Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry & Perinatal Specialist located in Cherry Hill , NJ
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) services offered in Cherry Hill , NJ

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can have a significant impact on your mood as well as cause unpleasant symptoms before your period. If you suffer from PMDD, call Clarity Psychiatry Care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Experienced specialists Dr. Amy Carnall, DNP, APN, PMHNP-BC, and Christina Sertway, APN, PMHNP-BC, offer expert diagnosis and treatment to reduce and relieve PMDD symptoms. Call Clarity Psychiatry Care today or schedule a consultation online for effective PMDD relief.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Q & A

What is PMDD?

PMDD affects around 10% of people who have periods. It’s a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a common problem where you experience bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms leading up to your period.

Women with PMDD have PMS symptoms and additional problems like depression, anxiety, and extreme irritability. PMDD symptoms typically improve after your period starts but are often severe enough to cause significant disruption to your life.


What causes PMDD?

It’s unclear why some women develop PMS or PMDD and others don’t. Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone hormone levels after ovulation (halfway through your monthly cycle) and before menstruation are likely significant.

Changing serotonin levels could also have an influence. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter — a brain chemical that regulates your mood and influences hunger and sleep. You’re more likely to get PMDD if other family members suffer from it, suggesting a genetic influence. People with mental health problems like depression and anxiety are also more vulnerable to PMDD.


What symptoms does PMDD cause?

PMDD symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anger and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Food cravings and binging
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia (lack of sleep)

To diagnose PMDD, your Clarity Psychiatry Care provider takes your medical history and assesses your symptoms. They may ask you to keep a symptom diary through one or two menstrual cycles. You must have at least five of the listed symptoms, including one that’s mood-related, to receive a PMDD diagnosis.


How is PMDD treated?

The Clarity Psychiatry Care team offers patients a personalized treatment plan that might include:

Medication management

Antidepressants help by increasing your brain’s serotonin levels. Depending on your symptoms, you might benefit from anti-anxiety drugs and/or anti-inflammatory medicines.

Lifestyle changes

Reducing salty and sugary foods, unhealthy fats, and caffeine can help you manage your condition better. Regular exercise also boosts mood.

Hormonal birth control 

Some contraceptives can help reduce PMDD symptoms by balancing your estrogen and progesterone levels.

Stress management 

Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation can ease PMDD symptoms.

You might also benefit from psychotherapy if you have depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges related to PMDD.

If you identify with the PMDD symptoms listed above, call Clarity Psychiatry Care today or go online to book an appointment.