Treating PMDD

Identifying The Symptoms of PMDD

Posted on: February 8, 2011

PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder as is its full name is a condition that affects an estimated 5-10% of women at least in the western world where we have enough data to judge these things. Only recently has this condition been accepted as a real disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in fact which is a relief to many women who suffered with it and were ridiculed for thinking they had more than just a bad case of PMS.

PMDD is in fact related to PMS but the symptoms of PMDD are so extreme that it goes beyond what most women feel around the end of their menstrual cycle to become something much, much worse. The symptoms of PMDD are:

  • A greatly depressed mood with feelings of hopelessness and often self deprecating thoughts.
  • Severe anxiety often with panic attacks but sometimes just feeling on edge all the time.
  • Sudden feelings of sadness, tearful outbursts and a bad reaction to any slight criticism.
  • Anger and irritability that leads to increased conflicts with friends, co-workers and loved ones.
  • Decreased interest in usual hobbies and activities
  • Difficulty in concentrating on even simple tasks.
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Greatly increased appetite or a sudden craving for a certain food.
  • Sleeping too much, or on the other end; insomnia.
  • A feeling or sense of being overwhelmed and out of control of things
  • Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating, or weight gain

Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms of PMDD of course, but if you have a number of them especially the ones in the first 5 points then you are a candidate for PMDD. Also, these symptoms must occur in the last week of your menstrual cycle and ease shortly after the onset of bleeding. Having these symptoms in the first 2-3 weeks of the menstrual cycle might indicate a separate issue which you should also look into.

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4 Responses to "Identifying The Symptoms of PMDD"

This is very informative & I am glad I found this site. I was curious as to what other causes one would have to look into if they are getting these sypmtoms 2-3 weeks into the menstrual cycle.

Hi Sunnie,

If some of these are well into your cycle there may be other underlying causes. Mental disorders such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders are all quite real and can effect you.

If you have a condition like this then you are probably likely to also have PMDD and can make it worse.

This might still be linked to hormonal causes so treating PMDD can also help treat these other conditions, but they might also have other root causes as well.

How r u?i hav premenstrual dysphoric disorder i didnt realize how serious it was until i startd bcoming suicidal and failing my studies,wat is the best advice u can ofa me?

Hi Emmy,
The best advice I think you need right now is to get the help of people around you who care for you especially if you are having suicidal thoughts.
I do not like drugs for PMDD treatment but if absolutely necessary then do that – but more important is changing your lifestyle, your nutrition, and the way you think.
Without knowing your lifestyle and nutrition cannot give you exact advice apart form do your research and make sure you plan it out well.
write down your symptoms, when they happen and so forth and make a plan to combat them with help from your friends and family. Do not be embarrassed about it either, everyone has their own problems and opening up to get help will yield rewards!

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