Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle
It can help to know a bit about the main phases of the menstrual cycle. Heres a quick rundown:
- Menstrual phase. You get your period during this first stage of the cycle. When your period is over, this stage ends.
- Follicular phase. This phase also begins with the first day of your period, but it lasts until ovulation. During this phase, your body has lower levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. As your period ends, your body begins to rebuild the lining of the uterus in preparation for ovulation, or egg release, and hormone levels begin to rise once more.
- Ovulation. This happens in the middle of the menstrual cycle. Your estrogen levels rise, reaching a high point just before ovulation, and then they drop immediately afterward.
- Luteal phase. This phase begins after ovulation. The second half of your cycle involves a significant spike in progesterone, which helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy. When the released egg goes unfertilized, this peak is quickly followed by a drop, and your period begins.
Before ovulation, dopamine levels increase alongside rising estrogen levels. Incidentally, this fluctuation could help explain why you might notice changes in working memory and concentration during your period.
Both dopamine and estrogen decline again after ovulation, and right before your period starts, theres another drop in estrogen and progesterone.
For some people, the post-ovulation drop in estrogen leads to a corresponding drop in serotonin.
Why Does It Happen
Experts arent sure about the exact cause of PMS, but its likely linked to hormonal fluctuations that happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Ovulation happens 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.
Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also influence serotonin levels. This is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, sleep cycle, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin are linked to feelings of sadness and irritability, in addition to trouble sleeping and unusual food cravings all common PMS symptoms.
Your symptoms should improve when estrogen and progesterone levels rise again. This
Theres no standard treatment for depression during PMS. But several lifestyle changes and a few medications may help relieve your emotional symptoms.
How Are Hormones Related To Depression
Hormonal imbalance is a major contributor to mood disorders and therefore balancing hormone levels can be used to help treat these too. Human beings go through a huge number of hormonal fluctuations throughout our lives, for instance during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. It is easy to understand that these fluctuations, possibly leading to imbalances, may contribute to low mood or depression. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol play a significant role in mood behaviour. Estrogen can improve your mood by supporting serotonin levels in the brain. Progesterone can alleviate mood swings, irritability, and depression, having an overall calming effect on a person. Testosterone is an uplifting hormone and helps with a persons sense of well-being and confidence.Hormonal imbalances leading to mood swings may also be caused by premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
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Is It Really Just Pms
Certainly, for some people PMS involves nothing more than mild symptoms, like light cramping, bloating, or increased tiredness.
Keep in mind, though, that this isnt the case for everyone. Many people who experience PMS have more intense symptoms, including:
- major changes in mood
These symptoms can easily affect your daily life. In other words, theres no just about it.
Yet PMS, as uncomfortable as it can feel, isnt the only explanation for depression during your period. Here are some other potential causes.
You Really Are Noticing More Symptoms
For some women, PMS hits like a truck. It doesnt just bring on new symptoms. It may also make the problems youre already dealing with considerably worse.
Take Abby, for example. Abby struggles with anxiety every day. Shes constantly double-checking to make sure shes taken care of everything. The idea of anything falling through the cracks terrifies her. She often snaps at her loved ones without meaning to.
When PMS arrives, it often makes Abby feel even worse. Sometimes, its hard for her to even leave the house! Abby doesnt suffer from PMDD. Its just that PMS makes her anxiety much worse. It is clear she needs treatment for anxiety and depression. That treatment is hormone balancing.
Anxiety isnt the only thing that can get worse during PMS. You may also notice an increase in:
One study followed 32 women who appeared to meet the criteria for PMDD based on their symptoms. After daily charting, it became clear that 59% of these women also met the criteria for a current depressive or anxiety disorder. These women, rather than suffering from PMDD, had symptoms of depression or anxiety that got worse with PMS.
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What Is Hormonal Depression
One of the main kinds of depression that women experience is hormonal depression. This type of depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that is due to fluctuating hormone levels. It can occur during puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause. Symptoms of hormonal depression include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, crying spells, sleep changes, fatigue, and changes in appetite.
Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a variety of things such as stress, birth control pills, thyroid problems, and menopause. If you think you may be suffering from hormonal depression its important to see your doctor so they can run some tests and determine the best course of treatment for you. Often therapy and medication are necessary to get hormone levels back on track.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hormonal depression, dont suffer in silence, reach out for help. There are many resources available to you and with treatment, you can start feeling like yourself again.
Hormonal depression is a real and serious condition that should not be ignored. If you think you may be suffering from it, please see your doctor as soon as possible. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can start feeling better and get back to living your life.
Tip : Get Up And Get Moving
When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone working out! But exercise is a powerful depression fighterand one of the most important tools for depression recovery.
Studies show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication at increasing energy levels and decreasing feelings of fatigue. You dont even have to hit the gym. A 30-minute walk each day will give you a much-needed boost. And if you cant manage 30 minutes, three 10-minute bursts of movement throughout the day are just as effective.
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Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking
Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic.
Women also tend to ruminate when were depressed, perhaps spending hours trying to figure out why were feeling this way. However, rumination can maintain depression or even make it worse. You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by just telling yourself to think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it.
You can develop a more balanced way of thinking by identifying the type of negative thoughts that are contributing to your depression, and then learning to replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.
How Hormonal Changes During Menopause Influence Your Mood
The decline in estrogen is thought to impact the way the body manages norepinephrine and serotonin, 2 substances which are responsible for causing depression. Reduced levels of estrogen cause mood swings.
Mood changes are directly associated with menopause and can take mild forms such as feeling upset or irritated, or more severe like aggression.
Feelings commonly experienced due to hormonal changes include:
- anxiety accompanied by rapid heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, and unstable breathing
- depressed or unstable mood
- discouraged confidence
- memory loss
The mood changes that happen in the menopause transition cause women considerable trauma, distress and affect their overall well-being. This also impacts other people, particularly spouses, family and colleagues with whom the woman spends a considerable amount of time.
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Treat Your Hormone Imbalance With Whole Health Jc
Whether or not you and your doctor decide antidepressants are right for you we recommend getting hormonal treatment. Antidepressants work best when combined with hormone therapy in treating anxiety and depression.
Our clinic offers Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy treatment options for both men and women. Through a simple lab test, we can assess your hormone levels and create a BHRT treatment that fits your individual needs! Contact us at 573-893-5500.
How They Are Related
Many women going through perimenopause or menopause can tell you that extreme shifts in hormonal levels often lead to feelings of depression. Whether its a new onset of depressive symptoms or exaggerated symptoms from an existing diagnosis, managing the mood swings along with other symptoms can, at times, feel very overwhelming.
It is only recently that the medical community created guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of perimenopausal depression.
Some of the challenge in evaluating perimenopausal depression is due to the fact that several of the symptoms related to its hormonal changes overlap with common symptoms of depression and other menopausal symptoms that often present similarly.
Symptoms including, insomnia, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood problems are common during perimenopause and menopause.
The risk of developing symptoms related to depression is known to increase among women as they transition to menopause.
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How Are Pms And Pmdd Related To Depression In Women
As many as 3 out of every 4 menstruating women have premenstrual syndrome or PMS, which is marked by emotional and physical symptoms that change in intensity from one menstrual cycle to the next. Women in their 20s or 30s are usually affected.
About 3% to 5% of menstruating women have PMDD, a severe form of PMS, marked by emotional symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, mood swings, crankiness, and loss of interest in things.
Women with PMS and PMDD usually get symptoms 7 to 10 days before menstruation and then have dramatic relief once their menstrual flow is underway.
In the past decade, these conditions have become recognized as important causes of discomfort and behavioral change in women. Though the precise link between PMS, PMDD, and depression is still unclear, abnormalities in the functioning of brain circuits that regulate mood, along with fluctuating hormone levels, are thought to contribute.
