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What is a Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects 3-8% of females who have reached reproductive age. It is identified as a mental disorder that requires a healthcare professional to diagnose it based on certain symptoms. PMDD is marked by a variety of emotional and physical symptoms that arise a week or two before the onset of menstruation. These symptoms can be so severe that they hinder a woman’s daily routines and relationships.

What are the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

The symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) include a range of physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms can include:

Emotional symptoms:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness
  • Anxiety, tension, and irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anger and increased conflicts with others
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of interest in daily activities

Physical symptoms:

  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite and food cravings
  • Bloating, breast tenderness, and headaches
  • Sleeping problems
  • Joint or muscle pain
symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

It’s worth noting that these symptoms are similar to those of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), however, PMDD symptoms are much more severe and disrupt daily life. The symptoms of PMDD should be evaluated by a professional healthcare provider to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other underlying conditions

What are the causes of PMDD?

The actual causes of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) are not fully understood. However, several factors are thought to play a role, including:

  • Hormonal changes: PMDD is related to the menstrual cycle and the fluctuation of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These changes can affect the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, which can affect mood and emotional well-being.
  • Genetics: Studies have shown that some women may have a genetic predisposition to PMDD.
  • Inflammation: Some studies suggest that there may be an association between PMDD and chronic inflammation, which is a state of immune system activation that can be triggered by stress, infection, or other factors.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to particular environmental toxins or pollutants may contribute to the development of PMDD.
  • Psychology: Some research suggests that women with PMDD may have a higher tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety or depression.

It’s also worth noting that PMDD can occur along with other mental health disorders, for instance, depression or anxiety, which may contribute to the development of PMDD. The development of PMDD may be influenced by a number of things, but it’s important to remember that the exact reason is still not entirely known.

Ways to deal with PMDD on your own

If you are experiencing symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), there are several things you can do to help yourself:

  • Keep a symptom diary: Track your symptoms, including the timing and severity of each one, to help you and your healthcare provider identify patterns of your PMDD.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels, improve mood, and relieve physical symptoms such as bloating and breast tenderness.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet, for instance, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce symptoms of PMDD. Avoiding processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol can also be beneficial.
  • Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Practice stress-management techniques: Techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can improve mood.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: He can help to determine the best course of treatment for you, which may include medication, therapy, or other interventions.
Ways to deal with PMDD on your own

How to diagnose PMDD?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is diagnosed by a healthcare provider. The diagnosis is based on the presence of specific symptoms and criteria outlined in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

To diagnose PMDD, a healthcare provider will typically follow these steps:

  1. Take a thorough medical history: The healthcare provider will ask about your menstrual cycle, symptoms, and any other relevant medical information.
  2. Perform a physical examination: The healthcare provider will perform a physical examination to eliminate any other possible causes of your symptoms.
  3. Keep a symptom diary: You will be asked to keep a diary of your symptoms, including the timing and severity of each one, for at least two menstrual cycles.
  4. Rule out other conditions: Your healthcare provider will rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as depression or anxiety.

How is PMDD treated?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is typically treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. The treatment plan for PMDD will depend on the severity of the symptoms and any other underlying medical conditions. Some common treatments for PMDD include:


  • Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) are effective in treating PMDD symptoms.
  • Birth control pills: Hormonal birth control pills, such as those containing drospirenone and Ethinyl estradiol, can help to regulate hormones which leads to reduced symptoms of PMDD.
  • GnRH agonists: GnRH agonists, such as leuprolide (Lupron) can suppress ovulation and reduce the symptoms of PMDD.


  • Counseling: Talking to a therapist or counselor can help you to better understand and cope with your symptoms.
  • Support groups: Becoming a member might give you a sense of belonging and understanding.
  • When should I call my healthcare provider during PMDD?
Therapy for PMDD

It’s important to regularly check in with your healthcare provider if you have been diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or if you are experiencing symptoms that you think may be related to PMDD.

You should call your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms are getting worse or are not responding to treatment.
  • You are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
  • Your symptoms prevent you from carrying out your regular everyday tasks.
  • You are experiencing new symptoms that you haven’t had before.
  • Do you notice any side effects from your medication?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns about your condition or treatment?

Novus Beginning Psychiatry: Your Path to Health and Wellness Starts Here!

We understand that navigating the complexities of mental health can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re seeking therapy, medication, or a combination of both, our compassionate professionals are dedicated to helping you find the path to a happier, healthier life.

Our highly skilled psychiatrists are experienced in a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, autism, and more. We offer evidence-based therapies that have been proven effective in helping individuals overcome their challenges. From cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to couples/family therapy, we utilize the most up-to-date techniques to empower you on your healing journey.

We also recognize that medication is vital in managing certain psychological health conditions. Our team includes Dr. Nibras, who is a board-certified psychiatrist well-versed in medication management. He works closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, as we believe in the power of personalized care.

So, take the first step towards a brighter future. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you in finding a convenient time to meet with our dedicated professionals. Call (832)856-4718 and let us help you take charge of your mental well-being.

Medication Management For Psychiatric Wellness

At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, we’re dedicated to helping you unlock the power of effective medication management. Our team of psychiatrists has years of experience and understands the importance of finding the right balance for your mental health journey. We offer personalized and compassionate care, creating medication plans that are tailored to your unique needs. Our understanding of psychopharmacology allows us to provide the most advanced and evidence-based treatments available. 

Our goal is to help you by providing the right medications to enhance your therapy outcomes, reduce your symptoms, and improve your overall well-being. We want to be your trusted partner on the path to a brighter future. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Novus Beginning Psychiatry to experience the transformative effects of our comprehensive medication management approach.

Who is Dr. Nibras?

Dr. Sohail Nibras is a double board-certified psychiatrist in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He completed his education at Saint Louis University and the American University of Integrative Science. He excels in treatments based on psychiatric care and therapeutic sessions and has experience treating dual psychiatric and substance use disorders. He is an assistant professor at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He serves as an attending psychiatrist at Texas Children’s Hospital. He trains future psychiatrists and engages in scholarly research projects.

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