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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD)

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Latest revision as of 08:04, 16 June 2012

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD)


This occurs in about 3 to 5 percent of women who have crossed puberty. This includes severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability and emotional distress. They may start during the last phase of menstrual cycle and continue until the onset of the menses. The symptoms only improve past the start of the menses after few days. Though they are similar to premenstrual syndrome symptoms but are much sever and frequent. The effect can be to an extent that mutual relationships and everyday life is affected negatively. Women having a family history of such problems are more likely to develop Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.


The exact causes that give rise such symptoms are unknown. Some studies have looked into the hormonal changes in the body and their effects on mood swing and anxiety. As a result of these studies, it has been established that as the levels of sex related hormone like progesterone, estrogen and testosterone declines during menstrual cycle, the severity of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder increases. Similarly a decrease in serotonin also triggers depression and mood swings during this phase. Other than these the onset of such symptoms is also genetic in nature.

Signs and Symptoms

These symptoms include both physical and emotional changes. The psychological symptoms of the hormone levels going down are increased anxiety levels and getting tensed easily. The women become easily irritated and even get angry more often on petty matters. She will feel utterly sad and hopeless even experiencing suicidal thoughts. There may be panic attacks and an urge to cry out. With persistent mood swings during this phase there are increased chances of domestic and interpersonal conflicts. Also she does not feel any interest in carrying our everyday errands and her long time hobbies. Interest in friends and relationships also declines. These are accompanied by lowered energy levels and getting tired easily. Women may also experience difficulty in concentrating over matters. To add to these sleep pattern gets disturbed too.

Physically the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder may bring cramping and aching in legs, muscles and joints. Bloating and breast tenderness are also common. Onset of headaches is common too.

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