Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)




The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than PMS. Symptoms include depression and irritability and physiological concerns such as fatigue, pain, and over eating. It is fortunate that there are medications that successfully manage PMDD symptoms.

Take an online PMDD self-assessment inventory.

Take a PMDD self-assessment inventory. (This is a PDF file. To view it, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. To take the inventory, print the PDF file and fill in your answers.)

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is different from PMS in that its symptoms and impact on relationships and daily activities are more severe. About 10% of all menstruating women have PMDD. Symptoms occur in the last week of the menstrual cycle and usually improve within a few days after menstruation begins. They include:

  • Persistent sadness or depression
  • Marked anxiety, feelings of being “tense” or “on edge”
  • Mood swings often marked by periods of weeping
  • Persistent or marked anger or irritability
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control
  • Flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches, headaches and joint pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Changes in sleep patterns — problems falling and staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite — overeating, lack of appetite or specific food cravings

If you have a number of the above symptoms, you may have PMDD.

The cause of PMDD is not clear. It is common for women who have Depression to have PMDD. However, PMDD also occurs in women who do not have a history of major depression.

The focus of treatment of PMDD is to prevent or minimize symptoms and may include:

  • Drugs taken before or at the onset of your period to ease cramping and breast discomfort.
  • Antidepressants, which can reduce symptoms such as fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
  • Oral contraceptives to stop ovulation and stabilize hormone fluctuations, which reduce mood swings.
  • Nutritional supplements, to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of PMDD.
  • Herbal remedies to reduce irritability, mood swings, anger and headaches associated with PMDD.
  • Regular exercise in a daily routine, and certain dietary changes.

It’s important to review your symptoms with your doctor to determine if symptoms are due to PMDD or some other condition. If you are diagnosed with PMDD, your doctor can recommend specific treatments to help minimize the impact PMDD has on the days you experience symptoms.

Let us help you address your concerns.  

Call Potomac Grove Psychiatry today for an appointment: 301-963-0060.