Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects a significant number of women in the UK. PMDD can cause intense emotional and physical symptoms, which can interfere with daily life and relationships. In this blog, we will explore what PMDD is, how it can affect mental health, and provide tips to help support your mental health. We will also discuss recommended treatments, including both medication and therapy, supported by relevant references and data in the UK.
What is PMDD?
PMDD is a menstrual cycle-related disorder that occurs in the luteal phase, which is the second half of the menstrual cycle. The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS, but they are more severe and debilitating. PMDD can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including:
The exact cause of PMDD is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. Women who have a personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder may be more susceptible to PMDD.
How does PMDD affect mental health?
PMDD can have a significant impact on mental health. The emotional symptoms associated with PMDD can be severe and can lead to feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair. Women with PMDD may also experience anxiety and panic attacks, which can make it difficult to carry out daily activities.
PMDD can also affect relationships. Women with PMDD may find it difficult to communicate with their partners, family, and friends, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness. In severe cases, PMDD can even lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Tips to help support your mental health:
If you are experiencing PMDD, there are several things you can do to help support your mental health:
Recommended treatments for PMDD:
There are several treatments available for PMDD, including medication and therapy.
Data in the UK
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the diagnosis and management of PMDD, treatment:
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition that affects some women during the menstrual cycle. It is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects about 5-8% of women in their reproductive years in the UK (1). PMDD is characterized by a combination of physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms that are experienced one to two weeks before the start of the menstrual period and resolve within a few days after the period starts (2).
Symptoms of PMDD can vary but commonly include feelings of sadness, irritability, anxiety, tension, and mood swings. Other symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and fatigue. The severity of these symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can significantly impact a woman's quality of life, relationships, and ability to function at work or school.
If you are struggling with PMDD, there are several things you can do to support your mental health and manage your symptoms:
In addition to these tips, it is essential to seek professional help if you are struggling with PMDD. A mental health professional can help you develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
In conclusion, PMDD can be a challenging condition to manage, but there are several things you can do to support your mental health and manage your symptoms. Practicing self-care, therapy, medication, and keeping a symptom diary are all effective strategies for managing PMDD symptoms. Seeking professional help is also essential for developing a treatment plan that works best for you.