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Premenstual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a mood disorder that is characterised by emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms that can cause significant distress in women during the luteal phase (between ovulation and menses) of the menstrual cycle.

The symptoms generally improve within a few days after the onset of menses and tend to become less problematic or even absent in the week after menses.

It is not uncommon for any female of reproductive age to experience discomfort or changes in mood but those who suffer premenstrual dysphoric disorder are more likely to experience significant pre-menstrual distress or find it hard to function normally.

The cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is currently unknown but as the symptoms are generally only present during the menstrual cycle it is believed to be caused by sensitivity and fluctuation in the level of sex hormones.

Woman with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder holding her side in pain

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms

The main symptoms associated with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder are:

  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns
  • Joint or muscle pain

Although these symptoms may be common for any female during the menstrual cycle, PMDD symptoms tend to be more severe and are almost always linked to the Luteal phase rather than present across the whole menstrual cycle.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose PMDD, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are said to be suffering from that disorder.

Diagnostic procedures do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.

Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological community.

However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.

Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis

Please be aware that Lee Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.

Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.

Therapist and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder sufferer in counselling session

Counselling for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for anxiety on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

Psychiatry Through the Looking Glass

Read what the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and the United Nations (U.N.) said recently about the biomedical models of mental illness on Psychology Today.

W.H.O. and U.N. Join Calls to Transcend the Medical Model

Free Initial Consultations for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Banner

What to have a chat about your problem?

We offer a FREE 50 minute initial consultation to all prospective clients.

Call Paul on 07434 776125 - paul@leepsychology.com

Call Joan on 07434 776504 - joan@leepsychology.com

Paul Lee MSc.

Psychologist Paul Lee BSc MSc

About Paul

TEL: 07434 776125

Joan Lee D. Hyp.

Hypnotherapist Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP

About Joan

TEL: 07434 776504

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