Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): What is it and how can it be treated?

By: Caroline Clarke

Do you experience premenstrual syndrome (otherwise known as PMS)? Do you feel like your PMS tends to be more extreme than those around you? You may want to consider looking into premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is considered to be a severe and chronic form of PMS, and can be dangerous due to possible suicidal ideation or suicidal actions.

Any person can develop PMDD, but you are at an increased risk if:

  • There is a family history of PMDD.
  • There is a personal or family history of depression, mood disorders, or postpartum depression.

PMDD symptoms most often occur during the days leading up to your menstrual cycle. These symptoms are not experienced during other times during the month.

Some common symptoms of PMDD include but are not limited to:

  • Anger or Irritability
  • Depression
  • Severe fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Crying spells
  • Moodiness
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed

The cause for PMDD is not known. However, there are treatment options available. Some treatment options available include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
  • Birth control pills
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Dietary changes

Due to this disorder being centered around a person’s menstrual cycle, there tends to be a stigma and significant lack of recognition surrounding PMDD. Do not let this deter you from seeking help as this is a serious disorder that requires treatment. If you or someone you know feels their PMS symptoms are more severe than the average, do not hesitate to reach out to a licensed professional and ask questions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with premenstrual dysphoric disorder please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Psychotherapy & Psychiatric Services. Contact our Manhattan, NY or Paramus, NJ offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit



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