PMS and PMDD (Women)


What’s the difference between premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome?

Answers from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe, sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Although regular PMS and PMDD both have physical and emotional symptoms, PMDD causes extreme mood shifts that can disrupt your work and damage your relationships.

In both PMDD and PMS, symptoms usually begin seven to 10 days before your period starts and continue for the first few days that you have your period. Both PMDD and PMS may also cause bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, and changes in sleep and eating habits. In PMDD, however, at least one of these emotional and behavioral symptoms stands out:

Sadness or hopelessness
Anxiety or tension
Extreme moodiness
Marked irritability or anger


I’ve often wondered if I have PMDD. I get hit hard when I get my period. When I was on birth control that seemed to help, but I can’t go on it now. I have too many risk factors for a blood clot on it. Thanks for posting this. :sunny: