I Was One Of The Walking Depressed Some Of My Clients Are Too
We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.
On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.
But were doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.
Our depression may not be completely disabling, but its real.
Can Antidepressants Affect My Menstrual Cycle
Besides the link between depression and the menstrual cycle, theres also evidence that antidepressant medication can affect your periods. For some people, this may mean an increase in symptoms, such as painful, heavy, or irregular periods. Research found that women who were taking antidepressants hadsignificantly higher rates of menstrual disordersthan those who werent. Researchers concluded that these symptoms appear to be associated with antidepressant use at least in some women.
Antidepressants affect the chemical serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with depression and anxiety. However, serotonin alsoplays a role in blood clotting. This could explain why antidepressants seem to increase the risk of heavy bleeding. Some antidepressants have also been linked tohigh levels of the hormone prolactin, which can prevent ovulation. This may result in disruption to your cycle, such as missing or irregular periods or changes to your menstrual flow.
Your Symptoms Extend Beyond Your Period
Typically, PMS symptoms become a problem the week before you get your period and abruptly subside on Day 2, said Dr. Currier.
But if the symptoms arent necessarily in sync with your period, generalized anxiety disorder or depression may be to blame. If the bad stuff is going on all month long, said Dr. Sulak, theres something other than PMS going on.
Ultimately, if you have any concerns about your menstrual cycle, its always a great idea to see your health care provider for assistance.
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Acknowledge And Express Your Feelings
Allow these feelings to be there and give yourself permission to feel them.
Dont judge yourself or suppress these feelings as this can cause anger outbursts at a later time.
You have a right to experience your emotions, and maybe there are unmet needs that are trying to be expressed.
Write down how youre feeling so you can express it in some way, or use a creative approach to express these feelings.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pmdd
PMDD is a mix of severe physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms that can make daily life very difficult for those who suffer from it.
Typically, PMDD symptoms show up in the second half of the menstrual cycle around 7 to 10 days before the period, and continue up till menstruation. PMDD has been included as a depressive disorder not otherwise specified by the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, or DSM.
According to DSM-V manual, a person suffering from PMDD will show at least five of the following key symptoms:
- frequent and extreme mood swings feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection
- increased irritability, anger or relationship conflicts
- severe anxiety, tension, feelings of being constantly on edge
- difficulty in concentration
- lethargy, feeling often and easily tired
- excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- other physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating, weight gain.
Since PMDD is tied to fluctuations in reproductive hormone levels, the above symptoms should be absent for at least a week after periods for PMDD to be diagnosed. If the above symptoms are not cyclical and do not seem to clear up at any time, it may point to another form of underlying depressive disorder.
Before diagnosis, it is also important to make sure that these symptoms are not the result of taking medication or oral contraceptives.
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Does Hormonal Birth Control Help Or Make It Worse
This works very much on a person-by-person basis. Some hormonal birth control pills help reduce bloating, breast sensitivity and other physical symptoms, as well as minimising emotional symptoms like depression and anxiety. Others, however, have been known to make symptoms even worse. It often takes a few tries to find a method of contraception that works for you and doesnt negatively affect your cycle and PMS symptoms. Always speak to your doctor about the options you have.
How Is Pmdd Managed Or Treated
Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these treatments to help manage PMDD:
- Antidepressants to help manage your brains serotonin levels.
- Dietary changes, such as cutting back on salty, fatty or sugary foods and caffeine.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines to ease cramps , headaches, breast tenderness and other physical symptoms.
- Regular exercise to improve mood.
- Stress management tools, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation.
Why Do I Get Depressed After My Period
I have been feeling like this since being pregnant 6 year ago and still trying to getNot everyone recognizes the signs of depression right away, Use relaxation techniquesWomen with past histories of depression are at an increased risk of depression during menopause as well, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, Detection
Not having enough sleep may make your depression worse during your period, I bled near constantly.anxiety and depression AFTER menstrual cycleAlso, If your score goes up, and you are still depressed, if you have low iron, and Finding www.healthline.comSevere depression every month 1 wk before periodwww.beyondblue.org.au
Staying Sane & Kicking The Period Blues: A Few Tips
Now that you know why your cycle can make your moods take a dip, lets talk about what you can do to feel better.
