Do you start feeling irritable the week or two before your period? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your mood has been out of balance — feeling suddenly tearful one moment and angry the next.
Many women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) — physical or mood changes — within days of their period. But if you’ve noticed these changes are extreme, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
According to the International Association of Premenstrual Disorders, an estimated 5.5% of people of reproductive age experience PMDD.
Symptoms of PMDD can be both emotional and physical. Some of the common ones include:
- low energy or excessive tiredness
- breast swelling or tenderness
- weight gain and bloating
- muscle or joint pain
- changes in appetite
- anxiety or depression
- shifts in mood (e.g., sudden sadness or crying)
- loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- inability to concentrate or focus
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), at least 5 symptoms must be present in the week before your period, start improving during your period, and have resolved the following week.
These symptoms also must interfere with your daily function, including at work and at home.
If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of PMDD, consider speaking with a healthcare or mental health professional. They can offer more insight into what you’re experiencing and recommend next steps — whether that’s treatment such as medication and therapy or self-care strategies you can do at home.
This short, free PMDD test is meant for anyone who thinks they may benefit from an evaluation for PMDD.
The statements in this quiz can help you figure out whether you might need the support of a mental health professional for the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
A therapist can also help you determine if your issues may be a symptom of a different mental health condition and recommend a treatment plan if necessary.
This online screening tool is based on the symptoms of PMDD listed in the DSM-5-TR. But it’s not intended to be a diagnostic tool. It will not guarantee that you may be diagnosed with PMDD.
Only a licensed mental health professional or trained medical doctor can give you a diagnosis and help you figure out the next best steps for you.
If you think a partner, friend, or family member may be living with PMDD, you can take this quiz on behalf of them as well.
Keep in mind that the results may not be as accurate because they’re based on your perception of them and not their direct personal experience.
What can PMDD be mistaken for?
PMDD is often mistaken for PMS (premenstrual syndrome). While both conditions have similar symptoms, you can think of PMDD as the extreme version of PMS. In fact, the effects are so extreme that the DSM-5-TR classifies this condition as a depressive disorder.
How do I know I’ve had PMDD?
Many of the symptoms of PMDD are the same as those of PMS, such as weight gain or bloating, breast swelling or tenderness, lack of energy, and changes in appetite or eating habits. But if these symptoms are present along with irritability, depression, anxiety, or affective lability (or sudden shifts in mood), then you may have had PMDD. You may also experience a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, difficulty sleeping, or inability to concentrate. All these symptoms must also interfere with your daily functioning such as at work or socially.
Does PMDD feel like bipolar?
While symptoms of PMDD can mimic those of other disorders such as bipolar disorder, PMDD does not feel like bipolar disorder. Additionally, PMDD symptoms only occur in association with menstruation. On the other hand, bipolar disorder isn’t linked to the menstrual cycle.
Is PMDD a disability?
Like any other mental health condition, coping with PMDD can be challenging. The symptoms can be so severe that they affect your ability to function in daily life, including at work and socially. You may be eligible to receive accommodations at work under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Work absences may also be protected under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when your leave is associated with your PMDD symptoms. Consider speaking with your employer to find out your eligibility.