New research has found that conditions like premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and depression may have an effect on how females handle pain and stress.
According to a study published in Biological Psychology, women with PMDD and a history of severe depression were more likely to have lower cortisol and a greater sensitivity to pain compared to women who did not have PMDD.
Researchers used these findings to prove that PMDD is different than severe depression, which is a common misdiagnosis by physicians. PMDD currently affects between 5 to 7 percent of women in the reproductive age.
“We found the greatest weight of evidence that PMDD and major depression are really two distinct entities in terms of biological response to stress and with respect to pain sensitivity and pain mechanisms,” researcher Dr. Susan Girdler said.
The scientists noted that PMDD causes severe impairment to the quality of life, much like post-traumatic stress disorder or a panic disorder. Women who suffer from the condition have episodes on a monthly basis.
Women who suffer from severe stress may want to turn to alternative health resources such as acupuncture or massage therapy to help calm the symptoms.