1. Take your experiences seriously and ask for help. Silly memes about PMS pop up online all the time, and while we love a good meme as much as the next person, they can sometimes have the effect of making you dismiss your pain or suffering as unserious and unimportant. But the way you feel matters.
If you suspect your cycle is severely affecting your mood and quality of life, talk to your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. Get screened for PMDD or perimenopausal depression and find out about treatment options, ranging from hormonal meds to antidepressants to cognitive behavioral therapy.
2. Treat yourself well. Self-care does make us feel better. Exercise, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep are essential to improving our moods, whatever part of the menstrual cycle were in.
Just make sure youre not too hard on yourself as you work on incorporating these good habitsespecially in the days right before or during your period. A particularly intense PMS day may not be the best time to take an extra-challenging HIIT class . Oftentimes, treating yourself well might mean simply letting yourself take a nap.
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How Depression Affects Our Cycles
Depression can have an array of effects on our natural cycles. Depression can actually cause women to experience irregular or missed periods. This is primarily a result of the added hormonal symptoms depression creates in the body .
The effects of depression complicates our typical hormonal monthly cycle because prolonged periods of depression and stress suppress the functioning of our hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is an important part of our brain when it comes to hormone production and balance in the body. In the case of womens reproductive health, the hypothalamus, supressed due to prolonged depression, may be unable to aid hormone functions responsible for our sleep cycle, emotions, sex drive, and childbirth. For example, when women are clinically depressed their bodies may have trouble ovulating, which makes sense since prolonged bouts of depression can also cause women to miss their periods.
Ovulation: When We Are Feeling Ourselves
The negative feelings associated with PMS mark the comedown of the week of our monthly sexual prime: ovulation. When we ovulate we are scientifically proven to come across as more attractive. When we come across as more attractive, we most likely feel more attractive and confident, and according to research, the impacts of these self-positive feelings show.
In fact, a 2007 study found female lap dancers actually earned higher tips when they were ovulating, i.e., at their most fertile. Another study found women are more likely to buy revealing clothing when they are ovulating, and may even choose sexier shoes and accessories. Research shows fertile women are also more interested in attending social gatheringsand then like a flip of a switch its all overright after we ovulate our progesterone levels rise and our PMS hits. The whole wanting-to-be-social thing backfires and instead, we just want to be home under some blankets with a pint of ice cream, hygge-ing it up. .
You will most likely experience a uptick in your sex drive, and if youre into men, science says you may experience a heightened taste for manlier men. Im picturing a lumberjack outside his log cabin in the wilderness chopping some wood with strong hands, stronger arms, a red flannel shirt, and the perfect amount of stubble . Given the progression of my thoughts about this lumberjack, I realize I may be ovulating as I write this
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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.
When Is It More Than Just Pms
Between 3-8% of people with periods experience a more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder . The symptoms are similar to those of PMS, but much more frequent and intense. Where PMS symptoms may last a few days, PMDD symptoms last the entire 1-2 weeks, and theyre severe enough to disrupt your daily functioning. Its a chronic condition that requires treatment.
The main feature of PMDD is the way it affects you mentally. It can cause clinical levels of anxiety and depression, with symptoms like panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, severe mood swings, and paranoia. What sets PMDD apart from other mood disorders is that symptoms go away shortly after your period starts.
Theres also premenstrual exacerbation , which worsens the symptoms of another mental health condition in the premenstrual phase.
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How The Menstrual Cycle Affects Our Mental Health
Tender breasts, pesky zits, tears, excessive tiredness, cravings for something sweet, anger, weird bowel movements, sleeplessness, an unexplained wave of depression, and of course, more tearssound familiar?
These are some of the typical symptoms that accompany the hormonal changes of our menstrual cycles, particularly right before our period occurs. More often than not, most of us have felt variations of these emotional and physical happenings in our own bodies before our time of the month. Even if you are feeling only one of these symptoms, you are suffering from premenstrual syndrome . The data ranges, but an estimated 75 to 90 percent of women experience symptoms of PMS. Here is a breakdown of the emotional and hormonal ins and outs of our cycles and how these aspects may influence our mental health throughout the month.
