What is PMDD, and is it possible that you are experiencing it?

Unveil PMDD: Recognize symptoms, seek support, and reclaim joy. You're not alone in this battle.

What is PMDD, and is it possible that you are experiencing it?
Denise (Dj) Coger
Denise (Dj) Coger
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LSWAIC (she, they)

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a particularly severe manifestation of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMDD is characterized by intense feelings of depression, anxiety, or irritability that typically manifest 7 to 10 days before the onset of menstruation and persist for the initial few days of the menstrual cycle. It is advisable to consider the possibility of PMDD if you consistently encounter overwhelming emotional challenges in the form of the symptoms outlined below.

  • Sadness and crying
  • Mood swings
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Anxiety, tension, on edge or keyed up
  • Anger or irritability (Hantsoo, 2019)

There are also mental and physical symptoms associated with PMDD, including

  1. Decreased interest in usual activities
  2. Subjective difficulty in concentration
  3. Lethargy, easily fatigued, or lack of energy
  4. Marked change in appetite; overeating or specific food cravings
  5. Hypersomnia or insomnia
  6. A sense of being overwhelmed or out of control
  7. Physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling; joint or muscle pain, a sensation of “bloating” or weight gain”. (Reid, 2017)

Do you consistently experience five or more of these symptoms or encounter significant challenges with any of these symptoms from one to two weeks before your period begins until one to two days after it starts? Do these symptoms have a detrimental impact on a specific aspect of your life, such as work, school, social engagements, or meaningful relationships?

If you answered affirmatively to the preceding questions, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) may be a potential diagnosis and underlying cause of your difficulties.

To unravel this bewildering mystery and finally receive the validation and support you desperately deserve, you must embark on a journey of self-discovery. You must meticulously track these soul-crushing symptoms for a minimum of two menstrual cycles and present this invaluable information to a trusted healthcare provider.

Don't let PMDD steal your joy and rob you of your ability to live life to the fullest. Seek help, seek support, and most importantly, seek understanding. You deserve to find peace and healing amid this emotional battlefield. Don't suffer in silence any longer - reach out and grab hold of the hope that lies just beyond the horizon. You are not alone and worthy of love and support in the face of this insidious adversary.

Below are resources to help you get started including a PMDD symptom tracker Google form from IAPMD and a symptom tracker app accessible via Android and iOS phones.




Hantsoo, Dr. L. (2019). What is PMDD? premenstrual dysphoric disorder. IAPMD. https://iapmd.org/about-pmdd

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2019, November 19). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd

Reid, R. L. (2017). Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (Formerly Premenstrual Syndrome). National Library of Medicine. https://doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279045/