You’re More Susceptible To Pain And You’re Experiencing More Of It
Physical pain is never a pleasant thing to endure. Think about someone who has a splitting headache or a gnarly stomachache. Do you find them to be a joy to be around? Are they smiley and up for anything? No, of course not. They’re probably easily annoyed by your antics and just want to be left alone. Not only are you dealing with cramps before and during your period, but hormonally, as Dr. Holland explains in Moody Bitches, “your pain tolerance is at its lowest point during PMS. Not a great time to go to the dentist or get waxed.” It’s a double whammy.
Dr. Dweck reminds us that being in pain can “make people irritable,” so don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling emotional as you’re reaching for the Midol â nobody is happy-go-lucky when they’re experiencing discomfort. Put on an electric blanket and sip on some chamomile tea to relax yourself through the pain.
Understand The Underlying Cause
Its normal to feel a little blue before, during and after menstruation as both estrogen and progesterone take a steep dive during these times.
However, if the feeling is persistent and intense, there could be an underlying hormonal imbalance, especially due to estrogen deficiency.
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Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Once you identify the destructive thought patterns that contribute to your depression, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:
- Whats the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?
- What would I tell a friend who had this thought?
- Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?
- How might I look at this situation if I didnt have depression?
As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. For example, the negative thought: My boss hates me. He gave me this difficult report to complete, could be replaced with: My boss must have a lot of faith in me to give me so much responsibility. In the process of challenging negative thoughts, youll develop a more balanced perspective and help to relieve your depression.
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Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, people-watch on a park bench, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
Can Pcos Affect Moods
As I mentioned earlier, women with PCOS are statistically more likely to battle issues with anxiety and depression.
They are at high risk for developing major depression, binge-eating disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
While we cant say for sure exactly why this is, some research indicates its due to the insulin resistance thats characteristic of PCOS. Whether this is exactly why or not, incorporating dietary changes that support balanced blood sugar and inflammation are key to getting PCOS in check.
If you are experiencing anxiety and a cluster of the following symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor about PCOS:
- Hair loss
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Since one of the hallmark traits of PCOS is anovulatory cycles, women can often find themselves low in progesterone and high in testosterone. As Ive explained, both imbalances in progesterone and testosterone can contribute to anxiety.
I would encourage you to check out my PCOS Kit that is designed to support womens natural hormone function to help clear up acne, lose weight, and even get their period back.
I also have a ton of great information on my website specifically to help you ladies struggling with PCOS.
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You Have Undiagnosed Pmdd
In some rare cases, very noticeable mood swings are indicative of something more than just PMS symptoms. If you notice that your mood swings are out of control and they’re affecting relationships in your life, you may want to talk to your doctor about premenstrual dysphoric disorder . Up to 10 percent of menstruating women suffer from this disorder, and it often goes undiagnosed. According to Dr. Dweck, “This is like PMS on steroids, where people are absolutely debilitated” due to the emotional plummets.
Dr. Dweck tells Bustle that the key to knowing that you’re stepping into PMDD territory is whether your emotional ups and downs are affecting the relationships in your life. This includes anyone from your co-worker to your partner. As soon as you notice this happening, visit your OBGYN and see whether it’s time to think of some treatments for PMDD.
Why Do I Get So Mean Before My Period
About a week before my period starts, I get SOOOOO cranky, mean, short tempered and snotty… To my husband!!!! The older I get, the WORSE it’s getting….UGH! Two days before getting my period, I get SO bloated. I look like I’m 6 months pregnant.I work out 5 x’s per week, eat pretty healthy I feel like I either am getting my period, have my period or just got over my period. No break really… I get my period every 25 days, and 7 days before it, I’m a monster…Once I get my period, within 24 hours I’m nice again, lol…. Anyone else like this? Any suggestions?PS the doctor put me on the lowest dose of zoloft to see if that would help, it doesn’t really..
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Pmdd Gives Me Severe Depression Every Time I Get My Period
I wasnt in physical pain, but I was severely depressed and having thoughts about harming myself even though I felt fine just days before. A few doctors suggested talk therapy, my therapist suggested I see a doctor, and the antidepressants my psychiatrist prescribed didnt help. Every month, I knew what was coming, but I could never fully prepare myself for the sadness, the uncontrollable sobbing, and the flood of disturbing thoughts that came without warning. My period was ruining my life, and it was embarrassing. As an adult woman, I felt that I should be able to get through the day without dissolving into tears because my period was making me sad.
But for me and an estimated 5% of other people who have periods, its not that simple.
Living with PMDD can feel like a constant struggle against depression, anxiety, and pain, with few options for long-term relief. Theres no month where Im ready for it. Theres no month where its easier, said 27-year-old Morgan Coffey, who was diagnosed with PMDD at 16, when she started experiencing severe depression during her period. It never gets easier, is the worst part, Coffey said.
