Do you have a terrible time every month in advance of your period? You could have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition thought to affect as many as three out of four women at some point in their lifetime.
Many of the symptoms affect your mental health, so seeing a psychiatrist should be part of your health treatment plan. As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions offers a variety of treatments for women’s mental health issues, including PMDD.
The five mental health symptoms of PMDD
If you have PMDD, you likely have most or all of the following signs every month, starting up to 10 days before your period starts and lasting up to a few days after you start bleeding. For some women, PMDD can manifest more than two-thirds of the days in every month.
Anxiety caused by PMDD can present as a feeling of dread or nervousness, finding yourself worrying constantly about small issues, and/or noticing that your mind races and you can’t seem to shut off the millions of thoughts running through it all the time.
Other signs of PMDD include feeling like you are at the end of your rope, snapping at people or losing your temper with no warning, wanting to be alone, and finding small sounds or vibrations unbearable.
There are plenty of jokes about hormones making you want to watch sad movies and cry, but feelings of genuine unbearable sadness aren’t routine and could be a warning sign of PMDD, especially if you aren’t even sure why you feel sad.
Insomnia is another PMDD hallmark. If you can’t fall asleep, you could be suffering yet another symptom of PMDD. You may also wake up many times during the night, often unable to return to restful sleep.
Nightmares can be another warning sign, as is waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed even though you appeared to sleep fine.
Changes in appetite
Losing your appetite or being ravenously hungry can be signs of PMDD. This is even more worrisome if you find yourself engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, like restricting your food unreasonably or binging then purging.
Other PMDD symptoms
Physical symptoms of PMDD can also be severe and contribute to the worsening of mental health symptoms.
You might experience fatigue, bloating, and headaches in the week or two before your period, making it difficult to maintain a work or school schedule, have relationships, or keep up with a social life.
If you believe you may be suffering from PMDD and need help, get in touch with us by visiting our contact page. We’re located in McLean, Virginia, and Washington, DC.