Go Out And Have Some Fun
Theres definitely a time for being introverted during menstruation. However, if youre feeling bogged down by negative emotions, recognize them and then do just the opposite.
Get out and engage in some activities that are simple and silly, like dancing and laughing. Things that allow you to be more carefree to balance the deeper, contemplative or serious side of yourself.
You Feel Easily Overwhelmed And Out Of Control
When youre juggling family matters, work obligations, and more, who wouldnt be overwhelmed? But when that feeling threatens to engulf you, take noteit may be PMDD. My patients tell me theyre easily discombobulated when they need to get the kids off to school, says Dr. Currier. They feel overwhelmed with their typical day-to-day schedule.Ive even had a couple of patients tell me in tears that the week before their period was when they were most apt to scream ator even think about hurtingtheir children, Dr. Sulak adds. They get to the point where they feel completely out of control.
Create A Menstrual Ritual
Try to make your menstruation a more delightful experience by using soft, natural menstrual pads against your skin.
Or try herbal teas to support your cycle and your mood.
Raspberry tea helps to nourish and tonify the womb.
Womens Moon Cycle tea helps to ease menstrual discomfort.
Either way, it helps to create a personal menstrual ritual to honor this special time of your month.
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To Prevent Future Bouts
Here are some things you can start doing to improve your periods and prevent, or at least reduce, those icky period flu symptoms during your next cycle:
- Exercise regularly.Exercise has been shown to improve a lot of the discomfort associated with periods, including cramps, depression, and lack of energy.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy is always a good idea, but making healthier choices in the two weeks leading up to your period can reduce PMS symptoms. Cut back on your alcohol, sugar, salt, and caffeine intake.
- Quit smoking.
Depression During Period: Everything You Need To Know
Feeling depressed before and during a menstrual period is common. Experts believe that these emotional changes occur as a result of fluctuating hormone levels.
Most people who menstruate will experience some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome , including moodiness and headaches.
However, some individuals can develop more severe symptoms, such as depression and anger. Hormones can also cause people to feel nauseated during their period.
Severe PMS symptoms may indicate another condition, which is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder . Additionally, existing mental health conditions may temporarily worsen during a menstrual period.
In this article, we explore why some people feel depressed during a period. We also list home remedies and treatment options.
Hormonal changes during the second half of the menstrual cycle, called the luteal phase, may cause a low mood and irritability in some people.
After ovulation, which occurs midcycle, the levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to fall.
Rising and falling levels of these hormones can affect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Examples of these neurotransmitters are serotonin and dopamine, which are both chemicals that influence mood, sleep, and motivation.
Low levels of serotonin and dopamine can cause:
All of these are common symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
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How Can You Manage Pms
In the throes of PMS, it can feel like youll never return to your regular mood, but its important to maintain perspective throughout the month, and know that what goes down must come up after a few days your mood will stabilise. A great way to maintain perspective is to track your period cycle, so you can identify which times of the month your PMS symptoms occur. Knowing this can help you prepare for symptoms of depression, avoid stressful situations and limit your exposure to anything that will make you more sad, irritated or anxious. Keeping track of when negative emotions appear can help you keep them in perspective. Managing PMS is different for everyone, but some other things to try are:
Remember, if your PMS symptoms feel unmanageable or have increased in their intensity, there may be options you dont yet know about. Being a woman with a period does not automatically mean we have to deal with severe depression, so dont be afraid to ask for help from your doctor or a medical professional.
What are your PMS symptoms like, and how do you manage them? Let us know over in our or drop us a note on Insta . Don’t forget that our personalised period subscription box can get organic tampons delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox. So that’s one less worry each month!
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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Solutions For Dealing With Pms Depression
Many women experience complete relief from PMS depression once their periods begin, but there are also lifestyle changes you can make to reduce symptoms.
Nutrition is a great place to start. A diet high in whole foods including grains, fruits and vegetables can help you feel better all month long. Watch how much salt, caffeine and alcohol you consume because these can all worsen PMS symptoms. Vitamins formulated for menstrual health are another easy way to support a healthy menstrual cycle overall .
Exercise is proven to be a mood-booster and helps with physical symptoms as well. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises can help you reduce stress and get better sleep. If aches and pains have you feeling down, over-the-counter medication may help or you can get natural, targeted relief from cramps with heat patches.
Feelings of depression before your period can range from mild to severe enough that its best to seek professional help. If you think you may have PMDD, contact your doctor. Medication such as birth control or antidepressants may be necessary to regulate your hormones. If you are unclear whether your feelings of depression are related to your period, try using a period tracker to follow when the symptoms begin and end to get more insight.
