pms vs pmddMany people wonder at what the difference between PMS and PMDD really is as the conditions are both quite misunderstood. PMS Vs PMDD can be described quite simply in some ways but this can leave you feeling a little short changed. So first of all let’s look at the simple version followed by the longer more in depth version.

So, simply put, PMDD is basically PMS but MUCH more severe in regards to its symptoms and effects on your life.

Now many women will of course have various degrees of severity of PMS so there must be a line drawn in the sand to what a full disorder is and is not. This is what a few years ago the American Psychiatric Association classified PMDD as a proper disorder in its view and set down a few guidelines on what constitutes PMDD over PMS. The following illustrates this:

At least five of these symptoms must be present during the last week of the menstrual cycle, they must start to ease within a few days of menses onset, and they must be absent in the first week after menstruation.  At least one of the five symptoms must be one of the first four criteria on the list.

  • Markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts
  • Marked anxiety, tension, feelings of being “keyed up” or “on edge”
  • Marked affective lability (e.g., feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection)
  • Persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts
  • Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies)
  • Subjective sense of difficulty in concentrating
  • Lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy
  • Marked change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia
  • A subjective sense of being overwhelmed or out of control
  • Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating, or weight gain

In addition to having five of the symptoms listed above, a patient must also have these symptoms to the degree that they interfere with work, school, or social activities and relationships and they must not be symptoms of an underlying disorder.  These symptoms must occur for at least two consecutive menstrual cycles as well before a definitive diagnosis can be made.

Now while this is quite a strict set of criteria you might be wondering if you do not meet these standards but still have PMS to such a severe level it is close – do you have PMDD? Well really it does not matter, if you are being laid low because of problems in your menstrual cycle you need help no matter what classification you have.

In this case, the PMDD treatment miracle will help you with severe PMS or PMDD as they are the same thing. The difference is simply in that the medical community must draw a line somewhere just as they do with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and more.

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