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.
<p>CL Books Contest (2)</p>
Enter for your chance to receive one of four prize packs with all seven of this month's top picks from Penguin Random House Canada.
Small Great Things: $32.00
I Am Brian Wilson: $34.00
The Award: $37.00
Wayne Gretzky: $35.00
The Whistler: $37.00
Girl on The Train: $22.00
Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson Credits: Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson
A tent in a forest next to a serene lake Credits: Getty Images
Whether it's a weekend getaway or you're heading out on a longer camping trip, you will want to keep this two-page packing list handy. Use it as a guide to create your own or simply print it out and start checking things off.
Camping is a great bonding opportunity for families and friends, but it can also make for a relaxing vacation in the great outdoors. However, all it takes is forgetting to pack that one crucial item for your peaceful camping trip to be cut short.
We've compiled a downloadable list of everything you could need for a camping trip and called it The ultimate packing list for summer camping in Canada. Use it as a checklist while you're packing or as a guide to make your own ultimate camping list that suits your needs.
Worried about what to pack when taking the kids camping or bringing the family pet? Don't worry--we've covered that, too!
Being prepared will allow you to relax and enjoy the chirping birds, babbling creeks, and all of those delicious campfire s'mores!
Simply click on the image below to begin your download. The list is two pages long. You can print one copy for yourself, and others for families and friends in your group.