||Jean Endicott, Ph.D.,
is the Director of the Premenstrual Evaluation Unit at Columbia Presbyterian
Medical Center, as well as Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department
of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Chief of the Department of Research
Assessment and Training at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr.
Endicott helped establish premenstrual dysphoric disorder as a distinct
clinical entity by facilitating its inclusion in the fourth edition of the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Endicott's published works have appeared in Patient Care, the Journal
of the American Medical Association, and the Journal of the American Medical
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
The term PMS is familiar to most women, especially those who suffer from the
monthly physical symptoms, which include bloating, cramping, headaches and breast
tenderness. But few women are familiar with the term PMDD, a severe form of
PMS, which affects about five percent of menstruating women. In fact, a new
survey shows many women may suffer needlessly because of low awareness of the
term PMDD. Among 500 women polled in a recent survey commissioned by the Society
for Women's Health Research, 84 percent did not know that the most severe premenstrual
problems are officially recognized as PMDD, let alone that such problems can
be diagnosed and treated.
PMDD is characterized by severe monthly mood swings
and physical symptoms that interfere with everyday life, especially a woman's
relationships with her family and friends. PMDD's symptoms go far beyond what
are considered manageable or normal premenstrual symptoms. PMDD occurs the
week before, and disappears a few days after, the onset of menstruation.
PMDD is a combination of symptoms that may include
irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating,
angry outbursts, breast tenderness and bloating. At least one of the symptoms
must be depressed mood, anxiety, mood swings or irritability.
When you seek treatment for PMDD, your doctor will
likely have you track your symptoms. Having this information when consulting
with an informed doctor is the first step towards a successful treatment program.
Unfortunately, women often wait years to ask a doctor about premenstrual problems
or, even worse, their health care provider has turned them away when they tried
to discuss symptoms. Women should find comfort in knowing this is a real disorder
and treatment options are available.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued treatment
guidelines for severe premenstrual symptoms. It recommended SSRIs (selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors) as the preferred method for treating symptoms
associated with PMDD. Women who may suffer from PMDD should now be confident
that they can receive a medical evaluation and treatment that will be helpful
Click here for related information.
Created: 12/12/2000  - Jean Endicott, Ph.D.