during the time frame in question. Women may choose continuous therapy if they sometimes have milder depressive symptoms between periods or if they don’t want the hassle of having to remember when to start them. Other women will choose to take them just during the week or two before their period because they otherwise don’t have symptoms and don’t like the idea of taking medication daily for a disorder that is only present less than half of the time.
Estrogen-progestin birth control pills – Typically doctors are prescribing what are known as monophasic pills for PMDD. This refers to pills that have the same amount of hormone present for the entire cycle as compared to multiphasic pills that have changes to the hormone dosage throughout the month to mimic your body’s natural cycle.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT may provide some relief of the intensity of symptoms and allow you to improve on your coping skills that can be used to help you manage symptoms.
Supplements – Supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin d, calcium, magnesium have been shown to possibly play a role in improvement of PMS and PMDD symptoms.
Behavioral changes – Changing your diet to avoid foods that will make symptoms worse, achieving adequate sleep, meditation, and engaging in the right exercises can all help you deal with the symptoms of PMS or PMDD.