Post Menstrual Depression

Hey ya’ll, it’s #MentalHealthMondays and today’s post is for the ladies! Sorry gents. You may go and check out my 30 day blogging challenge which I did not manage to finish. But this might benefit you too because you need to understand what women go through during menstruation.

Chances are good that you’ve had some type of premenstrual syndrome since you started getting your period. Doctors think as many as three-quarters of menstruating women have some signs of post menstrual syndrome, whether it’s food cravings, cramps, tender breasts, moodiness, or fatigue. But premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is different. It causes emotional and physical symptoms, like PMS, but women with PMDD find their symptoms debilitating, and they often interfere with their daily lives, including work, school, social life, and relationships.

Studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in your brain that helps transmit nerve signals. Certain brain cells that use serotonin also control mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Hormonal changes may cause a decrease in serotonin, leading to PMDD symptoms.

PMS is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that start a week or so before your period. It makes some people feel more emotional than usual and others bloated and achy. PMS can also make people feel depressed in the weeks leading up to their period. This may make you feel: sad, irritable
anxious, tired, angry, teary, forgetful, absentminded, uninterested in sex
like sleeping and eating too much or too little.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is very similar to PMS, but its symptoms are more severe. Many people with PMDD report feeling very depressed before their period, some to the point of thinking about suicide. While recent research estimates about 75 percent of women have PMS during their reproductive years, only 3 to 8 percent have PMDD.
Premenstrual exacerbation. This refers to when symptoms of an existing condition, including depression, become worse in the weeks or days leading up to your period. Depression is one of the most common conditions that coexists with PMS. About half of all women who get treated for PMS also have either depression or anxiety.

So how can one manage the depression??

  1. Track your symptoms – If you don’t already, start keeping track of your menstrual cycle and your emotions throughout its different stages. This will help you confirm that your depression symptoms are indeed linked to your cycle. Knowing that there’s a reason you’re feeling down can also help keep things in perspective and offer some validation. Period Tracking apps usually help.
  2. Hormonal birth control – Hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill or patch, can help with bloating, tender breasts, and other physical PMS symptoms. For some people, they can also help with emotional symptoms, including depression.
  3. Natural remedies -A couple of vitamins may help relieve PMS-related symptoms of depression. A clinical trial found that a calcium supplement helped with PMS-related depression, appetite changes, and tiredness. Many foods are good sources of calcium, including:

leafy green vegetables
fortified orange juice and cereal
You can also take a daily supplement containing 1,200 milligrams of calcium, which you can find on Amazon.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It can take about three menstrual cycles to see any symptom improvement while taking calcium.

Try these methods and they may help you.

*I am not a registered medical practitioner and information provided here is from my own personal research from WebMD and Healthline.

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