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What is PMDD?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is related to your period (menstrual cycle). Every month during the week or two before you get your period, you might notice some changes in your body and the way you think and feel.

You may have heard of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). PMDD is more severe than PMS and can have a serious impact on your life.

PMDD can make it difficult to work, socialise and have healthy relationships. In some cases, it can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

Some people with PMDD find it hard to explain what they're going through, and can find it hard to open up about what they are feeling.  It can be difficult when others don’t take it seriously or say things like "it is just that time of the month" or it is just something all women go through."

It is important to understand that PMDD can have a large effect on someone's life. The symptoms are very real, and can be very, very difficult to cope with.

Need help now?

If you're experiencing suicidal feelings and are worried you may act on them, contact the mental health crisis team on 0800 50 50 50. If you are in danger and need help right now, call 111. Or you can go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Signs of PMDD

If you have PMDD, you might find that you experience some of symptoms listed below. But it's different for different people. You might also feel other things that are not listed below.

In your feelings and thinking

  • mood swings (sudden or intense change in mood)

  • feeling upset or tearful

  • less interest in activities you normally enjoy

  • feeling hopeless

  • suicidal feelings

  • feeling angry or irritable

  • feeling anxious

  • feeling tense or on edge

  • feeling overwhelmed or out of control

  • difficulty concentrating.

In your body

  • breast tenderness or swelling

  • pain in your muscles and joints

  • headaches

  • feeling bloated (a feeling that your tummy is over full or stretched)

  • changes in your appetite, such as overeating or having specific food cravings

  • sleep problems

  • lack of energy

In your relationships

  • increased anger or conflict with people around you

  • becoming very upset if you feel that others are neglecting or rejecting you

Some people find that one of their monthly symptoms is thoughts about self-harm or suicide. This can feel very distressing.

What can I do about PMDD

There are a number of different treatments for PMDD that have been found to work for some people. You and your doctor should decide your treatment together.

You can find more information about PMDD here.