Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) - Experience

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What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can be considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Both PMS and PMDD are characterized by unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms that occur in the second half of a woman's menstrual cycle, most commonly in the days preceding the menstrual period. Physical symptoms such as bloatiung, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint pain; food cravings, mood swings or frequent crying, panic attacks, fatigue, mood changes, irritability, and trouble focusing are among the most common symptoms, yet other symptomslike anxiety and trouble sleeping have been reported. PMS symptoms may be troubling and unpleasant. PMDD may cause severe, debilitating symptoms that interfere with a woman's ability to function.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that at least 85 ercent of menstruating women have at least one PMS symptom as part of their monthly cycle. PMS is much more common than PMDD. You must have 5 or more of the symptoms listed above to be diagnosed with PMDD.

Biologic, psychological, environmental, and social factors all seem to play a part in PMDD. It is important to note that PMDD is not the fault of the woman suffering from it or the result of a "weak" or unstable personality. It is also not something that is "all in the woman' head." Rather, PMDD is a medical illness that impacts only 3% to 8% of women. Fortunately, it can be treated by a health care professional with behavioral and pharmaceutical options.

PMDD has been previously medically referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder.

Return to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

See what others are saying

Comment from: msmiller, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

My PMDD is horrible! I have all kinds of symptoms ranging from really bad cramps that feel like labor pains, to nausea, bloating, fatigue, joint pain, back pain, headaches, mood swings, depression, etc. My doctor prescribed Zoloft which was like a miracle drug for me at first. When I first started to take Zoloft I would literally have no symptoms, my period would just "show up" with no warning but it doesn't seem to work for me as well as it did when I first started taking it.

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Comment from: yaya, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am extremely confused with my PMDD. When the time is really near my periods (one week before and a few days after) I became aggressive, sensitive, crying a lot, hurting myself and the loved one, my chest feels like it wants to burst out, I only can think about the negative things. My husband doesn't really understand what I'm going through. He always said that I am a person with a lot of drama and a person that can't receive advice or criticism. But actually I'm not! I really suffer from my emotional disturbance.

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