The time period between two menstrual cycles in a woman is approximately 28 to 32 days. Many women during their menstruation feel depressed, irritated and tensed other than the normal days. Although the exact cause of this psychological state is not clearly known, several factors have been presumed to be involved. Hormonal play is predominant role among them.
For a menstruation to occur, the game play begins in hypothalamus situated in brain. It triggers pituitary gland also in the brain to release certain hormones called FSH and LH. These hormones are involved in maturation and release of egg from the ovary in conjunction with estrogen, another hormone produced by the ovary.
Progesterone prepares the uterus for conception if the egg is fertilized by the sperm. If the egg is not fertilized the inside lining of uterus sheds along with blood to cause what we know as menstruation.
What Causes Depression During Menstruation?
Estrogen and progesterone are two female reproductive hormones that actively participate during menstruation and even during pregnancy. These hormones have many other effects on the body of a woman during menstruation. Some women have physical symptoms such as abdomen bloating, breast pain, perspiration etc. Some women manifest change in mood. She may feel irritated, depressed, low self esteemed, increase in libido during this time.
The symptoms although disturbing, can be managed by the woman. However in some woman the mental symptoms such as depression are severe and unmanageable. Researchers are unable to find the exact etiology for depression during menses, but they link it to be caused due to interference of estrogen with serotonin a hormone which uplifts and maintains good mood.
Heredity is another cause suspected for depression during menstrual period. Lifestyle and dietary changes can affect production of female hormones, which can concurrently have its manifestation during and before menstruation in the form of depression and anxiety. Lack of exercise, alcohol, too much of coffee and tea, and obesity also play a role to cause depression during menses.
Depression Symptoms During Menstruation
The symptoms of depression during menses are moderate to severe. They may begin few days before the onset of menstrual bleeding or during menses. Usually the symptoms vanish after the period. The symptoms of depression can be physical and psychological.
- Extreme fatigue
- Decreased appetite
- Pain in abdomen
- Decrease in judgment
- Unable to concentrate
- Suicidal ideas
- Constant feeling of hopelessness.
- Unable to feel pleasure.
- Sudden crying and laughing.
- Excessive craving for food.
- Loss of interest in regular activities.
Home Remedies For Depression During Period
In most women depression during menses is manageable. However, few percentages of women may require medications to treat the condition during this period. Here are some of the important tips that will help in reducing the depressive symptoms.
- Women should regularly exercise. A 30 to 45 minutes brisk walk will help in preventing depression in first place. It will keep the mood uplift due to exercise.
- Eat nutritious food which contains all essential nutrients required to maintain healthy body. Increase the portion of vegetables, fruit, whole grains etc. Avoid too much of sugar, coffee and tea.
- Take 7 hours sleep daily. Drink one glass of milk before going to bed. Milk has inherent quality to induce sleep.
- John’s wort is natural herb known to treat mild depression that is accompanied with menstruation.
- Chaste berry is another time tested herb for treating depression during menses.
- Some women with severe form of depression may require medication and help of a psychiatrist.