Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) - Causes

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What causes PMDD?

Although the precise cause of PMS and PMDD is unknown, it is believed that these conditions result from the interaction of hormones produced by the ovaries at different stages in the menstrual cycle (such as estrogen and progesterone) with the neurotransmitters (chemicals that serve as messengers) in the brain. While the ovarian hormone levels are normal in women with PMDD, it is likely that the brain's response to these normally-fluctuating hormone levels is abnormal.

Most evidence suggests that PMS and PMDD do not result from any specific personality traits or personality types. While stress clearly is associated with PMS and PMDD, it is not considered to be a cause of PMDD. Rather, the associated stress is more likely to be a result of the PMS or PMDD symptoms. Vitamin or other nutritional deficiencies have not been shown to cause PMS or PMDD.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Annie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I am 33, married and have a 2 year old. I finally spoke to my doctor about my severe mood changes during what I thought was PMS premenstrual syndrome). She prescribed fluoxetine. Once I started researching the drug and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), it was like someone put what I was feeling on paper. Almost every symptom was present and I was lashing out at my husband and daughter, followed by periods of deep guilt. I am normally overly laid back and very outgoing and upbeat, so the severe switch takes my life by storm. Mental illness does run in my family along with Crohn"s disease (I also have this) and I have very, very low blood pressure, even while I was pregnant. This is a new diagnosis for me and scary, but now I know and can help my family understand and take action against it.

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Comment from: Ania, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

I have every symptom of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). I have battled with myself and this all my life. I thought it was me, my fault, me being a horrible, vile, bipolar person. Doctors to quickly give us anti-depressants, I absolutely have so little respect for doctors. I've tried all my life to help myself through diet and exercise, read all the self-help books on how to be a better person. It has taken me this long to figure out it is PMDD. I am angry and upset that my whole life has been dictated by this. I have left jobs, relationships, had arguments with family, if I had charted it all my life all of the above would have been in my last two weeks of my cycle. As soon as my period or the second half is over, I am like a different person, I look different, and the dark cloud ascends. It is the most debilitating condition. I have absolutely no control over my thoughts, miserable thoughts, and angry, pessimistic, and suicidal thoughts. I am now 48 and peri menopausal/menopausal and I don't know if it will get better or worse. I am now on day 20, I have about 10 days more of this hideous condition, this month the negative thoughts/feelings/symptoms started on the 12th, so now I have approximately 8 to 10 days of being ok.

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