What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

| By Shruti Menon |

“Half the month I was extroverted, firing on all cylinders. Then I would hit ovulation. And at that time I became dysfunctional, shy, and withdrawn. It’s like I woke up one day and became a completely different person. And from then until I started menstruating I became utterly dysfunctional. Then I would get my period and I would be fine. And this happened again and again and again.”

What are the causes of PMDD?

The exact causes of PMDD are not known, however, it is considered to be a result of increased sensitivity to the hormones that are released prior to menstruation. If PMDD runs in your family or if there is a history of mood disorders in your family then you are more vulnerable to developing this disorder.

“I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t find the strength to go to lectures – it felt like everything had gone grey, all of the positivity was sucked out of the world. I had extremely neurotic thoughts.”

This brings us to our next question: Why are people talking about PMDD only recently?

The constant dismissal of the experiences of menstruators could have contributed to the fact that PMDD became an official diagnosis only in the year 2011. Menstruators and their experiences are often neglected and this causes menstruators themselves to neglect their health and not seek help. However, it is important for us to know that PMDD is a real disorder and create awareness so that people can reach out for help. 

Are PMS and PMDD the same phenomenon?

People often assume that Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and PMDD are the same, but they are not. While some symptoms are common to both PMS and PMDD, the intensity of the symptoms is more for those who suffer from PMDD. A lot of us with PMS know that we can function even with the symptoms and go on with our day. However, this might not be the case with those who have PMDD as it can affect their functioning. The disorder is capable of disrupting the social, personal, and work life of an individual. 

What are some of the symptoms of PMDD?

Image Credits: Shutterstock

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