Dr. Dunnewold shares what lifestyle changes can help with severe PMS/Premenstrual Syndrome and PMDD/Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
The major one is recognizing what you’re up against, that you’re in a time period where your brain hormones are going to change because of the falling female hormones and that you really don’t have any control over that. You really can’t will yourself out of it. It’s just something that’s happening in your brain and so you want to accommodate to it, adjust to it, take better care of yourself if you can. Arrange your life in ways to minimize stresses if you can, such as not having house guests, not having major deadlines, that sort of things.
So that’s sort of the first overall thing is know that what it is and know that it’s okay to adjust to it. I think sense of humor is also really, really important. I had one couple that I worked with, she had severe PMS and she had a special stress crown that she would put on when he needed to steer clear, and it was just a good sort of signal between them that, you know, “I am not thinking the way I usually do. My brain isn’t working the way it usually does, so you might want to avoid fights. Bite your tongue during that time period.”
And then I think the other major lifestyle change is exercise. Exercise is extremely helpful with PMS and has been shown in many research studies to be a great adjunct treatment.
About Dr. Ann Dunnewold, M.A., Ph.D.:
Dr. Ann Dunnewold is a licensed psychologist practicing in Dallas, Texas. With 25 years experience helping women cope with life issues, Ann assist in addressing parental guilt and worry, creating a balance between family, self and work, postpartum depression, couples counseling and more. She received her M.A. and Ph.D in counseling Psychology from Ohio State University and is registered by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Dr. Dunnewold uses an eclectic therapy approach to focus on the here and now and changes thinking to change behaviors.