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  • Writer's pictureHolly Bradich

Is it PMS or PMDD? Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Counselling in Waterloo Woman crying women's mental health PMS PMDD premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Hormones have a significant impact on mental health.

For women, as the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone shift throughout the menstrual cycle, it can cause changes in mood.

Premenstrual syndrome is a common collection of symptoms seen in the luteal phase (the second half of the cycle) that is brought on by a drop in estrogen and increase in progesterone, and then, as it gets closer to menstruation, a drop in progesterone as well.

These hormone shifts can cause both physical and emotional premenstrual symptoms such as:

  • Irritability

  • Rejection Sensitivity

  • Sadness

  • Increased fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Bloating

  • Pain and inflammation

  • Headaches

  • Changes in appetite

  • Changes in libido

Premenstrual syndrome can certainly impact one’s daily life, but when the mental emotional symptoms are severe, it could be premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Women with a history of trauma, or pre-existing mental health conditions are at a higher risk of PMDD.

Women with PMDD may have typical PMS symptoms, but often explain that they feel like a different person for at least 1 up to 2 weeks per month.

They have marked emotional changes including:

  • Crying spells

  • Sensitivity to rejection

  • Feelings of unworthiness

  • Withdrawal from activities

  • Increased conflict or issues with relationships

When these changes take a toll on a woman’s ability to live her daily life, or start to significantly impact her relationships, it may be time to seek additional support.

There are both physical and emotional supports available for PMDD.

Physical supports would include working with your primary care practitioner to balance your hormones.

Our team of clinicians includes several clinicians that specialize in women's mental health related issues.

If you're struggling with premenstrual mood changes that impact your daily life and ability to function, we are here to help.

Get started by booking your intake call today.

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