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The Overlap of PMDD and ADHD Symptoms: How to Differentiate and Seek Proper Treatment

Are you experiencing a whirlwind of mental health conditions? Living with mental health conditions can be tough. This is true especially when symptoms are similar and it’s hard to figure out what’s going on.

In this article, we’ll talk about the connection between two distinct disorders that have common symptoms. These are Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Both can really affect your daily life, so knowing the differences is important for the right treatment.

Let’s explore and see where PMDD and ADHD symptoms overlap and learn how to tell them apart so you can get the help you need.


What Are PMDD and ADHD?

Before we delve into the overlap of symptoms, it’s crucial to understand these two conditions individually.

PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

PMDD, is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. It occurs during the days leading up to menstruation, bringing a range of emotional and physical symptoms. These include mood swings, irritability, bloating, and fatigue.

PMDD only affects 8% or menstruating individuals. But it can significantly disrupt a person’s life, routines and relationships. Therefore it is it’s essential to differentiate it from other mood disorders for appropriate treatment.

ADHD or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Individuals with this problem may struggle with focus, organization, and time management. It can affect their work, school, and daily life.

Proper attention to this disorder is crucial. While it’s often associated with children, it can persist into adulthood.

How to Distinguish Between PMDD and ADHD?

The tricky part about PMDD and ADHD is that some of their symptoms can overlap, causing confusion and misdiagnosis. Here are the common symptoms shared by these two conditions:

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Mood Swings and Irritability

Both PMDD and ADHD can exhibit obvious mood swings. This may involve frequent shifting from happiness to anger, sadness, or other feelings. But such extreme fluctuations in especially true of PMDD.

PMDD mood swings typically occur during the premenstrual phase. While ADHD-related irritability may manifest throughout the day.


People with PMDD can have trouble focusing before their period, which might seem like the inattention seen in ADHD. But the reasons behind these focus problems are different.

For PMDD, it’s mostly due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. Hormone fluctuations can lead to difficulties in concentration, forgetfulness, and mental fog.

ADHD, on the other hand, is a long-term condition. People with ADHD may struggle with attention and focus across various situations. And not just during hormonal shifts.


Impulsivity is a hallmark of ADHD. However it can also occur in some individuals with PMDD, particularly during their premenstrual phase. This is a symptom overlap that is misunderstood between the two.

Because of this impulsivity, both ODD and ADHD can be difficult to manage. Parents and other caregivers need to set clear expectations while also providing support. They must have enough understanding of those affected by these disorders.


Distinguishing between ADHD and PMDD patients through signs of fatigue can be challenging. Fatigue can manifest in both conditions but from different causes.

In ADHD, is often linked to hyperactivity and difficulty in settling down. This results in much stress and a lack of proper rest. In PMDD, fatigue may be tied to mood swings and hormonal fluctuations.

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How to Differentiate and Seek Proper Treatment

With the symptom overlap, it’s essential to differentiate between PMDD and ADHD for effective treatment. Here are ways to help you and your doctor tell the difference:

Keep a Symptom Diary

Keeping a symptom diary is an effective way to narrow down potential health problems. At the same time, zero in on the best treatment.

You can help your doctor make a correct diagnosis if you keep track of your symptoms. Note when they happened, how long they lasted, and whether there are any patterns.

Keeping a journal is essential to differentiate and treat ailments. Finding a remedy that is fair and related can be more doable.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

Seek the help of a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist or gynecologist. Let them navigate the diagnostic process to determine whether you have PMDD, ADHD, or both. They can conduct a thorough evaluation, including clinical interviews and standardized assessments,

Seek Hormone Testing

Another important step to differentiate ADHD and PMDD is by seeking hormone testing. Hormones can play as triggers of our emotional conditions. Hormonal abnormalities can cause symptoms that are similar to those of mental illness.

Testing for hormones allows doctors to zero in on the root cause of these imbalances. As a result, they can provide a better approach to handling mental health issues.

Visiting sites like Zestful Health can help deal with emotions better. Understanding is key for ADHD and PMDD management.

Consider Comorbidity

When seeking proper treatment, it is necessary to consider other existing health issues of a person. In doing this, healthcare providers can create a tailored treatment plan. This will take into consideration all other risks involved.

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An open communication with your healthcare team is key. Honest information about your status and history can help your doctors. A comprehensive understanding of your health can guide the path to optimal treatment.

Treatment Options

After a proper diagnosis, you can explore treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

You may opt for PMDD Treatment which often includes lifestyle changes. This includes diet, exercise modifications, stress management, and psychotherapy. It may sometimes prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), to alleviate symptoms.

Managing ADHD Treatment may involve behavioral therapy and education about the condition. In some cases, medication will be necessary. Modifications of stimulants, non-stimulants, and lifestyle can also help individuals with ADHD.

This is the benefit of seeking help from a professional mental health expert. You can get the right approach and fair treatment you need.

Better Treatment Is Assured

The overlap of PMDD and ADHD symptoms can be perplexing, but with the right approach, you can differentiate between these conditions and seek appropriate treatment. Remember that consulting a healthcare professional is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

With the right guidance, you can manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life, whether you’re dealing with PMDD, ADHD, or both.

We have more about caring for emotional and mental health. Read more of our blogs.