Menstruation is a process, which makes it possible for women to have children and is mainly controlled by the hormones. Owing to the changes in hormones and the different ways in which body adjusts to it can cause various changes in women, and depression during menstruation is one such experience. It is important to know the signs of depression during menstruation, its causes and remedies to be able to manage the condition well.
Menstruation and Depression during Menstruation
The hypothalamus in the brain is where it all starts in order for a menstruation to occur. The hypothalamus triggers the pituitary gland thereby releasing hormones named FSH and LH. These hormones help in the release of the egg from the ovary with the help of another hormone named estrogen, which is again produced in the ovary.
If the egg which is produced gets fertilized by a sperm, then the uterus is made ready for conception. If no fertilization takes place, the inner lining of the uterus starts shredding in the form of blood which is commonly known as menstruation.
Approximately 28 to 31 days lie between the two menstrual cycles in a woman with most of them having a hard time during these days. Most women complain that they feel extremely tensed, depressed and irritated during these days and feel like meeting no one and doing nothing during it. Depression during menstruation is very common among women, the causes of which are many but can be managed with remedies to a great extent.
Signs of Depression during Menstruation
Ranging from moderate to severe, the signs of depression during menstruation differ in every woman. In most cases, these symptoms start a few days before the menstrual bleeding begins and continues till the cycle is over, disappearing thereafter. A woman experiences both psychological and physical depression during menstruation.
Some of the commonest signs of depression during menstruation include:
- Lack of judgement.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Inability to concentrate on anything.
- Feels hopeless and disappointed all the time.
- Does not get pleasure out of anything.
- Craving for an array of food items.
- Sudden happiness and sadness.
- Reduced appetite.
- Abdominal pain.
- Feeling tired and fatigued all day long.
- No interest in performing daily activities.
Causes of Depression during Menstruation
The major causes of depression during menstruation can be divided into the following points.
- Estrogen and Progesterone - The two female reproductive hormones which play a vital role in a woman's menstrual cycle as well as pregnancy are estrogen and progesterone. They affect the woman's body in numerous ways during menstruation. While some women experience physical signs such as bloating of the abdomen, pain in breasts and nipples and extensive perspiration, others experience psychological changes where they feel depressed and irritated during their menstruation. Changes in these two important hormones is the commonest cause of depression during menstruation.
- Interaction of Estrogen - Some researchers reveal that one of the cause as to why a woman experiences depression during menstruation is that the hormone estrogen starts interfering with another hormone known as serotonin preventing it from working efficiently. Serotonin is known for uplifting the mood of a woman and also maintaining it.
- Genetics - Another major cause of depression during menstruation is hereditary. Studies reveal that if your mother's side of the family including your mother used to suffer from depression during menstruation or is still suffering from it, chances are you to will suffer from it.
- Diet and Lifestyle - Female hormones often get negatively affected when a woman undergoes extensive dietary and lifestyle changes which can manifest itself before and during menstruation in the form of depression. It is best to avoid extreme changes in food habits and lifestyle unless absolutely necessary to avoid this being the cause of depression during menstruation. Some other factors which can cause depression during menstruation include too much consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes, taking on too much stress, lack of adequate sleep, no or very little exercise, obesity and also excess intake of caffeinated drinks on a regular basis.
Remedies for Depression during Menstruation
Many remedies are available for women who experience depression during menstruation which can help overcome this phase without the need of medications. Here are some of the different types of remedies for depression during menstruation, which not only help reduce the signs of depression but also elevate mood in general.
Home Remedies for Depression during Menstruation
- Exercise Everyday – Exercising on a regular basis helps to uplift the mood and keeps one physically and mentally fit. Even brisk walking for 30 to 40 minutes every morning or evening is more than enough to keep depression during menstruation at bay. It is best to exercise or go for a walk while having fresh air, which helps to improve mood and fight depression.
- Sleep Well – Reduced sleep, especially during menstruation, is one of the major factors which contributes to depression. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night, especially one week before your menstruation starts. You can also drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed as it soothes the nerves and calms the mind thereby inducing sleep.
- Eat Healthy – Eating healthy not only keeps our physical body fit, but also helps enhance mental development by providing all the basic nutrients that our mind requires. Eat good quantities of fruits, whole grains, fresh vegetables in your daily diet and avoid spicy and fried food items, tea, coffee, alcohol and sugar. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, it will help to flush out toxins and improve physical and emotional health.
- Primrose Oil – Being easily available with naturopaths, primrose oil cures depression during menstruation quite rapidly. It decreases the production of prostaglandins which can worsen depression in the long run. Moreover, this oil is also beneficial in reducing anxiety, stress and tension. It can be used as infusions, in baths or as advised by the expert.
- Yoga and Meditation – Yoga and meditation are the 2 most effective and simplest remedies for depression during menstruation. It helps change the body's neurological response to the ongoing hormonal changes during menstruation, which can cure depression and negative mood quite a bit.
Herbal Remedies for Depression during Menstruation
Some herbal remedies are also very effective for depression during menstruation and can be taken with medical advice.
- St. John's Wort - A natural herb known as St. John's Wort is quite effective and is one of the best known remedies for depression during menstruation.
- Chaste Berry – Chaste berry is yet another commonly used herb as a remedy for depression during menstruation. This herb when consumed in small quantities on a regular basis helps to elevate mood and reduce anger, stress and irritability in a person.
- Black Cohosh – This is a herb which has immense benefits associated with it. It treats irritability and insomnia effectively while also curing depression to a large extent.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture can help to alleviate depression, stress, anxiety and anger and also relax the mind and soul. This is quite effective during menstruation and is practiced by women all over the world to get rid of their depression during menstruation. Acupuncture for depression during menstruation is a science in itself and is practiced by trained experts.
- Anti-depressants - If the depression is too severe and refuses to go away then it is best to visit a doctor at the earliest and take a prescribed medication as that is the only remedy for curing a severe depression during menstruation. Antidepressants or any other medicine to treat depression during menstruation must be taken as advised by the physician.
- Counseling and Behavior Therapy – In many cases, counseling helps to reduce depression during menstruation and seeking support from a professional counselor must be considered, if required. In some cases, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy may also be clubbed along with the antidepressants or medicines for a quick and better recovery.
Depression during menstruation is a common problem, which can be cured at home itself without having to meet a doctor. Most home remedies should cure depression during menstruation but in some cases, medical advice may be required.
If you too are suffering from the signs of depression during menstruation, try out these remedies starting today and feel the difference in your mood.