For years premenstrual
syndrome has been blamed for unpredictable behavior from moodiness
to murder. While four of ten women have PMS, few are affected by
its more severe cousin, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Dr. Barbara Bartlik of
Cornell University, joins us today to discuss PMS and PMDD. Dr.
Bartlik, what is the difference between PMS and PMDD? "Premenstrual
syndrome is the exacerbation of just about any symptom, whether
it's physical or physiological, during the phase just prior to the
period. With premenstrual dysphoric disorder, there has to be a
significant mood component; that is a person feels quite depressed,
quite anxious prior to their period."
Does that mean PMS is
a mental illness? "By no means! PMS falls somewhere between mental
and physical symptoms, because some women have purely physiological
ones and others have purely physical ones and most have a combination
of the two."
The good news about PMS
and PMDD is that they are treatable.
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Created: 10/13/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.