Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

(Also Known As: Pmdd, PMS, Premenstrual Syndrome, Dysphoria, Mood Disorder)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a condition characterized by changes in the mood of a woman as well as the manifestation of physical symptoms associated with her menstrual cycle that can bring about a significant impact to her quality of life. However, while PMS can lead to considerable distress on the part of the individual, there is a tendency for some women to experience even more severe symptoms related to their menstrual cycle. This severe form of PMS is what is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 1

Unlike premenstrual syndrome that takes place a week before the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle, premenstrual dysphoric disorder is so severe that it can totally disrupt the daily activities of a woman. There have been no clinical studies that have been conducted on premenstrual dysphoric disorder and more studies are needed in order to determine the causes and treatments of the condition. In fact, according to a survey spearheaded by the Society for Women’s Health Research based in Washington D.C., 84 percent of the participants, including those experiencing severe PMS symptoms were not aware of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 2

It could be embarrassing for a woman to consult a doctor about premenstrual dysphoric disorder and this is proven by the fact that one-fourth of individuals suffering from severe PMS have never consulted their doctors.

Hippocrates described a set of conditions that took place before the arrival of menses wherein women are subject to suicidal tendencies and other severe symptoms. In the past, a scientist described fifteen women suffering from severe premenstrual symptoms and derived the word premenstrual tension syndrome. However, premenstrual dysphoric syndrome is an entirely new concept. 3

In 1987, late luteal phase dysphoric disorder (LLPDD) was identified in DSM-III-R. The American Psychiatric Association changed the name LLPDD to PMDD in DSM-IV-TR. They have similar criteria with only a single item being added. Originally, premenstrual dysphoric disorder was considered as a depressive disorder not otherwise specified. However, in October 1998, there was a consensus among experts that PMDD was a distinct condition.

Could You Have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Topics

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