Living with PMDD in itself can be overwhelming - throw in the difficult symptoms involved and overwhelm is common.

For example - in the luteal phase, those with PMDD may have difficulty with:

  • Emotion regulation (controlling the emotional state)

  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)

  • Social connectedness (feeling like you don’t ‘belong’ e.g. in your community/family/workplace)

  • Rumination (when someone focuses on negative content, generally past and present, and results in emotional distress)

  • Negative self-focused attention (thinking about yourself in a negative way)

  • Elevated perceived stress (raised stress levels by a situation you are personally finding stressful)

There are a few8 broad areas where we can learn tools to help manage these troubling emotions. One set of tools is drawn from DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), a form of psychotherapy. DBT is a specific type of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that focuses on using skills to manage strong emotions and improve relationships.

In DBT, the focus is on what is called the dialectic - two opposite things being true at once (for example, I am doing my best AND I want to do better). DBT balances the need we all have to accept ourselves as we are, while also working to make changes that help ourselves move forward. You might be interested in finding a therapist who specializes in CBT or DBT and can guide you in using tools to help manage emotions. Or, you can read about DBT skills here>>

Dr. Jess Peters & Dr. Liisa Hantsoo. IAPMD Clinical Advisory Board

- June 2022

Did this answer your question?