New In The Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

The revised psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, has an interesting addition: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

So ladies, if you go to your doctor and complain about certain types of distress occurring the week before your period begins, you might find yourself diagnosed with this mental disorder.

Some of us may welcome this diagnostic addition, while others will be appalled, though there is no doubt that many women experience difficult physical, emotional and mental changes prior to each menses. The question has been whether this should be considered a mental health disorder. Now, it officially is one.

The Diagnosis

You can be given the PMDD diagnosis if you experience at least five of the 11 listed criteria or symptoms. The symptoms must not be owed to any other mental illness, need to cause “significant stress” or distress for the individual, and be experienced several months over the course of a year.

PMDD Criteria

  • Mood swings, sudden sadness, increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Anger, irritability, increased interpersonal conflict
  • Problems concentrating
  • Having a depressed mood, negative/critical thoughts about the self or sense of hopelessness
  • Tension, anxiety, being “on edge”
  • Alteration in appetite, overeating, or specific food craving
  • Sleeping too much or not sleeping
  • Feeling overwhelmed or not in control
  • Tender breasts, pain, bloating, swelling, weight increase
  • Fatigue, lethargy, lack of energy
  • Reduced interest in usual activities such as school, work, friends or hobbies

Stated Benefits of Having the PMDD Diagnosis

Whether the PMDD diagnosis will benefit women or stigmatize them remains to be seen; maybe it will be a little of both.

Proponents of the diagnosis state that there are some benefits of having PMDD in the DSM-5:

  • It will stimulate research and data collection, leading to a better understanding of the disorder and more effective treatments, including medications.
  • The diagnosis will represent individuals who are not well-represented in other diagnostic categories.
  • Women with PMDD who experience functioning impairments in various areas show improvement when they are treated. Having clear diagnostic boundaries will prevent some women with treatable symptoms from being dismissed by healthcare providers.
  • Having clear PMDD diagnostic criteria means women with this disorder are less likely to be misdiagnosed with, for instance, depression.

Those who champion the inclusion of PMDD in the DSM-5 say that women who will fit the diagnosis are a small minority. Therefore, fears that women as a whole will be stigmatized by this diagnosis are unfounded.

The proponents may be right, but at least one woman, mental health counselor, and thoughtful human being find the stated benefits of this diagnosis have the flavor of rationalizations. What do you think?

Source: National Institutes of Health
Photo: Px Here

Anxiety Support Groups

Latest Post by MillieM Mon, 12/02/2019 - 4:26pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by Parisian Chic Tue, 11/26/2019 - 3:31pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by bali bae Tue, 11/19/2019 - 1:09pm
Comments: 3

More Articles

Spending prolonged periods of time gazing at your reflection can cause serious psychological harm, even in those with no history of anxiety over...

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a mix of mindfulness meditation and simple yoga poses. It has been proven to help people reduce...

Psychology professionals often recommend their clients adopt a pet as part of their mental health treatment. Or, they might prescribe structured...

A report in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity concludes that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and reduce anxiety. The study...

Postpartum depression can strike any new mother, no matter what her situation may be. Having a baby is one of the happiest moments in one's life....

More Articles

Risperidone is the generic name of an atypical antipsychotic that is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat anxiety and anxiety disorders. It is...

Everyone suffers symptoms of anxiety now and then, and for many people anxiety is a chronic problem. But not all who suffer from anxiety...

If you're suffering from anxiety, one of the first things you should do is see a doctor to make sure your anxiety isn't a symptom of an underlying...

If you reach adolescence or adulthood with little or no self-confidence, what do you do? Faking it (confidence) until you make it is a stretch for...

Lexapro is an SSRI antidepressant that is FDA approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is one of the antidepressants...

The essential amino acid tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate a number of important brain functions....

An article from Prevention provides a list of 6 strange physical symptoms of stress that you may not even associate with too much stress in your...

Is it true that you can ease anxiety by relaxing with a soothing cup of tea? In general, tea is known for it's calming benefits. Sitting down with...

People who are anxious may demonstrate a heightened sense of smell, according to new research being conducted at the University of Wisconsin at...

Postpartum depression and anxiety are real, debilitating disorders that affect some women after they give birth.

Brought on by hormone...

The neurotransmitter serotonin has long been implicated in mood and other psychiatric disorders, and people looking to improve their mental health...

Norpramin is a brand name for the pharmaceutical desipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant which operates by inhibiting the reuptake of...

There is no one cause for anxiety but several factors that contribute to its development. Scientists have broken them down into three parts: brain...

For sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged exposure (PE) therapy is a proven, effective treatment. Sometimes referred to as...

Beta-blockers are a class of drugs most commonly used to treat heart conditions, although they are useful in the treatment of a variety of other...