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.
Apple and Cranberry Lattice Credits: Jeff Coulson
Take advantage of the abundance of apples at harvest time by trying some of our best apple dessert recipes. From Classic Apple Pie to delicious Apple Fritters, we have the best apple recipes to help you enjoy the best of the season.
Ooey, gooey caramel buns give plain old cinnamon rolls a serious run for their money. A bit of whole wheat flour lends a hint of wholesomeness to these otherwisenutterly indulgent treats. They are delicious any time and best served warm.
A fluted lattice top is all you need to transform a bubbly, fruit-filled pie into a bakery-worthy treat. Its filling combines the best of the season with a mix of apples and fresh cranberries.
Family and friends will be amazed at how impressive these treats look and taste. (How easy they are to make can be your secret.) Look for pressed cottage cheese in the dairy case of the grocery store. Use 10% cheese for its rich and creamy taste. This is not the place for low-fat cheese – you won't get the desired creamy texture.
These scrumptious treats are a must during apple season. But who are we kidding? They're a welcome indulgence any time of year – especially during the holidays. These fritters are best served warm, so gather everyone in the kitchen to enjoy them as soon as they're ready.
The combination of sweet-tart apples and salty Cheddar cheese is a match made in heaven. The grated and diced apples in this moist quick bread are key to the bursting apple flavour and tender texture.
There is just enough batter to hold the apples together in this French-style apple cake. Use any baking apple you like; just make sure it can hold its shape when baked.
Be sure to use in-season apples that are firm, sweet and somewhat tart. The cake alone is dairy-free. If you're making this for a kosher meal or for someone with a dairy intolerance, drizzle the cake with warmed honey rather than the honey caramel sauce.
These individual galettes are spiced with the warm winter flavours of cinnamon and allspice. For a spectacular restaurant-style finish, serve each one surrounded by a drizzle of sauce on the plate and finish with a dollop of whipped cream.
A cinnamon-infused cream cheese icing graces the tops of these ultramoist cupcakes. The mix of apples and fragrant spices makes them an ideal harvest dessert.
Enjoy all the pleasures of crumble-topped apple pie in a delightful hand-held size. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for an even more indulgent dessert.
Adding fresh apples to this muffin batter is a nice way to incorporate fruit in a baked treat. Dried cranberries add a touch of tartness, but you can use raisins or any other dried fruit.
When leaves begin to change colour in the fall, it's a reminder that freshly picked apples are in abundance. Serve a slice of this classic treat topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ryan Brook Credits: Ryan Brook
Mocha Chocolate Crackles Credits: Ryan Szulc
Looking for a delicious cookie to add to you holiday baking repertoire? We share 16 of our favourite drop cookie recipes for you to pick from.
Crispy sugar-dusted crusts surround perfectly soft, chewy centres in these chocolaty delights. The cookies are so addictive. With plenty of milk on standby, there's no telling how quickly they'll disappear.
Canadian Living has published many chocolate chip cookie recipes, but founding food editor Carol Ferguson's recipe, with a punchy hit of vanilla, is the standout. You can try making these cookies with all butter as well.
Ground chai tea and some additional ground chai spices give these buttery almond cookies a subtle, pleasing flavour. Find loose-leaf chai tea in bulk food stores or specialty tea shops. In a pinch, empty a tea bag or two to get the proper amount.
Tart sour cherries and dark chocolate are a delightful match - especially in this easy drop cookie. It's a guaranteed cookie exchange win.
Just a pinch of cinnamon takes white chocolate to even greater heights of flavour. It also acts as a delicious counterpoint to the gingery spice of these cookies, which are perfectly crispy on the outside and delectably chewy on the inside.
The coarse sugar on these licorice-flavoured drops glistens like snowballs. Split the remaining vanilla bean half and place in airtight container with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. The vanilla will permeate the sugar. Use it to sprinkle on scones or cookies, or in your morning coffee.
These rich morsels have a gorgeous crackle topping.
This twist on the traditional classic is sure to please everyone!
Recipes in early cookbooks, such as the 1915 edition of the Five Roses Cook Book, show that ginger cookies have been a favourite for generations.
These crispy ginger logs got their name because the thin chocolate coating on top makes them look like eclairs when they're lined up on a platter. Play around with other types of chocolate coating if you like – milk, dark and white chocolates are all delicious with the slightly spicy ginger.
Coarse sugar coats these delightful cookies, giving them an icy glow. Baking them just until the edges begin to firm up delivers chewy cookies; for crispier results, bake until the tops are firm too, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Keep in mind that these cookies harden while cooling, so it pays not to bake them until they're overly crisp.
Snowy white cookies, double-rolled in icing sugar, melt in your mouth and, if you don't watch out, will deliciously dust your holiday outfit.
Crystallized ginger adds an extra dose of zippy spice to these super-easy drop cookies. Walnut halves on top add a touch of elegance to your holiday cookie platters.
Made with only four ingredients, these chewy gluten-free drop cookies take just a few minutes to prepare. Walnuts don't keep well for extended periods at room temperature, so taste them before you begin to make sure they're fresh.
Honey-roasted peanuts add a sweet crunch to these favourite drop cookies.
Everyone loves a surprise, especially when it's a holiday favourite, such as the chocolate-covered almonds tucked inside these toasty macaroons. Be sure the coconut covers the almond completely or its chocolate will melt onto the pan and ruin the surprise.