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Menstrual Depression

Firstly, there are three main menstrually related mood disorders:
Perimenopausal Depression
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Disclaimer: we are NOT medical or mental health professionals. All our claims are based of off credible research studies. We do NOT recommend self-diagnosing and urge anyone who relates to anything we post to consult with a licensed professional.


Firstly, there are three main menstrually related mood disorders:

  • Perimenopausal Depression
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Perimenopausal Depression

Perimenopause marks the time in a woman’s life indicating that she’s no longer in a state of reproduction and is the period (no pun intended) before the last ovary shrivels up, drying all the blood.

Depression is one of the many symptoms related to perimenopause, alongside with anxiety and unstable emotions (not to get confused with Bipolar Disorder). Women transitioning into menopause are more vulnerable to depression, even if there is no history of depression.

Treatments include significant changes in dietary choices, HRT if indicated, and/or lifestyle and activity changes.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a collection of emotional symptoms, with or without physical symptoms, related to a women’s menstrual cycle. The causes of PMS remains an enigma mainly because of its wide-ranging symptoms and the difficulty in making a firm diagnosis. Most evidence suggests that PMS results from the alterations or intersections between the levels of sex hormones.

PMS does not appear to be specifically associated with any personality factors or specific personality types. A number of studies have shown that psychological stress is not related to the severity of PMS.

Symptoms of PMS include, but are not limited to:

  • craving, acne, back pain, and headache
  • women can have PMS of varying duration and severity from cycle to cycle
  • anger
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • tension
  • urge to cry
  • PMS can also worsen symptoms of certain chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies, seizure disorders, and migraines.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is a severe case of Premenstrual Syndrome and is identified as a group of symptoms females experience before menstruation (period). The cause of PMDD is unknown, however it is likely that it’s the abnormal reaction to normal hormone changes that happen with each menstrual cycle. It can cause a deficiency in serotonin that can affect mood and cause physical symptoms.

Symptoms of PMDD include but are not limited to:

  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • sleeping issues
  • anxiety
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • breast tenderness
  • cramps
  • depression
  • intense anger

Treatments of Menstrually-Related Depressions

  • antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • hormonal treatments (progesterone or estrogen supplements)
  • oral contraceptives (aka birth control)
  • diet and excerise

Sources

  • healthline.com/health/depression/Perimenopausal-depression
  • health.harvard.edu/womens-health/when-the-arrival-of-menopause-brings-symptoms-of-depression

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