What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?
Symptoms of PMDD
Other Resources
Trending Articles

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Many women may experience transient physical and emotional changes around the time of their period1. These symptoms are usually mild and tolerable but when it becomes uncontrollable and debilitating, it may interfere with a woman's quality of life. The cause of PMDD is not clear but underlying depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders are common in both PMS and PMDD.

Premenstrual Syndrome, or "PMS", occurs typically before a woman's menstrual cycle. PMS is common and affects 30-80% of women of reproductive age1. If symptoms are more severe and begin to intefere with a woman's daily life, it could be Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is depression that is tied to a woman's menstrual cycle and is sometimes a disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome other known as PMS. The mood changes in PMDD are much more severe and can disrupt social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. Learn more here. 

Signs and Symptoms of PMDD

  • Anxiety or tension
  • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
  • Increased depressed mood
  • Extreme moodiness
  • Mood swings
  • Marked irritability or anger
  • Sensitivity to rejection
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sudden sadness or tearfulness


Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed to reduce symptoms of PMDD. You can take SSRIs all month or only in the interval between ovulation and the start of your period. Speak to your healthcare provider to make the best decision. 

Birth control pills: Birth control pills with no pill-free interval may reduce PMS and PMDD symptoms for some women. 

Diet/lifestyle changes: Exercising regularly can reduce premenstrual symptoms. Reducing caffeine intake, avoiding alcohol and smoking can also ease symptoms. 

Other Resources

Trending Articles

1. PMS and PMDD. (2018) -

Educational Resources
Tips & Strategies from our Member Experts and Public Community
Block reference
Dr. Widge presented at ADAA’s 2023 conference on how he believes “mental disorders are brain…
Thursday, May 18 - Join child and adolescent anxiety experts, Emily Bilek, PhD and Debra Kissen,…
Due to the lack of awareness and understanding when people get (panic attacks) for the first time,…