Any woman who has ever had a period has experienced at least one PMS symptom. PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a severe form of PMS that can long-lasting and serious effects. In 2012, the American Psychiatric Association included PMDD in the fourth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV. Researchers are still trying to understand the exact mechanisms of the disorder.


1. PMS vs. PMDD

PMS and PMDD symptoms usually begin between five and ten days before the menstrual flow begins. Tiredness, irritability, and increased appetite are common in both cases, but PMDD is distinguished by marked and chronic emotional and behavioral changes in addition to PMS symptoms. PMDD symptoms tend to worsen until the onset of menopause, while PMS symptoms tend to abate after that month's period is over and are milder by comparison.

PMS PMDD LaylaBird / Getty Images

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