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Psychological Premenstrual Symptoms as a Clinical Diagnosis: An Ethical Review

Carren-Le Sauter, Isabelle

Throughout most of history, there has been a certain amount of taboo involved in
the discussion of the female menstrual cycle. There is certainly something unnerving
about the idea that, every month, women lose about 70-80ml of blood. There are also
hormonal fluctuations during the cycle, which have other effects such as mood changes
and physical discomfort. It seems that much of the current stigma is related more to these
side effects than the actual menstruation itself, and they have come to be known as
premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Though many are aware of this syndrome in a
colloquial sense, it is in fact a real disorder called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or
PMDD. It is currently listed in the DSM-IV under the Depressive Disorders NOS (not
otherwise specified), meaning it is a legitimate diagnostic disorder. This is helpful in that
psychologists are recognizing the problems women have with their menstrual cycle and
allowing them to get help, but there are many downsides that come along with having the
diagnosis of PMDD in the DSM. Should PMDD be included in the DSM? What are the
consequences?

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
Degree
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 16, 2011
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