Mood Disorders

12 Jan 2017

PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

AKA PMS on steroids. Brief Summary 75 % of women have experienced premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which include emotional and physical symptoms. The emotional symptoms include irritability, impatience and mood swings. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder(PMDD) is thought to affect 3-7% of females. These mood symptoms are more disabling than PMS symptoms and can severely affect work and social relationships. If you have extreme mood swings, irritability and impatience before the time of your period you may have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or have an underlying mood disorder which worsens during this time. PMDD refers to a cluster of symptoms which occur 7-10 […]
19 Jul 2015

What is Major Depressive Disorder?

Depression or as it is ‘medically’ known as ‘Major Depressive Disorder – MDD’ is a mental illness that affects your day-to-day mood and ability to function in many different areas. I have written previously on this topic here. I love this website – Black Dog Institute , and I can’t explain it better than they have. Have a look here and understand the in’s and out’s of depression. This is my favorite video on the subject    
12 Apr 2015

Women and Depression – 6th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health

This blog post is a brief review of the ‘Depression’ topics at the 6th World Congress on Womens Mental Health, which recently held in Tokyo, Japan. Women are twice as likely to develop depression compared to their male counterparts. Depression in women was covered in detail at the Congress. Some of the topics covered were working women and the problems that they have – with the dual responsibility of work and family. One of the Japanese professors Prof. Toshiko Kamo presented a fascinating talk on Women’s Mental Health in Japan, showing how women move through different psychological stages in their […]
28 Feb 2015

Doc, can I have a drink?

The research is out there – if you suffer from a mood disorder (depression or bipolar disorder) and you drink alcohol – it can affect your mood stability. Alcohol been shown to Increase episodes of mood disturbances Worsen the intensity of mood disturbances Cause a relapse of symptoms What does alcohol do to the brain? Alcohol enters the body via the stomach and is absorbed and transported in the blood to the brain (amongst other organs). In the brain, it affects various neurochemicals – particularly in a way that causes euphoria (happiness), slowed thinking, sleepiness and disinhibition. This is a […]
29 Dec 2014

How does my Doctor choose my Antidepressant ?

I can only really comment on what I think about when deciding to start a patient on these medications, based on my experience and studies. This is not medical advice, more my opinion on the thought process behind the science. I have made it quite simple so if you have specific questions you can comment below/email me or ask your treating doctor. I try and match up my patients with the medication I’m prescribing. This helps them stay on the medication if they experience minimal side effects and benefit from the meds. This is not always an easy thing to […]
04 Dec 2014

Finding professional help for depression in South Africa

There are a few ways to find help for treatment of depression. In the private sector, initially I would advise approaching a general practitioner who can confirm the diagnosis and start treatment if necessary. Alternatively, make an appointment with a psychologist in your area and discuss your concerns with him/her. If your depression is complicated and not responding well to treatment, I would recommend that you see a psychiatrist for a more intense assessment. In the public sector there are local mental health clinics in all districts ( definitely in Gauteng). Go to your local clinic and ask to see […]