Depression and Periods – Are They Interrelated?

Yes! Depression and periods are related to each other. Periods can be depressing, and this is a prevalent issue among ladies. Emotional changes can occur due to fluctuating hormone levels during the phase of periods.

Most women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) along with moodiness and headaches. Sometimes these symptoms like headaches can become a serious issue resulting in more severe symptoms like depression and anger.

No doubt, hormones can make people feel nausea and dull during their periods. When these typical symptoms become a severe issue of one’s life, it indicates that the person suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

If a person is already suffering from mental health issues, periods can become a reason to worsen the situation in such cases.

During this period, the level of Oestrogen and progesterone begin to fall in females. These ups and downs of hormone levels affect the neurotransmitters present in the brain.

These neurotransmitters include serotonin and dopamine, which influence one’s mood, sleep cycle, and motivation towards any work.

Depression and Periods Interrelation

Low levels of serotonin and dopamine can cause sadness, anxiety, irritability, sleep deprivation, and cravings. These symptoms are primarily common in PMS and PMDD.

The following symptoms only last for a few days in ordinary people and go away after some time. Still, in people with PMDD, these symptoms can last for a more extended period, making them irritated on every minor issue

There is also a hormone known as cortisol, a stress hormone, and it is primarily responsible for making a woman depressed.

When the cortisol level rises in response to some stress, the hypothalamus in the brain sends the signal to the ovaries to stop their work.

Due to this signal blockage, the period may get delayed or stop altogether. This can be one reason for depression during a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

Also Read: Can Pregnancy and Periods Go Hand in Hand?

Symptoms of PMS

PMS is a disorder that can cause both physical and mental symptoms. According to experts, around 75% of women experience PMS once in their periodic cycle in one way or the other. The symptoms of PMS include 

  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Acne and pustules
  • Anxiety, depression, and unnecessary stress
  • Bloating in the stomach
  • Breast soreness or tenderness
  • Constipation or Dysentery 
  • Mood swings
  • The problem in focusing or concentration
  • Sleep deprivation

Symptoms of PMDD

PMDD is a much more severe problem than PMS. Only 3 to 5 % of women are affected by this during their menstrual cycles. The symptoms of this disorder are pretty intense and can hinder one’s daily activities, relationships, and work.

  • Severe anxiety, depression, and stress issues
  • Frequent panic attacks
  • Severe mood change
  • Frequent crying issues
  • Lose interest in people and work 

Sometimes a person can contemplate suicide or harming oneself.

If one thinks about attempting anything, they should immediately consult a doctor because if it’s not treated, the items can become much more severe and sometimes can go out of one’s hand. 

There are many symptoms that PMDD and PMS have in common, including:

  • Body aches
  • Bloating and pain in the stomach 
  • Breast soreness or tenderness
  • Fatigue in limbs and joints
  • Food cravings
  • Lack of focus and concentration 
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Headaches or Migraines

People who are already suffering from depression and anxiety can go through the disorder known as premenstrual exacerbation. These hormonal changes during menstruation can worsen the mental condition resulting in problems like :

  • Bipolar disorders
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Persistent Depressive disorder 
  • Panic disorder 

Researchers say that depression is more in those people who have a condition of PMS during their period cycles than those who do not suffer from PMS disorder.

How to prevent such conditions

The people who suffer or experience depression during their period should first consult their doctor. Various treatments help to treat the disorders with or without medications.

It is beneficial to track symptoms during the periods as it allows the doctor to create a perfect treatment plan for the sufferer.

Some helpful home Remedies

Home remedies can significantly make a difference in one’s life, suffering from such disorders during their menstrual cycle. In conditions like PMDD, home remedies are unlikely to make any changes, but they may help if it is done along with the medications.

  • Having a balanced diet and reducing the intake of sugar, fats, salts, bad carbohydrates, and alcohol.
  • Exercise and Yoga can be very helpful during periods as they make the flow very smooth.
  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day without breaking the cycle.
  • Eliminating unnecessary stress by performing meditation exercises or listening to Binaural sounds to relax the mind.
  • Researchers have said that intake of calcium can reduce fatigue and depression and can reduce the PMS effects. One should always consult a doctor before trying any supplement.
  • One can also adopt integrative approaches like Acupuncture, massage therapy, and aromatherapy by using essential oils. These therapies can be very effective in reducing stress and anxiety during the menstrual cycle.

Doctors also suggest some medications to manage the PMS symptoms and lower the effect. They may also prescribe some antidepressants; these medications work on a trial and error method.

Finding a suitable way to treat the disorder for every person is a pretty tedious task. 


It is very common to suffer low mood, anxiety, or irritation during the menstrual cycle. The symptoms remain for a few days and automatically go away after some time.

By following the home remedies, one can control the PMS symptoms and live a relaxed life because mostly the cases related to PMS are pretty mild and can be treated with the help of home remedies and some care and love from one’s loved relations.

If a person suffers these symptoms frequently, it can significantly affect their work-life, relationships, and many other things. Many people get relief from PMS and PMDD with appropriate treatment along with some medications.

If one’s life is frequently affected by these symptoms, one must not be afraid to consult a doctor. Any disorder can be treated with the proper treatment and right medications at the right time.

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