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Could You Have PMDD? 11 Signs you May Have It.

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

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Do your periods make you feel "crazy"?

  • Do you feel like your menstrual cycle is negatively impacting your life?

  • Do you feel as though your cycles are more problematic than others'?

  • Do you feel out of control, depressed, and anxious prior to your period?

  • Do you feel as though you spend half of your life just barely hanging on, and the other half picking up the pieces?

It's possible that you one of the 1 in 20 menstruators that suffers from PMDD.

What is PMDD, and how is it different from PMS?

You've probably heard of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is a collection of symptoms that many menstruators experience prior to their period.

These symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness, cramping, food cravings, and feeling more emotional than usual. The majority (75-90%) of menstruators experience symptoms leading up to their period.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), however, is a severe negative reaction to changes in hormones prior to menstruation. It affects 5-10% of menstruators, about 1 in 20. (I use the word 'menstruators' to reflect the fact that not all menstruators are women; those who were assigned female at birth and who now identify otherwise can also suffer from PMDD).

PMDD is a cyclical, hormone-based mood disorder. It is generally triggered or made worse by events such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, and menopause. It has severe symptoms that are both physical and mental/emotional.

What separates PMS from PMDD is the degree of severity. Someone with PMS may find that they tear up at a sad movie, whereas someone with PMDD may experience intrusive suicidal thoughts. In fact, 30% of those with PMDD make a suicide attempt in their lifetime.

The criteria for PMDD includes significant impairment in all areas of life, including relationships, school, and/or work.

To give you an idea of how much this disorder affects those who suffer from it, the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) surveyed those with PMDD in 2018 and reported the following findings:

  • 16.8% reported having lost a job due to PMDD

  • 30% reported having made at least