What Are The Complications Of Pmdd
Untreated PMDD can lead to depression and, in severe cases, suicide. The disorder can cause severe emotional distress and negatively affect relationships and careers.
If youre experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides 24/7 free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
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Anxiety And Depression During Periods: Causes Detection And Treatment
Depression and anxiety during periods are both common. These symptoms are often part of premenstrual syndrome . PMS is a combination of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that occur during the premenstrual phase of the cycle and go away after the period begins. PMS can cause depression before and during periods, along with food cravings, headache, fatigue, and tender breasts, among other symptoms.
However, severe depression during periods may be caused by premenstrual dysphoric disorder . If you are already experiencing depression, it may be that your depression worsens before and during periods.
Pmdd Vs Pms Vs Perimenopausal Depression
If PMS gets extreme to the point it causes major disruptions to your life or relationships, you may have whats called premenstrual dysphoric disorder .4 PMDD is like PMS on steroids. Both are triggered by the hormonal fluctuations that take place during your cycle, but PMDD sufferers feel the symptoms at a more extreme level. Instead of feeling slightly down, they may feel suicidal. Instead of being mildly anxious, they may experience panic attacks.
Not sure whether you have PMS or PMDD? Talk to your doctor if you suspect the latter so you can be professionally screened and cared for. An estimated 3% to 8% of menstruators are affected by PMDD, and if you fall into that group, its important that you seek prompt treatment from a healthcare provider.5 Your period should never make your day-to-day unbearably difficult.
Extreme emotional symptoms that seem to track with your period could also point to perimenopausal depression, if youre between your forties to fifties. Believed to be caused by hormonal changes related to menopause, perimenopausal depression is a serious mental condition with symptoms that include low energy and self-esteem, anxiety, irritability, paranoid thinking, sleep issues, weight gain, and more.6
If you think you may be affected by perimenopausal depression, dont dismiss your concerns or suffer alone. Help is available, so get in touch with your healthcare professional.
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Could You Be Depressed
Depression alters your brainâs chemistry. You may have very little energy, even for hobbies and activities you love. Itâs also common to feel helpless and self-critical, which can cause someone with the condition to âshut down.â
- A feeling of sadness that doesnât go away
- Low appetite and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
- Restlessness or feeling irritable
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Call 911 if youâre thinking about hurting yourself or others. Even if not, talk to a counselor or therapist if you have any of these other symptoms. Your doctor is a good resource as well. Some people also find relief from their depression with antidepressant medicine.
Hormones And Your Menstrual Cycle
Hormones are specialized chemicals in your body that control a variety of functions, including your menstrual cycle. Estrogen and progesterone are the primary hormones that control female sexual characteristics, reproduction, and your menstrual cycle.
During certain times of the month, these hormone levels increase. This fluctuation, combined with ovarian steroids, can change the way you feel mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Along with elevated estrogen and progesterone levels, serotonin levels in your brain may change as your menstrual period approaches. Serotonin is a brain chemical thats responsible for mood, and it could be linked to some of the mood-related changes that are common in the days before and during your period.
Fluctuating hormone and serotonin levels play a role in PMS symptoms, but its not clear exactly what causes these bothersome side effects. Some women may be more likely to have severe symptoms if they have a history of depression, anxiety, or other menstrual conditions.
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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!
Can Dehydration Cause Fatigue
If you are feeling fatigued, it could be due to dehydration. Usually, you feel thirsty later than your body senses dehydration, making it hard to catch up on your water intake.
Try these tips to stay hydrated:
- Drink at least two glasses of water an hour before and an hour after vigorous physical activity.
- Sip water during your workout.
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How Does Your Period Affect Your Mental Health
There are all sorts of hormonal fluctuations happening over the course of your menstrual cycle. Although theres still a lot we dont understand about it, researchers point to the role of estrogen in regulating mood and producing serotonin and feel-good endorphins. Your estrogen shifts pretty drastically at different times of your cycle, which can impact the way you feel. On top of that, you might also be experiencing physical symptoms like cramps, bloating, and headaches which can take their own toll on your mood.
The reverse is also true: your mental health can affect your period. Too much stress can shorten or stop your period altogether. People who are under a lot of stress or have a personal or family history of depression are also more likely to experience PMS symptoms.