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Handling Depression And Anxiety During Menstruation 

Handling Depression And Anxiety During Menstruation 

Author: Dr. Shweta Nayak MBBS, DNB(OBG), MNAMS, CCGDM, KISAR Fellowship in Infertility, Fellowship in Basic Ultrasound
Consultant:  Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital Mysore

Most people who menstruate will experience some symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Periods can cause plenty of uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms vary from person to person, but they often extend beyond physical discomforts, like cramps, fatigue, and headaches.

Depression and other mood changes often show up in the days before your period starts, but they don't automatically disappear once it begins. They can linger for a few days, if not longer. Some people also experience depression after their period ends.

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. Serotonin and dopamine are examples of neurotransmitters which are both chemicals that influence mood, sleep, and motivation.

Low levels of serotonin and dopamine can cause the following symptoms, which are common with PMS:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Food cravings

When the levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to rise again a few days after the onset of a period, these symptoms often go away.
Track Your Symptoms 
Keep track of your symptoms throughout the phases of your menstrual cycle. This may help you determine whether your symptoms of depression are connected to your cycle. Having a detailed log of symptoms from your last few menstrual cycles can also come in handy when you want to discuss depression before and during periods with your healthcare provider. Thorough documentation of your symptoms may make it easier to explain to your healthcare provider what you're experiencing.
Vitamins & Supplements
Some supplements may help relieve symptoms of depression before and during periods. It was found that a calcium supplement may reduce PMS-related tiredness, appetite changes, and depression. Great sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yoghurt, fortified cereals, orange juice, and leafy green vegetables. A daily calcium supplement is another way to get enough calcium. 
Lifestyle Changes 
You can make the following lifestyle changes to relieve the symptoms of depression before and during periods.
Try to be physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week. Even going for a daily walk through your neighbourhood might improve your symptoms of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and depression with your period. 
Try to resist the cravings that often accompany premenstrual syndrome. For some people, eating excessive sugar, salt, and fat can have a negative impact on mood. You don't have to avoid these foods completely, but strike a balance with vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Avoiding alcohol, stopping smoking, and cutting back on caffeine may also help relieve symptoms of depression with periods and before it.
Sleep for at least seven to eight hours per night, especially a week or two before your period. Not having enough sleep may make your depression worse during your period. 
Unmanaged stress may worsen symptoms of depression during periods. Use relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and deep breathing exercises to calm your body and mind. Avoid emotional and stressful triggers whenever possible. Symptoms of depression before and during periods can often be managed with lifestyle changes and  antidepressants. 

At Motherhood Hospitals we have a team of experienced supers specialists backed by the latest infrastructure and facilities. We have the best gynaecologist in Mysore. We are experts in handling complex deliveries, gynaecological, and other surgeries, including various laparoscopic surgeries. 

Do make an appointment with the best womancare hospital in Mysuru at a centre closest to you. Meet with our doctors, who will carry out the required investigations, diagnose the issue and recommend the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life. 

If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Shweta Nayak, please book your appointment here.

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