Although premenstrual syndrome is a well-known - if not well-understood - women's health condition, premenstrual dysphoric disorder is an even lesser-known related illness. PMDD is marked by many of the same symptoms as PMS - bloating, trouble sleeping and concentrating, irritability, headaches, backaches and food cravings - but to a more intense degree.

PMDD has existed in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders since 1987, but only in the appendix as needing "further study." Next year, however, the manual's fourth edition is set to include new validity for PMDD, which may have implications for employers under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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