The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (the updated guide mental health professionals use in diagnosing mental health disorders) is now out! A controversial disorder that is new to this edition is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. This is a disorder specific to women that is said to appear in women prior to a menstrual cycle. It includes symptoms of moodiness, edginess, cramps and feeling bloated. Most of us would define this as PMS!

So why is it now a disorder and do I have this? Experts are saying Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is not equivalent to PMS and is much more severe. In order for a woman to be diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder she must have five of the following symptoms for at least a year (* with at least one of these symptoms included):

Mood swings*
Loss of interest in activities
Difficulty concentrating
Lack of energy
Depressed mood or hopelessness*
Tension or anxiety*
Sleep changes
Appetite changes
Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
Physical symptoms, such as bloating

Although Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is not PMS, it is easy to see how we can jump to conclusions and feel targeted as women. Do not be afraid to research and ask questions about controversial diagnosis, knowledge will help us become more aware and empowered.