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PMS vs PMDD: What's the Difference?

Updated: Jan 11

Did you know that 1 in every 20 women in the United States has severe PMS? These women deal with premenstrual syndrome or PMS, a set of symptoms common during the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a subset of women suffers from an extreme form of PMS known as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) which can cause suicidal tendencies, hormonal changes, and physical problems such as bloating and cramps.

So If you are suffering from PMS every month maybe it is PMDD and you are not aware of it. Let's find out the differences.

pms vs pmdd

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a range of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the days leading up to their menstrual period. PMS is thought to be caused by hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, but the exact cause is not fully understood.

PMS is not a disease and does not pose any serious health risks, but it can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life for some women. PMS symptoms usually resolve after the start of the menstrual period.

What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that is characterized by intense physical and emotional symptoms that can significantly disrupt daily life. PMDD affects around 5% of reproductive-aged women and is diagnosed when PMS symptoms are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, or relationships.

pms vs pmdd

How do I know if Ive got PMDD?

If you are asking yourself If you have PMDD here is how to find out:

PMDD is a serious condition that can affect your life in a major way. If you're experiencing symptoms of PMDD, it's important to talk to your doctor about what treatment options are available.

The best way to know if you have PMDD is by talking with your doctor and having them perform an evaluation. They'll be able to determine whether or not you have the condition and discuss treatment options with you if necessary.

Symptoms of PMDD and PMS

If you're having some symptoms of PMDD or PMS, here are some of the most common ones. I want to remind you that it's not just a feeling. It's a condition. There is help available, so if you're experiencing these scenarios, please don't hesitate to seek help.

pms symptoms

PMDD symptoms

Common PMDD symptoms include mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, breast tenderness, and physical symptoms such as bloating and abdominal cramps.

These symptoms may be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities and relationships. PMDD symptoms typically begin a week or two before your period and go away within a few days after your period starts.

PMS symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to a woman's menstrual period. These symptoms may include bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. Some women may also experience acne flare-ups, food cravings, and changes in appetite or weight. PMS symptoms can range from mild to severe and can affect a woman's daily life.


Depression with PMS

While many women experience some mild symptoms of PMS, some women may experience more severe symptoms, including depression. PMS depression can range from mild to severe and may include symptoms such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability.

It is important for women who are experiencing PMS depression to speak with a healthcare provider, as there are treatment options available that can help manage these symptoms. It is also important for women to practice self-care during this time, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

Do you need to use an anti-depressant for PMS and PMDD?

The treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the impact they have on a woman's daily life. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet may be sufficient to manage mild PMS symptoms.

However, for women with more severe symptoms, medication may be necessary.

Antidepressants are one type of medication that may be used to treat PMS or PMDD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly used antidepressants for PMS and PMDD. These medications work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is involved in mood regulation.