PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It is thought to affect around 5-10% of women and other individuals assigned female at birth during their reproductive years.
PMDD is a hormone-based mood disorder characterized by an extreme sensitivity to the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. (Luteal phase is between ovulation and around the time you bleed - generally, this is 2 weeks per month with a standard 28-day cycle).
not a hormone imbalance
With PMDD, your hormones are 'normal' and doing what they should, however, your brain has an abnormal negative reaction to the fluctuations that occur between ovulation and around the time of your period.
Recent research suggests that PMDD is a genetic condition and that people with PMDD have an altered response to sex hormones at a cellular level.
PMDD is not the same as PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or PMT (premenstrual tension) that the majority of people with periods will experience. It is far more severe and impacts on a person's ability to function, carry out daily tasks, work and maintain relationships. PMDD is a spectrum and can be mild, moderate or severe.
So what is 'Dysphoria'? - If you think about the word 'euphoria', which means a state of intense happiness and self-confidence. Well, its the opposite of that! Think dissatisfaction, anxiety, restlessness, depression and self-loathing.