Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Psychological Health of Secondary School Female Adolescents in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Psychological Health of Secondary School Female Adolescents in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Adolescence is the developmental period of transition from childhood to early adulthood that is characterized by profound physical (pubertal), and psychological changes. Adolescence in females has been recognized as a special period which signifies the transition from girlhood to womanhood.. It is a time of identity formation, evaluation, decision making, commitment and carving out a place in the world. This transitional period is marked with the onset of menarche, an important milestone. Menstruation, also called a "period," is the monthly flow of blood from the uterus through the cervix and out through the vagina. It is a normal physiological process that begins during adolescence and may be associated with various symptoms occurring before or during the menstrual flow. Serious gynaecological pathology is rare in this period but premenstrual disorders are common and may add further disruption to this difficult phase for adolescents and their families (Cosgrove, & Riddle, 2003). Eveiy month like clockwork, females in their reproductive years come down with a strange collection of symptoms. They experience transient physical, physiological and emotional changes around the time of their menstrual period which start from their early teen years until menopause.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is one of the developmental psychopathologies facing female adolescents. Mood, behavioural and somatic symptoms are common complaints during the final and initial days of menstrual cycle of women in their reproductive years (Cunningham, Yonkers, O'Brien, & Eriksson, 2009). While these symptoms are mild for some, they are severe for others to the extent that it affects their home, social and work lives (Hylan, Sundell, & Judge, 1999). Yonkers, O'Brien, & Eriksson (2008) reported that about 5-8% of women suffer from severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and that most of these women measure up the criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Initially referred to as premenstrual tension or premenstrual syndrome, this condition was changed in 1980 by the National Institute of Health consensus conference in the process of establishing clear-cut diagnostic criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) named the condition as premenstrual dysphoric disorder with a minimum of five distinct symptoms. Epperson, Steiner, Hartlage, Eriksson, Schmidt, Jones & Yonkers (2012) observed that information on the diagnosis, treatment and validation of the disorder has matured sufficiently enough for the condition to qualify as a full category in DSM-5. Hartlage, Freels, Gotman & Yonkers (2012) in their study on the criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder further corroborated this by recognising PMDD as a clinically significant disorder informative of inclusion in the DSM-5.

As part of diagnosis for PMS/PMDD are adequate screening for depression, dysthymic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, hypothyroidism, patient's social circumstances and life histories (Cunningham et al., 2009). Moderate to severe form of premenstrual distress was also classified according to the type, timing, and severity of the symptoms (Epperson et al., 2012), and that diagnosis requires two full monthly cycles of daily symptom charting (Cunningham et al., 2009). In their own study, Freeman, Steffanie, Halberstadt, Rickies, Legier, Hui & Sammel (2011) identified six core symptoms that discriminate premenstrual syndrome; these are anxiety/tension, mood swings, aches, appetite/food cravings, cramps, and decreased interest in activities.

A number of studies have examined the prevalence, impacts, epidemiology, pattern and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Tolossa & Bekele (2014) used a crosssectional method to describe the physical, cognitive, affective and behavioural symptoms of premenstrual disorder among female students in college of health sciences in Makelle University, Northern Ethiopia. …

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