What Raises The Chances Of Depression In Women
According to the National Institutes of Health, things that increase the risk of depression in women include reproductive, genetic, or other biological factors interpersonal factors and certain psychological and personality characteristics. In addition, women juggling work with raising kids and women who are single parents suffer more stress that may trigger symptoms of depression. Other things that could increase risk include:
- Family history of mood disorders
- History of mood disorders in early reproductive years
- Loss of a parent before age 10
- Loss of a social support system or the threat of such a loss
- Ongoing psychological and social stress, such as loss of a job, relationship stress, separation, or divorce
- Physical or sexual abuse as a child
- Use of certain medications
Women can also get postpartum depression after giving birth. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
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Does Hormonal Depression Affect Anyone
Hormonal depression may have several causes. It can be brought on by changes in estrogen levels during menopause, perimenopause, and postpartum. It can also be caused by changes in testosterone levels in both men and women. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to depression.
Some of the impacts of hormonal depression are:
Antipsychotics For Depression Treatment
Doctors let people have these pills when they are depressed and have hallucinations. These drugs usually work by reducing the activity of dopamine in peoples brains. Dopamine is a chemical that affects people with schizophrenia. Furthermore, some well-known medications prescribed are risperidone , olanzapine , quetiapine fumarate .
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How To Reach Out For Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So, find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Join a support group for depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.
How To Feel Better Tip : Reach Out For Social Support
You can make a huge dent in your depression with simple but powerful self-help steps. Feeling better takes time and effort when you dont feel like making an effort. But you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others.
Getting support from people who care about you plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate, while an irritable mood brought on by depression can cause you to lash out over situations that wouldnt normally bother you, further distancing you from others.
Ask for the help and support you need and share what youre going through with the people you love and trust. You may have neglected your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time. If you dont feel that you have anyone to confide in, you can find help to build new friendshipseven if youre shy or introverted.
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The Impact Of Hormones On Mental Health
Hormones are chemical messengers that can have a powerful influence on the brain and your mental well-being. When hormone levels are balanced, you tend to have stable moods and feel energetic, motivated, and mentally sharp. When hormone levels are out of whack, however, you may experience symptoms that are associated with psychiatric illnesses, such as depression. Symptoms can include:
- Trouble concentrating
Insufficient Response To Serotonergic Antidepressants
The overall response of PMS/PMDD patients to SSRIs is approximately 60% in controlled trials, but up to 40% may not have sufficient response. No strong predictors of response have been identified.19 An expert consensus group recommended the common clinical practice of shifting to a second SSRI when the patient has an insufficient response or is intolerant to the initial SSRI.58 Augmenting an SSRI with other medications has not been tested in PMS/PMDD studies. Switching to another class of medication that has shown efficacy for PMS/PMDD, such as anxiolytics or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, is suggested, but there are no data that indicate whether nonresponders to an SSRI will respond to another class of medication. Nonresponse may also be due to other comorbid disorders. A thorough review of the diagnosis and adjustments of the premenstrual doses of medication for the primary disorder should be considered before pursuing other treatments for PMS.
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An Overview Of Hormone Imbalance And Depression
As women age, they can start to have hot flashes, develop insomnia, experience unexplained weight gain, have brain fog and memory problems, lose libido, and experience mood swings. These symptoms occur mostly due to decreased estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Going through peri- and menopause is like living with an endocrine disorder, and just like with other endocrine disorders, you are dealing with physical issues as well as possible cognitive and mental health issues.2,3
Using bioidentical hormones to restore your body to its natural balance is vital to treating hormonal depression. Bioidentical hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are made to be exactly like what is produced in our bodies, and supplements what we already have been making most of our lives.
Experts say that there is definitely a relationship between hormones and your sense of well-being. Your hormones work together with your nervous system to maintain your sense of balance or equilibrium both physically and mentally. Equilibrium is what your body wants, but if its off, like when going through peri- and menopause, a lot can go wrong. When hormones are out of balance it affects both your body and your mind.
If your mood has changed, it may help to look at the underlying hormonal factors that may be impacting your feelings of sadness and depression. Hormonal imbalances can lead to many symptoms of depression.