Each month, menstruators experience a range of emotions and physical changes that are tied to their menstrual cycle. For many, this time is relatively smooth, but for some, it can be a rollercoaster ride of intense emotional and physical symptoms. One condition that affects a portion of menstruators is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
What is PMDD?
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that goes beyond the typical mood swings and discomfort many menstruators experience before their periods. It affects about 3-8% of menstruating individuals and is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that disrupt daily life.
Unlike PMS, which might cause temporary discomfort, PMDD symptoms are more intense, lasting for several days to two weeks before menstruation and improving shortly after menstruation begins.
Identifying Symptoms of PMDD
PMDD symptoms can vary from person to person, but they generally include:
- Intense mood swings
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Irritability or anger
- Anxiety or tension
- Lack of interest in usual activities
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Appetite changes or unusual food cravings
- Muscle aches and joint pain
What Causes PMDD?
The exact cause of PMDD isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought to be related to the fluctuation of hormones, particularly serotonin, which plays a key role in regulating mood. Menstruators with PMDD might have an increased sensitivity to normal hormonal changes, leading to the extreme symptoms experienced.
If you think you have PMDD, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can accurately diagnose your condition and tailor a treatment plan to fit your specific needs.
Learn more about other menstrual disorders on our blog, The Periodical 📲