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Mood Swings
amandalou07 posted:
I'm sure that many women will be able to relate to the issue that I have. I have found that I have mood swings before my period. I understand that this is normal. My issue is that I don't like how severe they can get at times. I literally can go from being so sad that I am crying to laughing about something within a matter of a minute and then become angry about something trivial. I know logically that how I am reacting is not appropriate for the situation, but I cannot help it. I try to remove myself when I feel these mood swings coming on. I have recently found, however, that these mood swings occur just randomly. I can have a great day and get off of work and start planning a weekend of fun and snap at a friend for no reason. I hate that I do this to the people around me. How can I make these mood swings less severe? Is there anything that I can do?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear amandalou: Yes, many women have stated that marked mood swings are their most distressing premenstrual symptom. If mood swings are really severe, and impact a woman's normal activities and relationships, then she may have that more severe type of "PMS" called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or "PMDD".

The makers of the birth control pills (BCPs) YAZ and Yasmin have done studies leading to FDA approval of their BCPs for treatment of PMDD. Despite such studies some women do not get the relief they need from such BCPs. In that case, use of a short acting serotonin drug (eg Zoloft) in the week before flow has been shown to be helpful. Should you be interested in either of these two options, your GYN or clinic should be able to prescribe the medication and follow up your response.

Some women prefer to avoid any type of medication. In this instance it is suggested to increase "cardio" types of exercise, avoid caffeine/alcohol, and increase complex carbohydrates in one's diet. Stress management strategies and even cognitive behavioral therapy have published studies demonstrating their usefulness in decreasing mood symptoms.

Amandalu, there may be other, more targeted, treatments for your mood shifts. Please consider seeing your GYN and ask for their recommendations.

angieraeftg responded:
I so understand how you feel. For a long time I have struggled with these monthly mood swings and recently it seems to have worsened. It almost makes me feel like a totally different person. A person within a person. It is really starting to make me feel like I an goin nuts. Now i see my daughter going thru the same symptoms, I DO NOT wanna watch her suffer
Missveta responded:
OMG!! you sound like me. I remove myself when i know the mood swings are coming. I choose not to talk to people because i know I will say something to them that will hurt them. i am screaming for no reason. One minute I am crying and the next I am angry. I am 31 and have almost always been a passive person. Within the last year my SO has said that he can pinpoint the date that I just 'snap." Just last month I actually saw RED and got into an arguement over something trivial.

Thank you doctor for your wisdom and knowledge. I just went to the doctor two days ago and told her. She said it sounds like I have PMDD. I dont know what that is? That's why i came here . She also recommended Zoloft. I will see what happens, because i can't keep living like this.
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to Missveta's response:
Dear Missveta: Here are two links to more information about PMDD:

In my clinical experience with directing a Menstrual Disorders Clinic, I will say that PMDD can ruin a woman's quality of life and important relationships. Do try your GYN's recommended treatments, and give them at least three months' trial. If the Zoloft is not a good fit there are other options.

In Support,
mickknits responded:
Hi Amanda, I am 46 years old have been diagnosed with PMDD. I also have depresion and have taken Zoloft full time for many years however now I only take it during the PMS phase of my cycle and it really does work. Lately, I've been trying to go without it to see how it would go, but I definitely still need it. I've take Zoloft for almost 10 years and believe it to be a life saving drug. So many women "white knuckle it" through the mood swings of PMS and do themselves damage in the process. The medical community (aka the pharma industry), mostly made up of men, have seeminly ignored this issue and we are left to our own devices. Sorry if I sound a little bitter but this (PMS) has been around since the beginning of time and very little has been done to study or treat it. Calcium does also ease the symptoms for me also.

I want you to know you're not alone....I will isolate myself too when I feel the surges coming on. I work a full time job and have a long commute which does not help. I also find my relationships with other women are a huge help. I've been married for 20 years and adore my husband, but there's nothing like other women to understand what it's like.

Good luck and please don't feel it's a defeat to turn to SSRIs for help...they are life saving!
jdunc88 responded:
just started my zoloft and i am hoping its gonna help... i am only 26 and am starting to think that it might be a hormone imbalance. If this zoloft doesnt work should i go further and test my hormone levels? believe me zoloft isnt the only think i have tried i have tried other antidepression or anxiety meds. I just want to be normal and get some relief in any/all of my relationships

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