Do you find yourself experiencing disturbing emotional and physical symptoms right before your menstruation? Do these symptoms disrupt your life and interfere with your normal daily activities and relationships with others? Do these symptoms go away when your period starts or soon afterwards, only to return the following month?
You may be thinking that it’s just PMS, pre-menstrual syndrome, that is so common nowadays, affecting about 75% of menstruating women, that can cause all kinds of unpleasant physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle.
However, if your symptoms are really severe, you may have a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition that is associated with the menstrual cycle in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension right before menstruation. These symptoms are significantly more serious than those frequently associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
What’s the difference between premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?
Both PMDD and PMS share symptoms in common that include depression, anxiety, tension, irritability and moodiness. What is different about PMDD is its severity. Women with PMDD find that it has a very disruptive effect on their lives. You have no patience, can’t concentrate, can’t bear social or professional interactions…You are terrible to be around.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Symptoms
The main symptoms, which can be disabling, include:
- feelings of deep sadness or despair, and suicide ideation
- feelings of intense tension or anxiety
- increased intense sensitivity to rejection or criticism
- panic attacks
- rapid and severe mood swings, bouts of uncontrollable crying
- lasting irritability or anger, increased interpersonal conflicts; typically sufferers are unaware of the impact they have on those close to them
- apathy or disinterest in daily activities and relationships
- difficulty concentrating
- chronic fatigue
- food cravings or binge eating
- insomnia or hypersomnia; sleeping more than usual, or (in a smaller group of sufferers) being unable to sleep
- feeling overwhelmed or feelings of being out of control
- increase or decrease in sex drive
- increased need for emotional closeness
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