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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome, affects about 5 percent of women of childbearing age, including adolescent girls. Teen Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder can occur in tandem with mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. Therefore, proper assessment is necessary to accurately diagnose Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder in teenagers.

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is an extreme form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Both PMDD and PMS have physical and emotional symptoms. However, what characterizes PMDD vs. PMS are the intense and debilitating mood shifts that can accompany PMDD. As a result, PMDD symptoms are typically severe enough to interfere with work, school, and relationships.

 Symptoms of PMDD, previously known as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, usually start the week before a woman begins menstruating and last for the first few days of her period. Mental health symptoms of PMDD may include mood swings, depression and feelings of hopelessness, anger and irritability, panic attacks, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. Moreover, physical symptoms may include fatigue, changes in sleep and appetite, dizziness, cramp and bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, joint pain, and hot flashes.

Women with a personal or family history of depression, postpartum depression, or other mood disorders may be at greater risk for developing PMDD. Furthermore, studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps control mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Hormonal changes can reduce serotonin levels. Consequently, PMDD treatment often includes antidepressants and/or hormone therapy. Diet, exercise, and nutrition are also being investigated as potential approaches for alleviating symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Sources: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Health Publications