Many women experience symptoms of PMS. But if you have PMDD, these symptoms are much worse and can have a serious impact on your life. Experiencing PMDD can make it difficult to work, socialize and have healthy relationships. Fortunately, there are alternative treatments for PMDD that can help manage the physical and mental health symptoms.
What is PMDD?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a type of severe and chronic premenstrual syndrome that is characterized by a range of emotional and physical symptoms every month. Symptoms of PMDD appear during the week before menstruation and end within a few days after your period starts. These symptoms disrupt daily living tasks. Symptoms of PMDD are so severe that women have trouble functioning at home, at work, and in relationships during this time.
Physical Symptoms of PMDD:
- Tender Breast
- Abdominal Pain
- Appetite Changes
- Food Cravings
- Muscle Tension
Psychological Symptoms of PMDD:
- Mood Swings
- Uncontrolled Crying
What Causes PMDD?
It is not entirely understood what causes PMDD or why it only affects about 5% of women of fertile age. It may be an abnormal reaction to normal hormone changes that happen with each menstrual cycle. The hormone changes can cause a serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a substance found naturally in the brain and intestines that narrows blood vessels and can affect mood and cause physical symptoms.
Is There a Link Between Depression and PMDD?
Whereas many researchers have emphasized the similarities between PMDD and anxiety disorders, and in particular panic disorder, others have suggested that PMDD should be regarded as a variant of depression. Supporting both these notions, the treatment of choice for PMDD, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), is also first line of treatment for depression and for most anxiety disorders. Many women with PMDD experience clinical levels of depression or anxiety during the week or two before each menstrual cycle.
How PMDD Affects a Woman’s Life
Since PMDD is more severe than PMS, the effects on a woman’s life can be more serious. Some women will experience regular monthly bouts of severe depression, similar to those diagnosed with clinical depression. Other women will experience symptoms similar to anxiety disorder for a few weeks each month. In addition, depression and anxiety disorder symptoms could be accompanied by irritability and anger.
In some cases of PMDD, other symptoms may include:
- Loss of all interest in work, family, and enjoyable hobbies and activities.
- A desire to withdraw from others and be alone.
- Marking irrational decisions one would normally not make.
- Engaging in risky behaviors that makes it appear like one is out of control.
- A constant and persistent feeling of being overwhelmed.
To be diagnosed with PMDD, one must experience these symptoms for most menstrual cycles over a 12 month period.
What Is TMS Therapy?
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a drug-free, non-invasive, and FDA-cleared treatment that is twice as effective as medication for depression. TMS can be used as a stand-alone therapy or in-combination with talk therapy and medications.
During TMS treatment, patients recline in a treatment chair and remain awake and alert. A TMS magnet is positioned over the patient’s head to deliver gentle pulses to specific areas of the brain. Patients report that the pulses feel like taps on the head. Each treatment session lasts about 20 minutes, after which patients can immediately return back to their daily routines.
TMS is well tolerated. Sometimes patients experience mild scalp discomfort or mild headache during active treatment. Most patients notice symptom improvement with TMS after 2 weeks of treatment (8-10 sessions).
What Is IV Ketamine Therapy?
Although ketamine has been used safely as an FDA-approved anesthetic since the 1960s, the discovery of ketamine as a highly effective and rapid-acting treatment for a wide range of mood disorders and pain has been hailed as arguably the most significant development in psychiatry during the past few decades. Ketamine also works quickly. Most patients experience symptom improvement within hours after their first treatment.
Each ketamine infusion lasts about 40 minutes, after which patients should have someone available to accompany them home safely. During the infusion, patients experience deep relaxation and typically wear an eye mask in a dimly lit room with aromatherapy. Ketamine is delivered at a slow and controlled dose and a registered nurse is present for the duration of the infusion. Blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation are monitored. Typically, patients receive a course of 6-12 ketamine infusions over 2-4 weeks. The frequency and number of sessions are individualized.
IV ketamine is not currently approved by the FDA as a treatment for depression. However, scientists are working hard to develop antidepressants that have a similar effect on the brain that ketamine does. In fact, the FDA approved a ketamine-related drug called esketamine or more commonly known as Spravato.
TMS and Ketamine: Effective PMDD Alternative Treatments
First line of treatment for PMDD usually includes Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs. Unlike with other mood disorders, patient’s with PMDD experience rapid onset of action from SSRI (as opposed to the typical 2-3 week onset time). Therefore, people with PMDD benefit from intermittent dosing. Some women with PMDD also respond well to hormone therapy with oral contraceptive or psychotherapy.
However, many women with PMDD do not respond to traditional treatments. At Neuro Wellness Spa, we specialize in the toughest cases of depression, anxiety and other conditions including PMDD. Many of our patients have had tried multiple treatment methods before finding success with and alternative therapy, like TMS or IV ketamine.
Antidepressants and talk therapy aren’t your only option.
Ketamine and TMS Treatment for PMDD in Los Angeles, CA
To learn more about TMS and IV ketamine therapy, schedule your initial consultation by contacting us or calling 1-877-847-3984 today.