*Name has been changed
It Could Be Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder A Disorder That Causes Severe Depression Symptoms Before Your Period
* Change in appetite, or food cravings
* Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual
* Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
* Physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, joint or muscle pain, weight gain, or bloating
What’s also important here is that your symptoms are cyclical, says Minkin aka most of the month you’re completely fine, then anywhere from a few days to two weeks before your period , the symptoms set in. And then once you start your period, they lessen and go away. Rinse and repeat.
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How Is Pmdd Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will take a medical history and evaluate your symptoms. You may need to track your symptoms through one or two menstrual cycles. To diagnose PMDD, your provider will look for five or more PMDD symptoms, including one mood-related symptom. Your provider will rule out or diagnose other conditions such as anxiety, depression or reproductive disorders.
Dealing With The Winter Blues
The reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . Women are diagnosed with SAD at four times the rate of men. SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how bad you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
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What Causes Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
It is not clear what causes PMDD, though it is believed that hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle play a role. Serotonin, a brain chemical, also may play a role in this health condition. Serotonin levels change during a womans menstrual cycle, and some women may just be more sensitive to these changes.1 Generally, the progesterone your body makes causes a slowing down of the gut, and this contributes to certain symptoms of PMDD, Dr. Maureen Whelihan says: The drop in hormones may contribute to the mood swings, which can range from anger to tearfulness to both, she explains. This cycling of the hormones may play a role but the exact cause is unknown.
What Causes Anxiety Before Periods
If youre experiencing anxiety before your period only then it is most likely due to the shifts in hormones that occur during the luteal phase of your cycle. Before the onset of you period, progesterone levels drop, which can trigger anxiety in some women. For others, stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine can contribute to anxiety and a sense of overwhelm.
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Using The Pill For Pms And Pmdd
My first recommendation for mild PMS is to encourage regular exercise and relaxation techniques. Some women find that cutting back on sodium decreases bloating and swelling. For women with PMS or PMDD who also desire contraception, taking the birth control pill and shortening or eliminating the typical week off can be very effective.
Several studies suggest the best birth control pills for controlling PMS or PMDD symptoms are those that contain the hormone drospirenone. When I prescribe one of these medications for a woman who wants to control her PMS or PMDD, I usually start with a dosing schedule that includes only a four-day time-off interval. If symptoms continue, I recommend a different pill with a higher dose of estrogen. If that still doesnt improve symptoms, I next have the woman take pills with active hormones every day, completely skipping any time off.
Women who take continuous birth control pills will stop having periods but may experience occasional irregular bleeding. Many find the trade-off well worth it to ease the symptoms of PMS and PMDD. Be aware that birth control pills with drospirenone are slightly more likely to cause blood clots than pills with other types and amounts of hormones. However, the risk is still quite low in healthy women.
Doctors used to prescribe progesterone alone for PMS and PMDD. Newer studies suggest that it doesnt help. Although there is still a great deal of attention given to the use of progesterone, I dont recommend it.
Seek Out Social Connections
Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, is a powerful chemical that is released when mother and child bond, sexual attachments are formed, and even when we experience more general social connections. Oxytocin triggers serotonin, which helps makes us feel happy.
Need a quick oxytocin fix? Pet a dog or get a twenty second bear hug in!
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Depression Symptoms Worsen Before Menstruation
Women Whose Symptoms Get Worse Before Periods Have Longer Bouts of Depression
In a new study, 64% of women with major depression said their symptoms get worse five to 10 days before their period. Women whose symptoms worsened had depression for a longer duration of time than women whose depression symptoms did not change because of the onset of menstruation.
The news could help doctors evaluate, treat, and set standards for the treatment of depression. Nearly 19 million American adults have depression in any given year — about 9.5% of the population. Women experience depression about twice as often as men, says the National Institute of Mental Health .
That may be partly due to factors that are unique to women. However, men are less likely to admit depression and doctors are less likely to suspect it in their male patients, says NIMH.
Depression can strike at any age. Everything from genetics to stress can play a role. According to researchers more then 20% of women will experience depression at some time during their lifetime. But the childbearing years may be a particularly vulnerable time for women.
The study appears in the January issue of Psychological Medicine. It’s the work of researchers including Susan Kornstein, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University .
What Is The Cause Of Pmdd
Researchers know that PMDD symptoms are tied to the cycling of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, but the cause-effect relationship is not entirely understood.
We think its more likely to be the estrogen than the progesterone, but its complicated, says Mendiratta.
In women of childbearing age, estrogen levels peak at ovulation and then begin to fall. For some women, symptoms start just after ovulation , but for most women, symptoms begin about a week before their period.
Whether symptoms roll in like a rising tide or like a tsunami also differs among women.
For some women, symptoms come on abruptly. One moment you are fine, the next moment you are depressed or manic or angry for no reason, says Mendiratta.
Once you get your period, your estrogen levels bottom out, and symptoms resolve within a day or two.
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Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better
If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This could be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions . Certain medications, and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps.
Talking to Your Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help prepare and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.