Comorbid Conditions Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] PMDD Test: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS that impacts a disproportionate number of women with ADHD. Take this test to see if you may be experiencing symptoms of this treatable depressive disorder.

Sad woman lying on sofa at home.
Sad woman lying on sofa at home.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious but treatable condition that affects 5.5% of people who menstruate.1 A severe version of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), PMDD is a mood disorder characterized by marked sadness, irritability, depressed mood, and/or anger, and other behavioral and physical symptoms that appear during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (about two weeks before menses) and remit within a few days of menstruation.2 The symptoms of PMDD cause significant distress and functional impairment.

It’s not a requirement that PMDD symptoms appear leading up to every period, though symptoms must have occurred in most of the menstrual cycles during the past year. A diagnosis of PMDD, per the DSM-5, should also be confirmed by tracking daily symptoms during at least two menstrual cycles.

PMDD often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorder.3 4 Individuals with PMDD are also at greater risk for suicide and suicidal behavior.3 Research on PMDD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is limited, though a 2021 study of 209 women with ADHD found that more than 45% of them reported having symptoms suggestive of PMDD.5 In a recent ADDitude survey, two-third of women surveyed said they experienced PMS and/or PMDD. As one reader said about their PMDD experience, “I feel like I’ve lost my mind and like I have a second personality during that time of my cycle.”

If you are concerned about the symptoms you experience in the two weeks leading up to your period, answer the questions below and share the results with a licensed clinician and/or mental health professional.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, dial or text 988 to connect to a trained counselor from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

This self-test was based on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is designed to screen for the possibility of PMDD, and it is intended for personal use only. This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool.

I’m highly irritable and quick to anger before the start of my period.

I feel acutely anxious, tense, keyed up, and on edge before the start of my period.

The mood/behavioral/physical symptoms I experience before the start of my period become minimal or absent after my period ends.

I feel suddenly sad or tearful before the start of my period.

I’m exhausted in the lead up to my period. I fatigue easily and have little to no energy.

I have thoughts of self-harm or suicide before my period starts.

My appetite significantly increases before my period. I eat more than I do in other parts of my cycle, and I experience food cravings, too.

I become more sensitive to rejection leading up to my period.

I experience hypersomnia (i.e., excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive time spent sleeping) or insomnia (trouble falling and/or staying asleep) before my period.

The symptoms I experience before my period greatly interfere with work, school, relationships, social activities, and other parts of my life.

I lose interest in my usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies) before my period.

I feel depressed and hopeless leading up to my period.

I have more difficulty concentrating in the week leading up to my period.

I experience physical symptoms like breast tenderness/swelling, joint/muscle pain, and/or bloating leading up to my period.

I experience intense mood swings leading up to my period.

I feel overwhelmed and/or out of control before the start of my period.

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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms: Next Steps

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1 Gehlert, S., Song, I. H., Chang, C. H., & Hartlage, S. A. (2009). The prevalence of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in a randomly selected group of urban and rural women. Psychological medicine, 39(1), 129–136.

2 American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

3 Eisenlohr-Moul, T., Divine, M., Schmalenberger, K. et al. (2022). Prevalence of lifetime self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in a global sample of 599 patients reporting prospectively confirmed diagnosis with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. BMC Psychiatry 22, 199.

4 Tiranini, L., & Nappi, R. E. (2022). Recent advances in understanding/management of premenstrual dysphoric disorder/premenstrual syndrome. Faculty reviews, 11, 11.

5 Dorani, F., Bijlenga, D., Beekman, A. T. F., van Someren, E. J. W., & Kooij, J. J. S. (2021). Prevalence of hormone-related mood disorder symptoms in women with ADHD. Journal of psychiatric research, 133, 10–15.