P.M.D.D. - New symptom, same old story

P.M.D.D. - New symptom, same old story

Guest Articles 

          P.M.D.D. - New Syndrome, Same Old Story - GCN-NEWS@5:45 am PST 
          By Madeline Behrendt, D.C.

          Woman, Go to the mirror. Life is captured in our face. What do you see?

          Eyes that are our personal camera, they catch and record the moments of our days - of 
          landscapes, of faces, of how the world looks back at us. Our nose has catalogued 
          memories of so many scents - just a familiar whiff can evoke our return anywhere, from 
          sun tan lotion to brownies to rain soaked grass. Cheeks, which respond instantly to help 
          form our many expressions, have participated in decades of laughter. Lips that have 
          tasted both a lover's urgency and the incredible, innocent softness of a baby's skin. Ears 
          that have heard so many stories, so many songs, so many times someone has called our 

          Woman, our face is more than the sum of it's components, our face, our image, is a 
          canvas celebrating the unique story of our life. How does women's image fare out there in 
          the world? Hmmmm.

          Women understand that fortunes are spent to shape and influence how we define our self 
          image. So it was no surprise that following the creation of a new disorder - P.M.D.D. 
          (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) - an advertising campaign arrived to stimulate market 
          demand for the disorder's associated drug, Sarafem.

          The images promoted by the campaign initially portray women as dark, angry, antisocial, 
          their faces distorted, who are suggested to be transformed through the "miracle" of this 
          medication into models of pacification. Sign me up? - Not so fast.

          For women who experience stress related to their cycle, we'll address this topic shortly. 
          First let's be clear on what is being promoted to us, so we can choose well.

          P.M.D.D. is described as a condition where symptoms interfere in day to day 
          activities/relationships and are limited to the 1-2 weeks prior to the start of their cycle. 
          Reports indicate that it is not to be confused with PMS (but doesn't state the 
          differences), and P.M.D.D. is classified as a mental, not physical disorder.

          The disorder is diagnosed by symptoms. Following are 2 groups of symptoms, one 
          represents symptoms associated with P.M.D.D., the other represents side effects of 
          Sarafem. Can you identify the corresponding groups? (answers at end)

          Group 1: irritability, tension, depression, mood swings 
          Group 2: irritability, tension, sadness, decreased sexual desire and/or satisfaction

          While the "cause" of this disorder remains unidentified, the drug Sarafem, is promoted as 
          the "solution". This is causing controversy among all communities, as Sarafem contains 
          the same active, main ingredient as Prozac. News sources report that Prozac had been 
          threatened with the early loss of it's patent, and with a new disorder, a new name, a new 
          market, a new exclusive patent is possible.

          Sarafem was tested for only 6 months, and severe systemic adverse events did occur. 
          Significant cautions are listed associated with driving, and some drug interactions. A 
          special note: women using birth control pills were excluded from the trials.

          A trend today includes the shift in diagnosis from physical to mental, but does the label of 
          having a mental disorder empower women? More trends: would anyone be surprised if a 
          gene for PMDD was "discovered", or a vaccine created? We want medicine to make 
          progress, but do not ask us to confuse promoting disease with restoring and promoting 
          health. Is any of this really progress - medicate as a first resort (often for life), distort 
          the ability of the body to recognize feedback (symptoms), and when tolerance to a 
          medication occurs try another or try more? Or is this only an example of new syndrome, 
          same old story?

          As a chiropractor, I'd like to acknowledge the women who experience stress associated 
          with their cycle, who's life force is blocked. You'll want to know that while our life is 
          captured in our face, it is directed from our spine, and all functions and reactions are 
          under the control and direction of the nervous system. Interference to the nervous 
          system is described as subluxation, and chiropractors are the only professionals trained 
          and qualified to detect and address subluxations.

          If the body is giving feedback that stress is present, doesn't it make sense to check the 
          master control system/nervous system first? Healing starts from the inside. And while 
          medication is an option, we already have an internal drugstore that is responsible for 
          responding to our needs, think how important it must be for the nerve flow responsible for 
          this communication to be functioning properly! Medication can interfere with the feedback 
          of the body - in fact that is it's purpose, so a problem can continue, or escalate, without 
          awareness that there is an internal war going on in the body. Looking forward - how does 
          this affect a woman's life?

          While it is not uncommon for women to notice a change in their emotions prior to and 
          during their menstrual cycle - does this mean we have a "disorder"? Let's turn to the 
          Innate wisdom of the body's design for guidance. Studies have demonstrated that women 
          become right brain dominant during this time, i.e. hear more negative words out of a 
          presented list. It is suggested that in this part of her cycle, a woman is naturally meant 
          to be more in touch with what does not fit in her life, with what needs to change in her 
          life and her relationships, and this gives rise to a woman's intuition. How tragic that this 
          lesson would be altered. How tragic if a woman did not receive support to allow this 
          natural process of life to occur successfully.

          As a woman goes to the mirror, does her reflection offer features full of life or the effects 
          of chemical alteration? 1st step for more life - get checked for subluxations. And as we're 
          all responsible for the information that is put out in the world - let's tell the big story - of 
          how chiropractic can contribute to women's health. Simply, successfully, Chiropractic 
          promotes Life.

          (Note: Group 1:PMDD Group 2:Sarafem)

          Dr. Madeline Behrendt is the author of A Woman's Experience/A.W.E.(TM) Reports On 
          Women's Health Topics

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The HERSTORY of Bones by Dr. Madeline Behrendt 

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