The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde: how PMS became a cultural phenomenon and a psychiatric disorder

Annu Rev Sex Res. 2002;13:274-306.


In this article we trace the historical, cultural, political, and economic forces that led to the social construction of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The popularity of these diagnostic labels among medical professionals, the general public, and women themselves is considered and explored, as is the damage that the labels can do to women in general, as well as those who receive a diagnosis. Suggestions are provided for psychotherapists who might work with women who present with premenstrual symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / complications
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology*
  • United States
  • Women's Health*