Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder ( PMDD )
Everyone experiences some unhappiness in his or her lifetime whether it is a specific situation or not. It becomes more serious when the cause is a form of "depression." It is a fact that women experience depression about twice as much as men (1). These causes specifically for women can be complex and so are the solutions (3). A common syndrome affecting an estimated 3% to 8% of women in their reproductive years is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) (4). PMDD is specifically known as a mood disorder of severe depression, irritability, and tension with symptoms worsening a week or so before a woman's menstrual period and usually settling out afterwards (5). PMDD can be devastating to all areas of a woman's everyday life, including family relationships, friendships, and the ability to work or go to school (3).
Many people still believe that the emotional symptoms caused by PMDD are not real, and that a woman should be able to shake off the symptoms if only she tried hard enough. Because of these inaccurate beliefs, women with this depression either may not recognize that they have a treatable disorder or may be discouraged from seeking or staying on treatment. Often, women's concerns regarding their condition are not taken seriously which leads to feelings of self-doubt, frustration and hopelessness (6).
Feeling sad or stressed during a menstrual period doesn't necessarily mean a woman is suffering from PMDD. This is a common assumption made by women who are confused about their emotional state. As a female suffering from PMS monthly, I can admit that PMDD has become questionable in my mind. There have been many times that I have suffered anything from constant tiredness, muscle aches, sad feelings or moodiness, decreased interests in usual activities, difficulty in concentration, feeling overwhelmed, behavioral changes, fatigue, fluid retention, breast tenderness, and headaches all leading up to my menstrual period. These happen to be some symptoms of PMDD. Does this mean that I have PMDD? . As a result PMDD is not always accurately identified or treated (4).
Diagnosis and treatment choices will depend on the outcome of an evaluation. To diagnose PMDD and rule out any other problems there should be a complete physical and mental examination that entails a complete history of current and previous symptoms, which can also raise questions about illnesses of other family members and about mood, memory and changes in relationships (7). The treatment for PMDD is similar to that for major depression,...