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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): The Severe Form of PMS


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects approximately 3-8% of women of reproductive age. 

The condition is characterised by emotional and physical symptoms that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life.


PMDD symptoms are similar to those of PMS, but they are more severe and can include:

  • Severe mood swings, such as depression, anxiety, and irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Muscle and joint pain

PMDD symptoms typically occur in the week or two before menstruation and improve within a few days after the start of menstruation. Women with PMDD may find that their symptoms interfere with their daily life, including work, school, and relationships.

Causes of PMDD

The exact cause of PMDD is unknown, but it is thought to be related to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. PMDD is more common in women with a history of depression, and researchers believe that changes in neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin, may also contribute to the development of the condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment of PMDD

To diagnose this condition, a doctor will usually take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to rule out other conditions. The doctor may also ask the patient to keep a symptom diary to track their symptoms over several menstrual cycles.

Treatments typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy. Lifestyle changes may include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques. Medications used to treat PMDD include antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) may also be helpful for some women with PMDD.

PMDD and Mental Health

This can have a significant impact on a woman’s mental health. The emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, can be particularly challenging to manage. Women with the coniditon may also be at increased risk of developing other mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders.

It is important for women with PMDD to seek help and support from their healthcare provider. With the right treatment, many women with PMDD are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


PMDD is a serious condition that can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. If you are experiencing severe PMS symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options. With the right treatment, many women with the condition are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

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