Menstrual Disorders Pmdd Symptoms

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a set of symptoms that create a debilitating condition for a woman that is far beyond the mood swings and binge eating or food cravings typical of PMS. The symptoms occur only in the time before the menses (menstrual period), when a hormone imbalance is likely.

Although many women experience premenstrual anxiety or even occasional depression associated with their menses, experiencing certain severe PMS symptoms in combination is indicative of PMDD.

How is it Diagnosed?

The DSM-IV is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard text of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. For a PMDD diagnosis a woman must regularly experience five or more of the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV during the premenstrual period, and the symptoms must seriously impair her ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

Keeping a Journal

For a woman with suspected premenstrual dysphoric disorder, keeping a daily journal of mood swings, eating habits (especially binge eating) and other concerns for at least two to three consecutive months is a good idea. This way, you can ensure exactly which days for certain the symptoms are occurring and help your doctor pinpoint the severity of your condition.

In making a diagnosis, a psychiatrist or physician will first investigate other issues that may cause PMDD-type effects, including thyroid problems, hormone imbalance, lupus, or other psychological disturbances such as depression.

Emotional and Psychological Symptoms

  • depression or feelings of hopelessness
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • severe mood swings
  • lack of interest in usual activities
  • lack of energy
  • changes in appetite including binge eating
  • problems with sleeping too much or too little or waking at odd times
  • feeling overwhelmed or out of control.

Physical Symptoms

Some physical discomfort or pain typically accompanies the emotional and psychological ones, including bloating and tenderness in the breast, abdomen or groin area.


Coyier, T. J. (2001-2002). The edge of madness: PMS, PMDD, or bipolar disorder? Retrieved November 2, 2002, from

Medem Medical Library. (Updated 2001). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Retrieved September 9, 2002, from