Question: What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder and does it affect my risk of developing depression?
Answer: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD is defined as symptoms such as depressed mood, anxiety, irritability or mood swings, or decreased interest in activities that occurs exclusively during the two weeks prior to the onset of menstrual bleeding. These symptoms typically resolve within a few days after the onset of menstrual bleeding and symptoms are absent for at least one week before the next cycle.
It is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. And approximately six to ten percent of women who have PMS symptoms will meet the criteria for PMDD. The symptoms of PMDD are more significant than PMS and interferes with the woman's ability to function at work, school or in her other usually daily activities.
Although some women with PMDD have a history of depression with symptoms that are present at other times during her menstrual cycle, many women only suffer from symptoms during the two week just prior to menstrual bleeding.