Hi there. I do have a PMDD diagnosis and in the past have used birth control pills and anti-depressants to try to help, with some success (FYI, I also have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD). Most recently, I was taking Celexa and Wellbutrin, both in relatively small doses, as I am very sensitive to medication. Wellbutrin was exacerbating my migraines, so I decided to discontinue it; en I came off of it, I decided to come off of the Celexa as well, since it didn't seem to be helping much anymore. Instead, I have started an amino acids regimen, which seems to be helping quite a bit. I have been learning from the books of Daniel G. Amen, MD (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life) and Julia Ross (The Mood Cure).
- I subbed 500 mg L-tyrosine for the Wellbutrin, which works well to activate me and get me going in the morning, which for me is pretty critical during the winter months.
-To help minimize depression, I take 1300 mg cod liver oil (which contains omegas and Vitamin D) in the winter, and just regular fish oil in the summer. It's good for your heart, skin, and a number of other things, too.
-For PMDD specifically, I take 1000 mg of evening primrose oil during the luteal phase of my cycle and it helps level out the mood swings.
-I take GABA sublingual dissolving tablets 2-3 times a day to help diminish my anxiety, help me focus, and curb my food cravings.
Most of the supplements listed above can be used safely alongside medications, but make sure you let your doctor stays informed of everything you are taking, supplements included. Fish oil, for instance, can be a blood thinner, which is a good thing, but not necessarily if you are already on a pharmaceutical blood thinner.
Speaking of food, diet makes a huge difference. The Cycle Diet http://www.cyclediet.com/
is an excellent guide; cut out smoking, drinking, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, fried foods, and reduce sugar and fat intake and you will feel a lot better! (No, really - you will.) Also, 30 minutes of walking a day and drinking water both help. For support, there is an online community called Life with PMDD that is decent; the women there are friendly, I have found.
FYI, I also use a full-spectrum lamp to help address SAD.
Good luck - it's no fun, that is for sure. I have to say that I think that nutritional supplementation and diet and exercise have made the hugest difference for me thus far.