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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is not an official disorder, but it has been proposed as a condition that needs further study. Information about this condition and the diagnostic criteria for research purposes is provided in an appendix of the DSM-IV. This means that researchers are encouraged to study this condition further so that more can be learned about it. In time researchers may accumulate enough evidence to support this condition as a valid diagnosis.

However, this condition is an uncommon type of depression affecting roughly 3% to 5% of menstruating women. It is a cyclical condition in which women may feel depressed and irritable for one or two weeks before their menstrual period each month. The symptoms disappear within a week or so of the beginning of her menstrual period.

Research Criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Summarized from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- Fourth Edition, Text Revision

A. During most of her menstrual cycles for the past year, a woman has experienced at least five of the following symptoms for most of the time one week before, and possibly during menstruation. The symptoms were not present approximately one week after menstruation, and at least one of the symptoms was 1-4.

  1. Substantially depressed mood, feeling hopeless, or negative thoughts about oneself.
  2. Increased anxiety or agitation.
  3. Sudden changes in mood or greater emotional sensitivity.
  4. Increased anger or irritability, or more frequent conflicts in relationships.
  5. A loss of interest in regular activities.
  6. Problems with concentration.
  7. Being easily tired, loss of energy.
  8. A substantial change in appetite, overeating, or cravings for certain foods.
  9. Getting too little sleep (insomnia) or too much sleep (hypersomnia).
  10. A sense of being out of control or overwhelmed.
  11. Physical symptoms including headaches, bloating, weight gain, swelling or tenderness of the breasts, pain in muscles or joints.

B. The person's symptoms cause difficulty within relationships, social activities, work, school, etc.

C. The symptoms are not just the result of a complication of another mental health condition.

D. The above criteria must be validated by daily recordings made during a minimum of two consecutive menstrual cycles in which the symptoms are present.



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