Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

What is it?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a disorder that affects around 5% of women when in their premenstrual period. The symptoms include severe feelings of fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, feelings of loss of control, irritability, and insomnia to name a few, that all arrive before a woman’s period (Freeman, 2003). The symptoms are so great that they have the ability to affect an individual’s life by having a negative effect on their relationships with others, their ability to do usual activities or perform at work or school. For PMDD to be diagnosed, a woman needs to experience 5 symptoms for at least 2 consecutive cycles. It differs from premenstrual syndrome in the way that it impairs an individual’s ability to function.


For those that suffer with PMDD, some lifestyle changes can be trialled before it is necessary to be put on medication. It is suggested that a reduced intake of caffeine and sugar may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of PMDD, alongside taking vitamin B tablets. If these do not show an effect, psychotropic medication is usually prescribed (Grady-Weliky, 2003). By using Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) symptoms have been shown to decrease for women with the disorder after just three cycles. If this proves to be unsuccessful, hormonal therapies can be trialled instead. Oral contraceptive pills can be taken and have reduced the symptoms of a depressive mood and irritability for some women in a clinical trial, and also physical symptoms such as bloating (Grady-Weliky, 2003).

woman sleeping

Freeman, E. W. (2003). Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: definitions and diagnosis. Psychoneuroendocrinology28, 25-37

Grady-Weliky, T. A. (2003). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. New England Journal of Medicine348(5), 433-438

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *