If you suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), then you more than likely experience increased anxiety when your symptoms flare. All anxiety disorders are challenging to treat because anxiety feeds upon itself, which can make it difficult to to break the anxiety cycle.
PMDD related anxiety is an especially frustrating anxiety disorder because even though you know it is temporary, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Finding ways to alleviate PMDD related anxiety can seem impossible, but if you just remember the three M’s, you can bring your PMDD related anxiety under better control.
It may feel silly if you are not a person who meditates, but there are some very useful meditation practices which can help you curb or decrease your PMDD related anxiety. One method that works well for me is called “Square Breathing”.
Square breathing involves breathing in and holding it then breathing out and pausing in equal measurements of time before starting the process over. For example, breath in for 3 seconds. Hold it for 3 seconds. Breath out for 3 seconds. Wait 3 seconds before breathing in again. Repeat the 3 second steps between 5 and 10 times.
You can manage your PMDD related anxiety by avoiding situations that trigger it. If thinking about money makes you anxious, avoid banking or paying bills during PMDD. If you experience anxiety in large groups or crowds, avoid malls and other crowded venues until your PMDD has passed.
Remind yourself that the anxiety you are experiencing is only temporary, and you can further manage your PMDD related anxiety by engaging in activities that relax or distract you. Doing something mundane (washing dishes, sorting laundry) can help you regain control over your PMDD related anxiety. Watching TV or reading a book are both relaxing activities that can help you tame your PMDD anxiety.
There is no shame in using medication to treat your anxiety. Quite often, it is the only option that works for women who suffer from PMDD related anxiety. Talk to your doctor or therapist to find out which anti-anxiety medications are best for you, and have your prescription filled before your PMDD flares so you have the medication available as soon as you need it.
PMDD related anxiety doesn’t have to control you – with the proper techniques, you can learn how to control your anxiety. Remember the three M’s (Meditate, Manage, and Medicate) the next time you experience PMDD related anxiety.
Madison Institute of Medicine, Facts for Health – Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder