Meet Dr. Donnica Video Introduction TV Appearances

Diseases & Conditions Today on DrDonnica.com Clinical Trials Decisionnaires FAQs Top Tips Fast Facts Debunking Myths News Alerts Celebrity Speak Out Guest Experts Women's Health Champions Books Women's Health Resources

Mission Privacy Policy Sponsors Press Room What's New? Contact Us

This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.


Hope Award

Send to a Friend

Relationships, Pregnancy, and PMDD

Q: How would you suggest convincing someone to get help if they don't think they have a problem? My brother and his wife have been married for 1 1/2 years, and are 5 months pregnant. His wife is showing signs of PMS or PMDD. She has episodes of extreme rage and emotional upset. She says my brother is "driving her to get upset." Nothing my brother does is good enough for her, and she is constantly getting mad at him for anything that may upset her. She seems very irrational, and has hit my brother when she's having one of her episodes. My brother said she was moody even before she was pregnant, but now it seems worse. I know once the baby comes, postpartum depression can be a problem too. My brother doesn't know what to do, and his wife thinks he's the one with the problem. Do you have any suggestions?

 Thank you,


Dr. Donnica:
I am sorry to hear about this situation.  Unfortunately, while I have several suggestions, the only way they will work is if your sister-in-law sees that there is a problem and that she's a part of it.  This reminds me of the quote about "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." 

Your sister-in-law may have had PMS or PMDD in the past, but that doesn't explain her behavior now that she's pregnant.  Many women are emotionally labile when they are pregnant -- and others use this "excuse" to simply behave badly.  There is no excuse for hitting your spouse.  You may want to advise your brother that NOW is the time for couples counseling. These things only get worse after a baby is born.  You may also wish to discuss this with your sister-in-law directly, depending upon your relationship with her. In general, this is between the couple involved.  A nice ice breaker is always "I was reading something about a couple and the wife was experiencing a lot of emotional problems and mood swings in pregnancy, and they really benefited from going to a family therapist BEFORE the baby was born. . ."  The other "radical" thing your brother could do to save his marriage is that the next time your sister-in-law accuses him of being "the one with the problem", he could simply agree and suggest that they go to couples counseling together to work it out.

Click here for more information about depression or other mental health issues.

Good luck!
Best regards,
Donnica Moore, MD
President, DrDonnica.com

Created: 3/9/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

All the content contained herein is copyrighted pursuant to federal law. Duplication or use without
the express written permission of DrDonnica.com subjects the violator to both civil & criminal penalties.
Copyright © 2006 DrDonnica.com. All rights reserved.

Home | Today on DrDonnica.com | Meet Dr. Donnica | TV Appearances | Clinical Trials
Diseases & Conditions | Decisionnaires | Celebrity Speak Out | Guest Experts | Women's Health Champions
FAQs | Women’s Health Resources | Archive | Books & Tapes | Site Certification | Advanced Search
Mission | What’s New? | Press Room | Privacy Policy | Sponsors | Partners | Contact Us