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I think I may have PMDD. I've been tracking my cycles, and at around the same place in my cycle I always feel anxious/depressed, but because my cycles aren't regular I don't know which specific days the anxiety is coming. How do I take this info to my general practitioner? What does the process of getting to a diagnosis look like? If I do have PMDD, is there any treatment?
Great question! PMDD is a severe form of PMS symptoms that often starts at ovulation and resolves with menstruation. Symptoms can include extreme sadness, hopelessness, irritability or anger, plus common premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as breast tenderness and bloating. To diagnose PMDD, tracking your period to identify the pattern is essential and it is important information to bring to your general practitioner. If your period is really irregular, it can become a bit more difficult to narrow down on the diagnosis, and I would also want to know why your period is irregular in the first place, as that is something that can also possibly be contributing to your symptoms. There are many possible treatment options to manage PMDD including taking SSRI medication from ovulation onwards during each cycle, as well as birth control which can be helpful as well. Lifestyle management is also very helpful for PMDD, and this includes regular exercise and healthy eating habits.