Tag Archives: pms

PMDD and PMS – An Explaination of The Difference

As I mentioned in my post “What Is PMDD”, there are many similarities between PMDD and PMS (or PMT, whatever you like to call it). They are intrinsically linked in symptoms and root causes, but there are significant differences between PMDD and PMS/PMT.

One reason to really nail this down is because PMDD is so often confused with PMS as to make many women with this very real condition feel like they are overreacting. This is a very sad state of affairs when one has PMDD because you already feel terrible and to have someone dismiss your problems like you are some hysterical women rather than one with a hormonal condition is appalling.

The simple answer is that PMDD is PMS amplified to extreme degrees so that it causes disorders that cripple a woman physically, emotional, and socially – but only for the last week or so of the menstrual cycle.

For example:
PMDD Diagnostic Test

  • On PMS you might get irritable and grumpy sometimes – On PMDD you might fly into a rage with hardly any provocation.
  • On PMS you may be a little down and sad – On PMDD you burst into crying fits over small things, or even nothing at all!
  • On PMS you might feel a little bit tired and overwhelmed – On PMDD you might have what would be classed as clinical depression for this period.
  • On PMS You might get some headaches and cramps – On PMDD you get extreme migraines and cramps that prevent you from living life to the fullest, or even to half way full!

This is just an example of the extremities that many women suffer when comparing PMDD and PMS. 7-10 days of this is a massive chunk out of every single month and should not have to be put up with by women and their loved ones. This is a condition that can be beaten by focusing not on drugs to mask the symptoms, but by tackling the root hormonal causes that bring them about.

PMDD Symptoms – Signs of PMDD

PMDD Diagnostic TestThere are many PMDD symptoms to be aware of, but as I mentioned in my previous post the main signs of PMDD are linked to the dysphoria that accompanies this disorder and defines it. That being said, not every woman suffers from the same set of symptoms. Some experience some aspects much worse than others, and other still do not suffer a great many of these symptoms. There is however a clear clinical definition that says you needs a certain amount of these symptoms of various sorts to be proven to be suffering from PMDD.

Personally, even if you do not have every single one of these symptoms, but you are close – I would treat yourself as having this condition. Not because I want to scare you, but if you take it seriously then there are ways to relieve these symptoms and eventually cure PMDD for good anyway.

Here is a list of common symptoms with special reference to the emotional turmoil aspects that are the real problems of this condition:


  • Depression, feelings of despair and hopelessness, generally lower and sadder moods.
  • Feeling totally out of control of your life and/or completely overwhelmed by life and its burdens
  • Sudden mood swings, often with angry outbursts, or sudden onsets of crying
  • Feeling on edge, anxious and panicky
  • Lacking interest in the usual things that gives you drive and motivation (school, work, hobbies etc)
  • Anger, irritability and interpersonal conflicts
  • Marked appetite change, overeating, food cravings.
  • Focus is lacking and concentration fades quickly
  • Fatigue, tiredness, loss of energy.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too little, or too much)

Physical symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle or joint aches and pains.

Now, to make sure these are symptoms of PMDD and not other underlying disorders, you must get these signs of PMDD in the last week of your menstrual cycle, and they MUST begin to fade fast after your period comes. If you are suffering these things in the first 2-3 weeks of your menstrual cycle then you might have a completely different mood disorder. Or you might have another disorder AND PMDD.

As always, take note of these things and see your doctor to confirm whatever problems you might be having, but makes sure you do your homework and investigate what symptoms you do have, and when you have them too.

What Is PMDD & Should You Be Worried If You Have It?

If you want to know what is PMDD, then you have probably got some idea of this condition aleady as this disorder is not as well known as it perhaps should be. Perhaps you have an inkling of some of the symptoms and see these things in yourself, or in loved ones and want to be more informed about what to expect, and what you can also do about it! Whatever your situation is, this blog is here to answer some of these questions and to start with you need to know the basics of what PMDD is!

PMDD stands for PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder which is quite a mouthful to say and can be a little confusing. We all know what premenstrual is, and what a disorder is, but what does dysphoric mean? That was the first question I had when researching this condition.

Dysphoric – An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease.

This is the key point in PMDD, it is a disorder characterised by a set of emotional reactions during the premenstrual phase. There are many other symptoms of PMDD but when it is being classified it comes down to the psycholgical/emotional state that you entr during this period (and you must recover from this state once you start bleeding too).

One way to look at this is as a form of extremely bad PMS/PMT. I do not like to class it as such without explaining this though because just saying it is bad PMS diminishes just how dangerous and hurtful PMDD really is.

Think the difference between feeling sad and down – compared to clinical depression where you can hardly even get out of bed or eat. THAT is the sort of major difference between these menstrual problems are. However they are linked because many of the symptoms are the same, just elevated, and have more impact on your life with PMDD.

What this all adds up to is that PMDD is a disorder that happens in the last week of your menstrual cycle. This disorder is characterised by serious mood swings, depression, anxiety, feeligns of unease and even of absolute rage and anger too. There are also phsyical symptoms of cramping, lack of appetite or food cravings and many other things. These symptoms all fade very quickly once you start bleeding as your body and mind return to normal.

PMDD Diagnostic TestIf you suffer from PMDD then one week out of every month becomes a nightmare for yourself and those close to you and for the most part I bet you do not really know why. The base cause of this disorder is a jumble of different horm,onal problems all caused by the changes in your body before your period. TYhis is then made worse by a number of other factors in your life that have hormonal effects. The knowck on effects of this hormonal imbalance cause all of these symptoms and completely screw up the mood balancing chemicals in your brain.

So if you think this is you, or soemone you know – it is not just PMS, it is a much worse disorder that can be life wrecking.