Progesterone: The Pms Culprit
Progesterone and estrogen, the primary female sex hormones, affect the parts of our brains which influence mood and behavior. So, as the progesterone in our body suddenly rises after ovulation, so do depressive feelings. One explanation for this could be that progesterone affects the amygdala . The amygdala is part of our fear-based response system, and since progesterone triggers the amygdala, we become hyper-reactive in the throes of PMS. Heightened amygdala reactivity also leads to increased anxiety, which can make us more depressed. If you experience severe cases of depression and hopelessness during this time, consider speaking to a doctor since you may be experiencing more extreme symptoms of PMS.
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Can Depression Make Your Period Late
There are many reasons a woman’s period may be late or her cycle may go off schedule. An obvious one is pregnancy. Others include poor nutrition, excessive exercise, and long-term illness. A less obvious reason for amenorrhea or missing a period, however, is depression.
The link between mental health and reproductive health makes sense when you consider that nature does everything it can to create favorable conditions for reproduction.
If a woman is chronically stressed, anxious, sad, or upset, she’s really not in a physical or emotional position to go through a pregnancy and then take care of and nurture a child. Under these less than ideal conditions, the female reproductive system can shut down.
Your Serotonin Levels Are Diminished
Strangely enough, the hormonal changes you experience also influence how the chemicals in your brain function. Neurotransmitters in the brain probably have something to do with PMS symptoms, Dr. Dweck says. Research suggests that serotonin drops when your period starts, due to all the hormonal fluctuations. Low amounts of serotonin in the brain are associated with depression, irritability, and intense cravings for carbohydrates, which is pretty much PMSing in a nutshell. In her book Moody Bitches, psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland explains,
Lower estrogen levels cause serotonin levels to drop precipitously a few days before menstruation, which may be the basis of many PMS symptoms. Low levels of serotonin are implicated in depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder youre even more physically sensitive to pain than usual, and more emotionally sensitive to criticism. Youre less resilient in the face of stresses and feel sadder, hungrier, and more scared, tearful, and angsty.
On top of all that, as levels of estrogen and serotonin rapidly fall, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid also start to disappear when your period arrives. These are two chemicals that boost your moods, put a pep in your step, and reduce anxiety. Without them, you dont exactly have a recipe for calm, cool, and collected on your hands.
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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.
When To Contact A Doctor
In some cases, home treatment may be enough to reduce the symptoms of anxiety related to PMS or PMDD.
If a persons anxiety or other symptoms associated with PMS interfere with daily life and activities, a person should seek guidance from a doctor. A doctor can recommend additional treatment options or prescribe medication that may help.
It is possible that a person will not receive the correct diagnosis due to the similarities between PMDD and PME.
If the treatments are not working or become less effective, a person should contact a doctor about adjusting their treatment and ensuring they have the correct diagnosis.
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Pmdd Gives Me Severe Depression Every Time I Get My Period
Before I was diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, I spent a lot of time in medical offices, exam table paper crinkling under my butt, crying about 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
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For two weeks every month Rachel* would be engulfed in a depression so deep she felt like she was walking through treacle. As a gifted athlete and high achiever academically, it was entirely out of character.
Half the month I was extroverted, firing on all cylinders, Rachel says. Then I would hit ovulation. And at that time I became dysfunctional, shy and withdrawn. Its like I woke up one day and became a completely different person. And from then until I started menstruating I became utterly dysfunctional. Then I would get my period and I would be fine. And this happened again and again and again.
She says these symptoms which doctors have now attributed to premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD have affected intimate relationships and friendships over the years because she would withdraw socially if she felt the fog of depression closing in: I couldnt stand myself so how could anyone else?
PMDD affects between 3% and 8% of women of reproductive age. Its caused by fluctuations in hormone levels which affect brain chemistry and result in severe mood disturbances, says Prof Jayashri Kulkarni, a psychiatrist and director of the Monash Alfred psychiatry research centre at Monash University in Melbourne.
There are some women who are more sensitive to their hormone fluctuations than others
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So Whats The Difference
An estimated 75 percent of women and girls experience some emotional and physical discomfort around their periods, but the impact of PMS on their lives is usually relatively mild. The symptoms of PMDD are far more severe and often cause problems that persist even after the tampon box is back in the cabinet.
We all can have mood swings before the start of our periods, but in the case of PMDD were talking about feeling like a different person, says Stephanie Samar, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who works with young women at the Child Mind Institute. Its only PMDD if it is seriously impairing.
- A girl with PMS might feel tired or a little out of it. A girl with PMDD might be almost unable to get out of bed, or struggle to concentrate on even simple tasks.
- A girl with PMS might feel grumpy or frustrated. A girl with PMDD might feel moments of irrational rage, find herself fighting with loved ones out of nowhere, or end up damanging friendships or romantic relationships.
- A girl with PMS might be more emotional and find herself crying at things like sad commercials. A girl with PMDD is likely to experience feelings more akin to a major depressive episode, including feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, misery and even suicidal thoughts.