PMDD or DEPRESSION/BIPOLAR/ADHD?
What to concider before you medicate your teenage daughter:
We jokingly warn each other through knowing smiles about teenage years and how tough they are for some parents and children. We expect that there will be challenges going through that time of change but nothing prepares you for girl teens when their hormones revolt causing them to suffer the worst symptoms of depression and self-degradation around PMS time.
Is your teenager Really Depressed or suffering with PMSs darker side PMDD?
If you are the mother of a teenage daughter suffering depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, irritability and extreme feelings of hopelessness you will probably receive the diagnoses of depression, ADHD, Bipolar, hormone imbalance.
Similarly to PMS the symptoms show up differently each month depending on which issue is currently a problem. This makes it tough to diagnose and may look like the symptoms of the above mentioned issues so you often walk out of the Doctors office with Antidepressants, ADHD stimulant medications, hormone regulators like the pill.
However if the onset of menstruation coincides with your daughters first struggle with mental health and her symptoms are more intense than your average PMS symptoms, you may need to consider PMDD.
In spite of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) first appearing in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders book the DSM in 1994 many Doctors are not knowledgeable about it. PMS is understood but its mean all-encompassing ugly sister is not.
In my experience it is a difficult issue to diagnose as it falls between the cracks of specialists. Your GP may never have heard of it and if they have they are reluctant to diagnose as they lack the experience and need solid steadfast symptoms for a definite diagnoses. Your GP may suggest a Psychologist to work through her troubling thoughts.
Psychologist visits occur at different times of the month and therefore different times in her cycle. The specialist may feel that they are making progress and all is improving but the very next time everything has gone wrong. This leaves the parents, therapist and patient frustrated and back to square one.
So the patient is moved along to a Psychiatrist who will prescribe medications to chemically alter the Teens symptoms. Sometimes these are a good fit, mostly only up until the luteal faze. They try a different combination and so it goes on. When they run through that list your daughter may be put in a Psychiatric hospital, for some this is the first of many visits throughout their life.
Scores of young ladies go for years before they are given the correct diagnoses and treatment for PMDD. If your daughter is showing signs of depression, symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks and possibly self-harm this may be her problem.
Not all woman with these symptoms will have PMDD but 8% of woman of menstruating age do. So in a high school of 500 girls as many as 40 teenage girls will be suffering and are possibly misdiagnosed and given medications which have side effects. These side effects are serious and may lead to new diagnoses with other medications and more side effects.
PMDD support forums are full of adult woman across the world desperate for help opting for hysterectomies before they have children because they cannot bare to live with their symptoms any longer. There are daily prayers sent to families of woman who have taken their lives during this time of the month. I would speculate several woman in Jail have commited crimes during this time too.
Adult sufferers have described it as feeling possessed by emotions, watching their actions cause sever upsets in their marriages, work environment leaving a trail of total devastation. They feel out of control and may lash out or feel suicidal and then a few days later as their cycle begins, they feel more like themselves but now live with remorse and shame for what they said and did. It takes them a while to get over it but soon enough the cycle of destruction will circulate once more. Many marriages, friendships and the will to live just cannot withstand the chaos.
These are woman that have tried all the antidepressants, hormone pills, and many other attempts at regulating their moods.
If like me you would prefer to go the natural root first instead of the medication root then here are my top tips.
Tip #1 - Take Note
Make a note of those really bad days, jot down every tantrum, self-harm episode, larger than usual outburst and total irrational behavior. Make it easy on yourself by sending yourself a What’s app message or keeping it on your phones notes so you don’t forget the incidents. Whichever works for you but keep a record.his first tip should be a juicy one. It’ll keep your readers with you.
Tip #2 - Period tracker
Track your teens monthly cycles and especially notice what happens on day 10 from the first day of her menstruation. Put a period tracker on her phone too. This will help her understand what’s going on with her emotions.
"Your minds job is to do what you tell it to do. Your job is to tell it great things." – Marisa Peer
Tip #3 - Book a Naturopath
See a Naturopath who is able to through a live blood analyses see what nutrients may be missing or need to be increased. The usual suspects are Magnesium/Potassium/Vitamin B/omega 3. In some cases Progesterone cream is prescribed to counter the dips in hormones and this balances out their moods. This has been a game changer in my clients’ lives.
(Please seek proper medical advice before taking any supplements, I am not a Doctor so this is not medical advice.)
If you are in South Africa there is a wonderfull Naturopath called DR Rowan they have products on their website www.nutritherapy.co.za/
Tip #4 - Exercise
Moving your body has many health benefits but especially when your body is out of sorts it helps to regulate our moods. Get them off the couch!
The second benefit here is of course that a tired body usually sleeps more soundly.
Tip #5 - Sleep is key
Sleep is necessary for our brain to close the tabs opened during the day. This rest period is essential for a healthy body and mind. I have some patients following the natural approach that have included melatonin into their wind down period. Your body must have time for rest and repair. Grab a free audio from my website and play it at night for deep rest and repair. www.nidiaharris.com
Tip #6 - Deactivate the fight or flight Alarm trigger
While all of these together will offer a level of relief the final and most crucial piece to beating PMDD is to deactivate those neural pathways from sounding the alarm during that luteal period. This must be done by calming the nervous system and emptying out any trauma that keeps reoccurring during this time. If you think of PMDD as scratching open an old wound each time it’s about to heal. Any wounds that have been allowed to heal for the rest of the month now are analyzed and made raw again during this time. The scar tissue builds and emotions overwhelm.
Tip #7 - RTT Rapid Transformational Therapy
Rapid Transformational Therapy has revolutionary results in resolving traumas and calming hormones. It’s a game changer for those who need freedom from their cyclical torment. It works by clearing out issues that come up during that time by working on the subconscious mind and emptying out the troubling beliefs. Most woman who suffer PMDD also have underlying trauma. This trauma changes what would be PMS symptoms into PMDD due to the severity of the wound. If your teen has no particular trauma (that you are aware of) we use Rapid Transformational Therapy to work on a cellular level by calming the nervous system and reducing the reaction to the hormone shifts. RTT treatment includes a hypnoses session which is much like an interactive guided meditation followed by listening to an audio created with the clients name and specific healing needs. It is this bespoke aspect that embeds deeply into your mind until those new beliefs are automated like your times tables or phone number.