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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Integrative Mental Health

Apr 28, 2017 10:30AM ● By Les Cole, MD & Delene Cole, LMFT

Do you have mind numbing anxiety, depression, anger or irritability during the second half of your menstrual cycle? If your answer is yes, then you could have pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
    PMDD affects approximately five to eight percent of cycling women. There are still many medical practitioners that don’t believe PMDD exists. If you have PMDD and sought help, you may have been told this, or worse, that you are depressed or have a mental health problem. Most practitioners who acknowledge the existence of PMDD believe it to be the same process as PMS— just worse—like PMS2 or PMS on steroids. It is not the same condition. It is a different condition altogether.
    If you have severe psychological (emotional) symptoms that are only present or worse during the second half of your cycle, whether you have any or no physical symptoms, then you likely have PMDD. Symptoms include:

Depression
Anxiety
Irritability 
Feeling overwhelmed/out of control
Mood swings
Sensitivity to rejection
Social withdrawal
Sudden sadness or tearfulness
Seizure disorder
Panic attacks
Agoraphobia
Eating disorders
Various personality disorders
Bipolar disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder

Because of the cyclic nature of PMDD, it may especially be mistaken for bipolar disorder. If you have PMDD you may have wound up in the psychiatrist’s, psychologist’s or therapist’s office as either your first stop or through referral. Whether diagnosed as PMDD or a “psychiatric disorder,” it  is likely you have been treated with antidepressants, anti-anxiety or other psychiatric medications and found inadequate benefit.

PMDD is not a psychiatric disorder so antidepressants, anti-anxiety or other psychiatric medications often do little to help.

PMDD is a hormone imbalance and this imbalance is more pronounced in the second half of the cycle and can cause profound symptoms. It is different from the estrogen dominance that causes PMS. Again, estrogen dominance is not the cause so rebalancing estrogen and progesterone won’t help. If you have PMDD and are put on progesterone, your symptoms won’t improve and may actually worsen. Most ob-gyns will prescribe birth control pills, however, there is only one indicated for treatment of PMDD and most often is of little use; some birth control pills, shots, creams and patches may actually make things worse. For some women, symptoms are so severe they choose total hysterectomy or even suicide.

There is good news. Now PMDD can be treated easily and successfully by regulating the hormonal imbalance that contributes to it. At times, the same cause of the imbalance can cause imbalances in other hormones leading to acne, sometimes severe. And, if you have PMDD as well as other typical symptoms of PMS, such as bloating, heavy and/or painful periods, painful or swollen breasts, etc., you could also have estrogen dominance (PMS) that needs correcting along with the proper treatment for PMDD.
    At St. Petersburg Health & Wellness, we get to the underlying problems. Call us for answers.

Les Cole, MD is certified by the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine in Functional, Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine and by the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine in Preventive and Integrative medicine. Delene Cole, LMFT is a marriage and family and integrative mental health therapist with additional certifications in hypnosis, Internal Family Systems therapy and Soul Collage. For more information and to make an appointment, call 727-202-6807. To learn more about PMS and PMDD and other topics on health and wellness, visit StPetehw.com. Like them on Facebook. See ad page 4.