What Is PMDD?
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a hormone-based mood disorder that is directly related to female cycles. PMDD is a cyclical mood disorder with symptoms presenting during the premenstrual, or luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. While PMDD is connected to the menstrual cycle it is not an imbalance of hormones rather a severe negative reaction in the brain to the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone.
Many women are often misdiagnosed with severe PMS when in fact they suffer from PMDD. PMDD can leave women feeling like their life is completely disrupted by symptoms. Women report a feeling of having two weeks of feeling somewhat normal and then two weeks of feeling like their lives are completely disrupted.
Symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Mood/emotional changes (e.g. mood swings, feeling suddenly sad or tearful, or increased sensitivity to rejection)
- Irritability, anger, or increased interpersonal conflict
- Depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, feeling worthless or guilty
- Anxiety, tension, or feelings of being keyed up or on edge
- Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies)
- Difficulty concentrating, focusing, or thinking; brain fog
- Tiredness or low-energy
- Changes in appetite, food cravings, overeating, or binge eating
- Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness) or insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- Physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, bloating or weight gain
I specialize in treating PMDD because I know PMDD. I struggled with PMDD for many years and have devoted much of my career to studying this disorder. If you have been diagnosed with PMDD or think you may have it, I want you to know there is hope. You don’t need to suffer in silence any longer.
In my experience there is no one size fits all to treating PMDD. I have created resources to address individual symptoms and have a network of health providers who know PMDD. As your therapist I create a space for you to process your emotions, acknowledge your symptoms, normalize your experience and develop coping strategies for handling the disruption symptoms can cause.