Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome inflicting 3% to 9% of menstrual women. If you experience severe PMS symptoms, you may want to know if you actually suffer from PMDD.
The common symptoms of PMS:
1. Irritability or persistent anger
2. Tension, anxiety, feeling “on edge”
3. Feeling depressed, blue, hopeless, worthless or guilty
4. Mood swings
5. Feeling out of control
6. Decreased interest in usual activities
7. Difficulty concentrating
8. Food cravings or changes in appetite
9. Fatigue, lack of energy
10. Sleep problems
11. Physical symptoms such as cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, headache, joint or muscle pain, or weight gain
To be diagnosed with PMDD the following criteria must be met, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association:
A. In most of your menstrual cycles during the past year, five (or more) of the above symptoms were present for most of the time.
B. Those symptoms must have occurred 1-2 weeks before your menstrual periods started, and disappeared by the end of your periods.
C. You must have experienced at least one symptom marked as #1, 2, 3 or 4 above.
D. Those symptoms must have severely interfered or caused problems in your day-to-day activities or relationships.
E. The disturbance was not merely an exacerbation of the symptoms of another disorder, such as major depression disorder, panic disorder, dysthymia disorder or a personality disorder (although it might have been superimposed on any of these disorders).
F. Criteria A, B, C and D must be confirmed by prospective daily ratings during at least two consecutive menstrual cycles.
I also encourage you to record your symptoms daily, for at least two consecutive menstruation cycles. It will help you get a basic understanding of your own PMS/PMDD issues.