I am a clinical psychologist and scientist studying how the menstrual cycle influences emotions and behaviors in hormone-sensitive females. I’m especially interested in how impulsive or dangerous behaviors change across the cycle, such as suicide attempts, substance abuse, and verbal/physical aggression.
As a scientist, I use a combination of mechanistic randomized controlled trials and daily survey studies to understand how and for whom the menstrual cycle influences symptoms. As an expert clinician, I provide thorough assessments of cyclicial mood symptoms, education about evidence-based treatments, support for patients as they navigate the process of finding effective biological treatments, and skills training in dialectical behavior therapy skills to reduce the impact of symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of women don't have serious changes in their feelings and behaviors across the menstrual cycle. However, about 6% of women do show severe emotional and behavioral symptoms that only occur in the weeks before menses (DSM-5 Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), and many more have fluctuations in the symptoms of their chronic psychiatric disorders across the cycle (premenstrual exacerbation or PME). My research focuses on identifying who is at risk for this "hormone sensitivity", and isolating the key biological and psychological variables that give rise to their symptoms.