Premenstrual syndrome (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 common 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:
Other reasons you might feel depressed before your period include:
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – PMDD is very like 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 situation, including depression, become worse in the weeks or days leading up to your period. Depression is one of the most common conditions that coexist with PMS. About half of all women who get treated for PMS also have either depression or anxiety.
Why does it happen?
Experts aren’t sure about the exact reason for PMS, but it’s likely linked to hormonal fluctuations that happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Ovulation occurs about halfway through your cycle. During this time, your body releases an egg, causing estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. A shift in these hormones can cause both physical and emotional symptoms.
There’s no standard treatment for depression during PMS. But several lifestyle changes and a few medications may help relieve your emotional 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.
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.