Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is commonly referred to as PMDD, and depression are known to cause a number of the same symptoms. What many women do not realize is that there are distinctive differences between these two conditions, despite the fact the fact they share some of the same characteristics. Here are some of the things that you should know about the differences between PMDD and depression.
Similarities Between Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Depression
It is important to be aware of the symptoms that women with both PMDD and depression may experience. Women who have premenstrual dysphoric disorder often list “depression” as one of their main symptoms. People with both conditions may feel sad, lonely, irritable, and anxious, as well as cry randomly. Both women with PMDD and depression may experience fatigue, changes in appetite or a decrease in sex drive.
Another one of the factors which can be similar for both premenstrual dysphoric disorder and depression is when during the year women experience symptom. Women who suffer from PMDD notice that their symptoms tend to worsen during the months of winter. According to Web MD, this may be because women do not get to exercise as much in winter, which can help relieve menstrual symptoms, and due to hormonal changes. On the other hand, seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression, affects women mostly during the winter.
What are the Differences Between PMDD and Depression?
Women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder generally only experience symptoms during the week prior to menstruation. Symptoms of PMDD generally subside a few days after the woman’s menstrual period has begun. This is due to the hormonal changes. Those who suffer from depression will experience their symptoms at any time during the month, which may include prior to or during menstrual periods.
Physical changes such as bloating, weight gain, headaches, and joint or muscle pain are all symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, according to the American Pregnancy Association. While people with depression may also experience physical changes, such as weight gain, these symptoms do not usually subside once menstruation has begun.
The best way to find out whether you are suffering from depression or PMDD is to keep a journal. Keep a chart of when you experience depression symptoms. Also be sure to mark on the journal when your menstrual period begins and ends. Since it can be easy to confuse the symptoms of depression and PMDD, this can help ensure that your doctor makes a proper diagnosis.
American Pregnancy Association, “Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) & Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).”
Web MD, “Seasonal Mood and Hormonal Changes.”