Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among women diagnosed withPMDD— a cyclic, hormone-based mood disorder, commonly considered a severe and disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Please read each question carefully and indicate whether you have experienced these thoughts or symptoms in the week leading up to your period for most of your menstrual cycles in the past year.

You should only answer yes to a question if the symptom is present in the week before your period, starts to improve within a few days after the onset, and becomes minimal or absent in the weeks following.

This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider or doctor. But Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment.

Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.

Before the onset of your period, do you experience a fluctuating mood, notable feelings of sadness or hopelessness, irritability, and anger, and/or become extremely anxious?
In the week before your period, do you notice that you lack interest in activities you usually enjoy, such as going out with friends, your hobbies, or your job?
Prior to menstruation, do you find it more difficult to concentrate or focus on tasks?
Do you feel lethargic or get tired more easily in the week leading up to your period in comparison to the rest of your cycle?
When you are due on your period, are you more likely to indulge in overeating or crave certain foods?
Many women with PMDD report experiencing hypersomnia or insomnia before menses. Do you find yourself to be either excessively sleepy or unable to sleep during this time?
Before your period begins, do you feel overwhelmed or out of control?
在月经前一周,你雄厚ce physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, bloating, or weight gain?
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What are the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

There are many different symptoms of this health condition, a cyclic, hormone-based mood disorder. "A woman will have breast tenderness, fatigue, bloating, headaches, and mood swings,” says Maureen Whelihan, MD, a gynecologist in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Women with PMDD may also experience lasting irritability or anger that can affect other people, feelings of despair and sadness, and even thoughts of suicide, and feeling out of control. Physical symptoms can include cramps and joint or muscle pain. You may feel tired or low-energy, and have trouble sleeping. Food cravings and binge eating, panic attacks, and a lack of interest in daily activities and relationships also can occur with PMDD.1

What does premenstrual dysphoric disorder feel like?

If you have ever experienced premenstrual syndrome (PMS), it is kind of like having PMS symptoms — you may experience irritability, anxiety, angry outbursts, headaches, bloating, and weight gain. Some women experience changes in appetite and abdominal pain. PMDD is like this, but much more intense.2 PMDD is basically a severe form of PMS that affects just a small percentage of women. Some women with PMDD can be effectively treated with medicines calledselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medicines also are used to treat depression.2

What causes premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

It is not clear what causes PMDD, though it is believed that hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle play a role.Serotonin, a brain chemical, also may play a role in this health condition. Serotonin levels change during a woman’s menstrual cycle, and some women may just be more sensitive to these changes.1 Generally, the progesterone your body makes causes a slowing down of the gut, and this contributes to certain symptoms of PMDD, Dr. Maureen Whelihan says: “The drop in hormones may contribute to the mood swings, which can range from anger to tearfulness to both,” she explains. “This ‘cycling’ of the hormones may play a role but the exact cause is unknown.”

What is the difference between PMS and PMDD?

PMDD is similar to PMS, but it is more serious. You may need medicine or some other treatment to help with your symptoms when you have PMDD. The symptoms of PMDD start a week or more before your period, and they don’t go away until two or three days after your period.1 While as many as 85% of women experience PMS, only about 5% of women are diagnosed with PMDD, according to one study.3

Who can diagnose me with PMDD?

“PMDD is often self-recognized by the patient but can be validated by her OB/GYN, primary care doctor or a psychiatrist,” Dr. Maureen Whelihan says. “Most women feel more comfortable (and more 'normal') discussing it with their OB/GYN.”

Your doctor will speak with you about your health history and do a physical examination. You will be told to keep a calendar of your symptoms, which will help your doctor diagnose PMDD. Additionally, you must have five or more symptoms of PMDD, including one mood-related symptom, in order to be diagnosed with PMDD.1

How long should women monitor symptoms to confirm a PMDD diagnosis?

“It generally becomes apparent over a couple of months,” Dr. Maureen Whelihan says. “But the diagnosis in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Volume 5) requires that it be present for six months to differentiate it from PMS, which is less severe.”

PMDD is different from depression, though, Dr. Whelihan explains: “With PMDD you must have at least one good week a month, and this does not occur with depression. Also, PMDD responds quickly to an SSRI, but depression can take four to six weeks to respond.”

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Last Updated: Dec 6, 2021