Between 3 and 8% of women have PMDD, a severe form of PMS with depression-like symptoms.
"For the three days leading up to my period, I was suicidal, anxious and irritable. I'd have fits of rage; I felt unglued. Then, I'd get my period and I'd be fine," says Jennifer, who asked us not to use her last name. Her psychotherapist suggested PMDD two years ago as a possible cause for her mood swings.
PMDD is like PMS's bigger, badder sister. It's another way of saying very severe PMS, says Dr. Samantha Saffy, a psychiatrist in Vancouver. In order to get a PMDD diagnosis, you need to experience the disorder's depression-like symptoms—mood swings, irritability, anger, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia and a decreased interest in usual activities—more months than not. They should occur in the week leading up to menses, then improve after your period starts.
It can be difficult to get a diagnosis. Jennifer had been to three physicians with no luck. But just knowing PMDD exists might be helpful. "Often, being aware of your condition through education can help ease symptoms," says Dr. Tanya Tulipan, a psychiatrist specializing in reproductive mental health in Halifax. "If you know that certain days of the month will be more challenging for you, you can plan around them to minimize stress. Healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthily are known to ease symptoms, too." Cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness can also help, but "if none of these strategies works, your family doctor can suggest an antidepressant that you can take continuously or even just for the week that you have your symptoms," says Dr. Tulipan.
Feeling down? Here are 10 of our favourite quotes about happiness to help you look on the bright side.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." — Mahatma Gandhi
"Happiness is determined more by one's state of mind than by external events." — Dalai Lama XIV
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." — J.R.R Tolkien
"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." — Buddha
"Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation." — Leo Tolstoy
"Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be." — Abraham Lincoln
"Happiness doesn't always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it." — Dalai Lama XIV
"Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination." — Mark Twain
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." — Dr. Seuss
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These supposedly healthy exercises could be hindering your fitness goals. Here's why you should ditch three common culprits for more helpful exercise habits.You put in a lot of effort at the gym and want your hard work to pay off. But some exercise practices could actually be sabotaging your fitness goals. We spoke to fitness expert Brent Bishop about three common things people do to get fit, how they can backfire and what to do instead.
Take our quiz to find what type of exercise you'll enjoy the most—that way, you'll never want to miss a workout!
The best workout for weight loss has nothing to do with which muscles you work or how many calories you burn; it's all about how much you love it. Nathalie Lacombe, director of membership and certification at Canfitpro, says 50 percent of people quit their exercise program within the first three months. The best predictor that you'll stick with it? Enjoyment. The pleasure principle is more important than seeing results, having a fitness buddy or anything else you've heard will make you adhere to your fitness plan. We designed a test to help you determine what workout will leave you wanting more.
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