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We Demand Attention on the Elevated Risk for PMDD and PPD Among Women with ADHD

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www.additudemag.com

ADHD is a significant risk factor for the development of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and postpartum depression (PPD), both of which are debilitating and potentially life-threatening conditions that disproportionately impact women with ADHD.Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that causes clinically significant and impairing depression, anxiety, mood swings, and uncomfortable physical symptoms in the week leading up to the onset of a period.

PMDD impacts about 2% of the general population of women (though actual prevalence rates may be higher)1, often requires medication (typically, hormonal birth control and antidepressants), and is associated with an elevated risk for suicidality and suicide attempts.Research on PMDD and ADHD is limited.

In a 2021 study of 209 women with ADHD, more than 45% reported having symptoms suggestive of PMDD.2A recent ADDitude survey revealed that a staggering 66% of women with ADHD said they have suffered from PMS and/or PMDD beginning, on average, around age 14 — with nearly 60% of respondents reporting symptoms that lasted 20 years or longer.PMDD is caused by decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone after ovulation and before menstruation.

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