- PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It is the more severe
form of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). Like PMS, PMDD usually occurs the week
before the onset of menstruation and disappears a few days after. PMDD is
characterized by severe monthly mood swings and physical symptoms that
interfere with everyday life, especially a woman's relationships with her
family and friends. PMDD symptoms go far beyond what are considered normal
or manageable premenstrual symptoms.
- PMDD affects 3 to 5 percent of menstruating women in the United
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*,
in order to make the diagnosis of PMDD, five or more of the following symptoms
must occur during the week or two before the menstrual period and dissipate
a few days after the onset of the menstrual period (during most menstrual cycles
in the past year):
- Depressed mood
- Mood swings
- Decreased interest in normal activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Marked change in appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Sense of being overwhelmed
- Physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness and bloating
- One or more of these symptoms must be depressed mood, tension,
mood swings or irritability.
- Symptoms must significantly interfere with everyday activities or
- Symptoms are not an exacerbation of another disorder.
- All of the above should be confirmed during at least two consecutive
Click here for more information on PMDD.
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* American Psychiatric
Association, Washington D.C., 1994:715-718. (Fourth Edition)
Created: 6/21/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.