Feeling depressed before period? You are not alone. So do I and many, many others. Premenstrual Syndrome, a condition originally regarded as a figment of female imagination that most men make fun, concerns about 20-30% of female population. So this post is going to be about period depression.After several attempts, I finally managed to gather my messy thoughts and write something.
I don’t understand why talking about menstruation – a phenomenon that affects more that a half of the humanity – is a taboo in most cultures and religions (if not all). Just as there is no shame in being a woman, there is no shame in having period and talking about it. Let’s face it: every month, every reasonalbly healthy female human who’s post-puberty and pre-menopause bleeds from her vagina.
As I openly talk about my period, I’ve had a chance to actually compare my experience with other women. Ladies usually open up when I start the conversation, so I’ve learned that each of us experiences her period differently. Some of my friends, if they weren’t bleeding they wouldn’t even notice, and they need an app to remind them about the time their period is supposed to begin. For them, suggesting that during period women are not in complete command of their faculties is pretty offensive and find the idea of menstrual leave utterly sexist.
Lucky the feminists who have never had a menstrual cramp or experience period depression!
Unfortunately, I’m on the other side if the spectrum. For most of the time, I am peaceful like a lotus flower on the surface of a pond (yep, I recently spend my whole free time meditating and it’s amazing). Nothing really disrupts my inner peace. But when my time of the month is approaching, oh boy, I must admit that I am not in complete command of my faculties. If men had menstruation, they wouldn’t find it so funny. Every month, I go through hormonal hell and become an (overly) emotional mess for a week or so. My mom pokes fun at me saying that I’m always during or before period, and there is definitely some truth to it.
About a week before the zero hour, my body starts to bloat, but water retention is only the beginning and nothing to be concerned about. What I really hate about period is that the full PMS “package”, apart from physical symptoms such as breast tenderness, constipation or diarrhea, acne, cravings, and weight gain, includes a monthly return of depression.
Especially three days before period, my mind gets crazy and my grumpiness reaches its peak. Suddenly, things that I was okay with, accepted or even learned to enjoy in a way begin to get on my nerves. I feel tired, hopeless, and unlovable, and no amount of chocolate can lift my mood. I’m like a live bomb waiting for one false move to trigger an emotional explosion. Conflicts arise out of nowhere. I hate my life and want to quit my job right away. Anything makes me cry. And when I finally get my period, my only wish is that euthanasia was legal, so I could put an end to my suffering.
It’s perfectly normal to feel some pain and discomfort during your period, but honestly, the first two days of bleeding are the climax of my agony. It’s like being stabbed in your uterus with a screwdriver over and over again, so deeply that you can feel it in your lower back and legs. All I want is to get drugged and sleep in a fetal position for the whole day, but I the pain keeps me awake for most of the night. I don’t think giving birth to triplets can be any worse than constant, overwhelming pain in my whole body that lasts 48 to 72 hours.
Painful menstrual cramps may be a symptom of a severe condition such as endometriosis, but that’s not always the case. I got tested and it seems to be just a high level of proglandines together with tilted uterus and lots of stress in life. That is little solace, though. It’s hard not to get depressed when you feel like you could get the leading role in the Walking Dead series, so during the difficult days I try to take even better care of myself than usually.
Can PMS cause depression?
I am very much aware of my body and my emotions, yet it wasn’t until recently that I started tracking my emotional rollercoaster and realized that my bouts of depression were actually linked to PMS. Knowing that I am not crazy, it’s just the hormones, gives me a great relief. Neither depression causes PMS, nor can PMS cause depression, but these two are definitely linked, exacerbating the symptoms of one another. A change in oestrogen and progesterone levels leads up to a fall of the levels of serotonin, the happy hormone.
Interestingly, PMS is reported to occur more often in women who have a medical history of depression.
A Bunch Of Premenstrual Depression & Painful Period Survival Tips
Don’t be harsh on yourself. You are not a machine and you don’t have to perform at 120% every single day. Give yourself permission to feel ill and turn into survival mode. Limit your domestic chores to what’s absolutely essential and give your body some rest. Watch Netflix, drink tea, and relax. You deserve it.
Read more about self-compassion here: 7 Reasons To Screw Self-Esteem & Choose Self-Compassion
I’ve done some research about any supplements that could make my existence a bit less painful, and there seems to be a solution. According to research published in September 2014 in the Global Journal of Health Science, taking fish oil and vitamin B1 supplements eases menstrual cramps. Scientists assigned 240 teens with menstrual cramps and other pain to take B1 and fish oil, B1 alone, fish oil alone, or a placebo. The teens took 100 milligrams (mg) per day of B1 and 500 mg daily of fish oil supplements. Sounds legit. I am going to try this one for sure.
#3. Hot water bottle
Heat alleviates the pain and releases tensions, so just before and during my period, my hot water bottle and I become inseparable, especially on dreary winter nights.
#4. Give yourself an orgasm
Funny, but I can tell you from my experience it really works, especially if you have trouble falling asleep because it hurts too much. With every orgasm, oxytocin is released, so apart from a little pleasure, you get an instant boost of your mood and the agony ceases! Being single is no excuse.
Reiki is a healing technique that uses the Universal Life Energy. I’ve been recently exploring this topic and it turns out that it may greatly improve one’s life, well-being, and emotional state by healing traumas and easing pain. Many ladies report it helped them. New-Age babble apart, experiments on plants and animals, beings immune to brainwashing, prove that it works. So if it can ease menstrual cramps, help with premenstrual depression, and make this life a bit more pleasant, why not try it?
I’ve enrolled in an online Reiki course with distant attunement, and let’s see what happens! I will tell you as soon as I get my attunement and start practicing. I delayed it on purpose precisely because of this monthly depression of mine… I don’t feel it’s the best moment to begin working with energy.
Do you experience PMS depression? How do you deal with your mood swings and pain? Have you ever tried Reiki and if so, did it work for you? Feel free to share your tips so every one of us can benefit 🙂 Sharing is caring.
PS. Read more about self-compassion here: 7 Reasons To Screw Self-Esteem & Choose Self-Compassion