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.
Cold temperatures and harsh winds can take a toll on your lips—and there is nothing sexy about a chapped mouth. The good news? Our favourite lip balms can help eliminate dry, sore and chapped lips. These affordable picks range from $4 to $32.
Blistex helps to relieve sore lips & restore moisture balance.
Blistex Deep Moisture Renewal with SPF 15, $4, walmart.ca
A 100% organic and 95% natural lip balm that's packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil.
EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm, $4.50, walmart.ca
Chapped lips are rescued instantly, thanks to a hint of eucalyptus—plus cooled by a touch of icy menthol.
Maybelline New York, Baby Lips Dr Rescue Medicated Lip Balm, $5, maybelline.ca
This natural lip balm is loaded with coconut- and sunflower oils and rich in vitamins.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tube, $5, burtsbees.ca
This hydrating balm contains shea butter, beeswax, grapeseed oil, vitamin E and meadowfoam seed oil to keep your lips soft, comfortable and looking great.
Sephora Collection Super Nourishing Lip Balm, $8, sephora.ca
Formulated with soothing emollientsl ike Squalanea, Lanolin, Wheat Germ Oil and Vitamin E this pick helps to protect lips from the drying effects of cold weather.
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, $12, kiehls.ca
This balm leaves lips soft, repaired, and protected through antioxidants like grape polyphenols and repairing apricot oil.
Caudalie Lip Conditioner, $14, sephora.ca
This 99% all natural lip balm helps to smooth dry and chapped lips.
Yes to Coconut Naturally Smooth Lip Balm, Coconut, $15.30, amazon.ca
A concentrated lip treatment that will keep dry lips smooth and soft. This formula includes honey, beeswax and propolis extract that helps to soothe skin and provides instant relief to dry lips.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm, $25, sephora.ca
This product acts as an ultra-hydrating lip treatment that conditions lips. Plus it also enhances volume and improvies the overall definition of the lip area.
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, $32, sephora.ca
Illustration by Thinkstock Image by: Illustration by Thinkstock
|This story was originally titled "Period Piece" in the May 2014 issue.|
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Photography by Mark Burstyn Image by: Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins <br /> Photography by Mark Burstyn