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BREAKING THE CYCLE- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Behavioral Dysregulation and Substance Use

On Thursday, September 12th, Ms. Ava Roush and Drs. Merideth Smith & Michael Stinnett presented a 3-hour continuing education seminar at the 2019 West Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (WVAADC) professional summitt in Morgantown, WV. The theme of this year's summit was Pathways to Recovery, and Roush, Smith & Stinnett were honored to present on the intersection between Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), impulsivity, and substance use behavior(s). In a well-attended didactic presentation, Roush, Smith & Stinnett sought to "break the cycle" of silence often surrounding the disorder and enable care providers to offer more comprehensive care to their clients.

PremenStrual Dysphoric Disorder is a myriad of symptoms including distressing physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms which occur during the week before menses, improves with the onset of menses, and is minimum or absent the week post menses. PMDD is a more severe, debilitating form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and symptoms of PMDD result in significant impairment across many spheres of life similar to women with chronic major depression.

While providing care to female inmates at Lakin Correctional Center & Jail, Roush became aware of the cyclical nature of psychological symptoms experienced by some of her clients. After developing differential diagnoses suggestive of PMDD, Roush engaged clients in tracking their PMDD-specific symptoms month-to-month. Understanding the deleterious effects of PMDD, Roush not only developed a tracking form for use, she also advocated for her clients to receive appropriate PMDD-informed care. Data collection initiated

by Roush will allow for statistical analyses to be completed which will contribute to the current scientific knowledge base, offering a deeper understanding of the prevalence and impact of PMDD among incarcerated women.

During the WVAADC summit, Roush reviewed the diagnostic criteria of PMDD as well as assessment and tracking options. Smith examined the etiology and history of PMDD while Stinnett connected PMDD, impulsivity, and substance use behaviors. Best practices in the treatment of PMDD were offered to attendees at the seminar.

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