PMDD – Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – What you need to know

PMDD is characterized by severe, cyclical mood changes prior to menstruation, typically the worst 3-4 days before to the first day of menstruation and can last up to a week. In addition to the mood changes there are cognitive and physical symptoms as well.  This disorder affects millions of women. Mood/behavioral symptoms include but are not limited to mood swings, irritability, crying spells, depressed mood, negative thinking, or anxiety. There may be loss of interest, low energy, changes in sleep and appetite. Physical symptoms include breast tenderness, bloating etc.

Women with PMDD notice that it affects their functioning at work, in social settings and in relationships. Because of the timing of these symptoms, it is thought that PMDD is associated with hormonal fluctuations among other things. There is ongoing research to determine the exact pathways through which hormonal fluctuations bring about these symptoms.

If these are some symptoms you are struggling with- there are effective treatments available for PMDD. Medications and psychotherapy both are effective treatments. In some situations intermittent dosing of medications during the symptomatic days is sufficient to get symptom relief. Some hormonal treatments have been shown to be effective as well.  You don’t have to suffer through PMDD, ask your doctor for help.


Need help? Contact us at 919-636-5240 or email

Dr Sayanti Bhattacharya

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya Sayanti Bhattacharya, MD, MS, is a board-certified adult psychiatrist at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Dr. Bhattacharya lends a wealth of experience in the treatment of anxiety, depression, sleep issues, memory problems, trauma-related stress disorders, and attention deficit disorders. She is also experienced working with people who have challenges with interpersonal communication, social anxiety, low self-esteem, overwhelming negative thinking, and sleep problems. She works with patients via both telemedicine and in person.

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