Get expert care for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

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What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but with more severe symptoms that classify it as a mood disorder. About 6 million women worldwide have a diagnosis of PMDD.

If you’ve been diagnosed with PMDD, or think you might be experiencing symptoms of the condition, Brightside Health providers can help. With virtual mental health care, you can get started with the right treatment for your needs from the comfort of home.

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Mimi Winsberg, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Stanford-trained Psychiatrist with 25 years of practice

The signs & symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder

In the weeks leading up to a person’s period, PMS may cause bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, and headaches. Those with PMDD may experience these symptoms as well as more severe mood changes including anxiety, depression, and irritability.

PMS symptoms include:

  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating and cramping
  • Headache or muscle aches
  • Clumsiness
  • Lower tolerance for noise or light
  • Fatigue or sleeping problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Tension or anxiety
  • Feelings of sadness or crying spells
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Less interest in sex

PMDD symptoms may include the above, as well as:

  • Anger or irritability
  • Feelings of sadness or despair, or thoughts of suicide
  • Severe feelings of anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of interest in usual activities and relationships
  • Feeling out of control

Mental health care can help you manage PMDD symptoms and find relief.

Get treatment for PMDD and start feeling better—with 1:1 support from providers at every step.

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86%of Brightside members feel
better within 12 weeks
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How we treat PMDD

Once a diagnosis has been established, PMDD is generally treated with therapy, medication, or both. Talk with your provider about the best treatment option for you.

Medication

Antidepressants are shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of PMDD. At Brightside, we use data and research to find the right medication for you.

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Therapy

We use evidence-based therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that is proven to be effective in treating PMDD.

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Self-Care

A comprehensive approach to care leads to better outcomes. By practicing daily healthy habits and self-care, you can reduce your symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

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Commonly prescribed medications.

At Brightside we prescribe over 30 different antidepressant medications. We’ll work with you to find the right medication for your individual needs and symptoms.

Affordable plans to help you feel better.

Starting as low as
$95 / for your first month.


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Whether you choose medication, therapy, or both, our memberships include expert online care designed to help you feel better, faster.

  • Comprehensive video evaluation
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Unlimited messaging
  • Unlimited video follow-ups with your provider
  • 4 video sessions with your therapist each month
  • Free medication delivery
  • Interactive Therapy lessons
  • Regular progress tracking

FSA/HSA accepted
Cancel anytime

We accept insurance.iWe cover over 30 million lives, and counting. Get started to check your eligibility.

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Getting started is simple.

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Step 1

Fill out a quick questionnaire.

Start by answering a clinically-proven set of questions, which will help us understand your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan with Medication, Therapy, or both.

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Step 2

Meet your provider & start treatment.

Within 48 hours, you’ll have a video consultation where you can share how you’re feeling and decide on next steps together. If prescribed, your medication will be delivered to your door monthly.

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Step 3

Make progress and feel better.

Unlimited messaging, video sessions, and regular check-ins help you stay in touch with your provider so they can monitor your symptoms and adjust until treatment is right for you.

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You’re in good hands. Our licensed providers are experts in treating social anxiety disorder.

  • Always see an expert psychiatric provider
  • All therapists hold a master’s degree or higher
  • Licensed in your state and background comprehensively checked
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Michael Chen, MD

Psychiatrist
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Balwinder Kaur, PsyD

Therapist
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Erik Frost, MD

Psychiatrist

Life-changing results from real members.

Read More Reviews
Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Life-changing results from real members.

Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Read More Reviews

What you need to know.

How is premenstrual dysphoric disorder diagnosed?

To diagnose PMDD, your mental health provider will ask you some questions about your symptoms. They’ll also learn about your family and medical history. People with PMDD typically have symptoms in the weeks leading up to their period, and the symptoms resolve within the first few days of menstruation. Because of this pattern, your provider may ask you to keep a tracker or diary of your symptoms before diagnosis.

At Brightside Health, your mental health provider will provide a comprehensive evaluation before diagnosis. If you already have a diagnosis, that’s fine too. Your provider will listen to your concerns and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs so you can start feeling better.

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What are the risk factors of PMDD?

While there is no known cause, research suggests that changes in hormonal and serotonin levels may have a role in the development of PMDD. Both hormone levels and serotonin levels change throughout the menstrual cycle—which is believed to trigger symptoms in some people. Many women with PMDD also have underlying anxiety and depression.

When to seek help for premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, or have been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed mental health professional about treatment options.

PMDD symptoms can be serious if left untreated. If you are in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, call 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or 911 for emergency services. Know that you’re not alone. With the right treatment, you can live your life with relief from symptoms.

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What are the treatment options for premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

If you’re experiencing PMDD, mental health care can help you start feeling like yourself again. Medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes are effective treatments for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Typically, a combination of all three is most effective.

Medication
Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are effective at treating symptoms of PMDD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications to treat PMDD:

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine HCI (Paxil)

With Brightside Health, you can get medication delivered to your door monthly. Your psychiatric provider can find the right medication to treat your unique PMDD symptoms by using our PrecisionRx tool to analyze 100 data points and over 1,000 different medication combinations. Within 12 weeks, 86% of Brightside members feel better and 70% achieve remission of their symptoms altogether.

Like treatment for PMS, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and birth control can also help relieve symptoms.

Therapy
In order to be diagnosed with PMDD, you must be experiencing either a depressed mood, anxiety, emotional ups-and-downs, or irritability during your premenstrual phase. In fact, 64% of women with major depressive disorder report that their symptoms of depression worsen in the days leading up to their menstruation. Talking to a licensed therapist one-on-one can help you learn about how your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions interact so you can start feeling better.

At Brightside Health, therapy includes virtual sessions with your expert therapist, unlimited messaging, video lessons, and skill practice with reflection. Together, you and your therapist can work on effective coping strategies to help you get back to being you.

Lifestyle changes
Making a few lifestyle changes can help reduce your PMDD symptoms. By limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake; eating less salty, fatty, or sugary foods; and exercising regularly, you can improve your mood and start feeling better.

Practicing mindfulness, breathing techniques, and meditation can also help you manage stress and improve your mental health.

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The Brightside difference.

We designed Brightside to deliver the best psychiatric care available.

Unlimited
access

Receive ongoing online care from hand-selected providers who are experts in treating PMDD.

Precision-
prescribing

Data-driven prescribing that analyzes over 100 unique data points and decades of clinical research to pinpoint your match.

Science-backed
approaches

Build the skills needed to overcome anxiety and depression with an evidence-based approach to therapy that is proven to work.

Measured care for
better outcomes

Track your progress at every step, so you and your provider can make informed decisions and adjust your care until it’s right for you.

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If you’re in emotional distress, text HOME to connect with a counselor immediately.

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Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for 24/7 emotional support.

911

If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER.