Dysphoric Disorder – Its Symptoms and Treatment

November 12, 2012

Dysphoric Disorder - Its Symptoms and Treatment

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is experienced by women and symptoms may include tension, irritability and severe depression before menstruation. The symptoms of this condition are much more severe than premenstrual syndrome.

Premenstrual syndrome symptoms are both emotional and physical which normally appear between 5 and 11 days before the menstrual cycle begins. And the symptoms normally stop when, or not long after the period has started.

No cause has been found for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but it is thought the hormone changes which happen during the menstrual cycle are a factor. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder affects approximately 3-8% of women who are menstruating. And many women who have this condition also have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), anxiety and depression. Other reasons which may contribute to this condition are family history of this disorder, lack of exercise, being overweight, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol abuse.

The symptoms normally appear a week before menstruation and improve a couple of days after a period has started.

To diagnose premenstrual dysphoric disorder five or more of the symptoms listed below have to be experienced. This also includes one mood-related symptom.

  • Lack of concentration

  • No interest in relationships

  • Not wanting to take part in day to day activities

  • Lack of control

  • Cravings or binges with food

  • Fatigue

  • Panic attacks

  • Feeling hopeless and sad and possible thoughts on suicide

  • Insomnia

  • Feeling anxious and tense

  • Mood swings and episodes of crying

  • Constantly feeling anger and irritated which has an effect on others

  • Muscle or joint pain, feeling bloated, tenderness in the breast area and headaches are physical symptoms which may be experienced.

To eliminate any other possible conditions the doctor will complete a full medical history and psychiatric evaluation and carry out a physical examination which will include examination of the pelvis.

Many women keep a diary in which they can mark the days and times when symptoms have occurred and this may help with dealing with the conditions in future months. It is also very useful for the doctor in diagnosing and providing the best possible treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

In treating and managing premenstrual dysphoric disorder it is beneficial to have a well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Try not to include alcohol, caffeine, salt and sugar in the diet. Take part regularly in aerobic exercises.

Some women have reported antidepressants are helpful if they are taken in the second half of the cycle until menstruation starts. A combination of antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial.

Medications which may help to ease symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder are:

  • Diuretics as they reduce fluid retention

  • Birth control medication

  • Depo-Lupron or similar which suppress ovulation and the ovaries

  • Vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium supplements

  • Ibuprofen or aspirin and other pain relief medicines may be prescribed to treat menstrual cramps, backache, tenderness of the breasts and headache.

Once women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder receive the correct diagnosis and treatment many of the related symptoms disappear. The symptoms can also reduce to a much more tolerable and manageable level.

Should you experience any thoughts of suicide it is crucial to seek help from the medical profession.

Tags: ,

Category: Articles