Dr. Jean Endicott has conducted studies of mood and behavior related to the menstrual cycle since 1975. Currently, Dr. Endicott is the Director of the Premenstrual Evaluation Unit at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Additionally, she is a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Chief of the Department of Research Assessment and Training for the New York State Psychiatric Institute. A leading authority on premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Dr. Endicott had this to say about its impact on families:
"The impact of having PMDD is often quite severe and may cause problems in many aspects of a woman's life. Many women report that their PMDD symptoms have caused seriously impaired relationships with relatives, friends, or co-workers as well as with spouses or partners. Often, relationships have been lost because others say they can no longer "put up with" some of the recurrent behaviors. The divorce and separation rate is high in those who have been married and others say that they find it very difficult to "keep" a partner. Many have also lost jobs or failed to obtain promotions because of their symptoms -- although the major impact is usually on relationships because most women with PMDD are able to make special efforts to avoid or reduce interference with their work.
"Women also report that even during the 'non-premenstrual' phases of their cycle they often have a sense of dread and helplessness because they anticipate the next period of severe premenstrual problems. They also report being hesitant to plan ahead, feeling bad about the effect their condition has on their family (especially their children), and worrying about the future.
"Women with PMDD are often markedly symptomatic 12 to 14 days of each cycle, year after year after year. The cumulative effects of these repeated symptomatic periods can wreck a woman's life as well as that of her family."