Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) affects only 3-8% of women with devastating cyclic symptoms (Steiner et al, 1995). Current thought is that it is related to post-traumatic stress syndrome, with unusually low cortisol levels along with high epinephrine levels being an indicator of problems related to stress response. Diagnosis requires five of eleven criteria according to American Psychiatric Association. (2000)
[b:8fa5fbc1b6]Criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:[/b:8fa5fbc1b6]
1) Markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-depreciating thoughts.
2) Marked anxiety, tension, and feelings of being "keyed up" or "on edge".
3) Marked affective liability (e.g., feeling suddenly sad or tearful or feeling increased sensitivity to rejection.
4) Persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased in interpersonal conflicts.