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.
©iStockphoto.com/annedala Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/annedala
Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
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.
[HTML1]#9 I need feminism to tell me that victimhood is better than empowerment. I’m not quite sure why the word victim keeps coming up. I certainly hope it’s not in reference to rape survivors. Feminism isn’t an excuse. Feminists don't shrug their shoulders when they fail and say, “Hey, we’re disadvantaged.” Feminism is a call to action so that society can one day reach true equality. #10 I don’t need feminism because: I don’t need to demonize men. I don’t want anything that makes playing the victim “empowering.” Being a woman is not a disadvantage. Respecting my husband as the man in our marriage does not make me less of a woman! A feminist would suggest you respect your husband as an equal in your marriage. Does that not sound fair? #11 I don’t need feminism because I believe in quality, not entitlements and supremacy. See #1. #12 I don’t need feminism b/c I don’t choose to ignore the fact men have issues too! To this #NotAllMen supporter I say, please view this meme. #13 I don’t need feminism because I am NOT a victim. I’m not a lesbian, but I need to live in a world where marriage is available to all. Inequality for some is inequality for all. #14 I don’t need feminism because the men in my life care about and respect me! (Yeah… they do exist!) If the men in your life care about and respect you, they’re feminists, too. Photo courtesy of UN Women