Frequently Asked Questions About PMS Depression

People often hate Mondays because that’s the usual time when they need to stop being lazy and get off their butts to make money. I was not one of those people because I actually loved working. I tend to be sad when I couldn’t do anything during the weekend; that’s why I sometimes would accept sidelines through my friends or hang out with them to get out of the house. However, if there was one thing that I hated, it was the last week of the month. That’s when my period ordeal would usually start.

Yes, you read that right – I really said “ordeal.” The reason was that two days before my menstruation would arrive, my body would ache all over. Even if I did not work out too hard during that day, it was still as if my joints and muscles were on fire. And on the next day, I would get a high fever all of a sudden. If it happened for the first time during this pandemic, I might worry that I was experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19. But no, it was just PMS (which did not make it all better).


Dealing With PMS

In reality, I started getting my period at the early age of 10 years old. Back then, I had no conception of premenstrual syndrome (PMs). I did not experience anything unusual, even the first time that I saw blood on my shorts. I even thought, “Cool! I’m a teenager now! I am a big girl now!” The PMS only began to manifest after I got diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

I asked my gynecologist about it, and she told me that PMS could be one of its many symptoms. She said that I was even lucky because my menstrual cycle was not heavily affected by PCOS. Apparently, an irregular menstrual cycle was one of the more common signs people with the latter disorder deal with. Still, the downside was that I felt more than cramping or pressure on my lower abdomen. As mentioned above, I got flu-like symptoms, which stressed me out a lot.

Then, Depression Joined The Party

Even though I was not very happy with my PMS symptoms, I found it somewhat tolerable on most days. I pretty much accepted after the third month that it was my new normal, that I would have to deal with it until the end of time. Unfortunately, I would sometimes notice that I would get sadder than ever when I was PMS-ing. It was as if my optimism and positive thinking would go out of the window during that period. I tend to act like a hermit, which meant that I refused to leave the house or talk to other people even if they were already at my door.

 In all honesty, I would not have made a big deal out of it if not for my friends pointing out that depression was not common for people getting their menstruations. That pushed me to talk to my gynecologist, who confirmed that PMS and depression could go hand-in-hand sometimes.


Why do I have PMS before my period?

PMS starts happening to you before your period because your estrogen and progesterone levels decrease dramatically when you are not pregnant. This can also be caused by chemical changes in the brain, such as fluctuations of your serotonin levels that now trigger your PMS before your period. This can also be caused by depression, which happens during severe cases of PMS.

Can PMS make you depressed?

In severe cases of PMS, a woman can go through depression. The fluctuating chemicals now cause this in our brains and the increase of our hormones as well. However, instead of being called PMS, it is better known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), where the women who experience this report severe depression before they get their periods. In even severe cases, women have reported being suicidal when experiencing PMDD. 

What is the difference between PMS and PMT?

With PMS, it is easier to control, and it has little to no impairment in your daily life. According to a study, three to eight percent of women can experience different symptoms, affecting their daily lives. On the other hand, PMT has been known to be characterized by the following symptoms: tender breasts, migraines, abdominal cramps, depression, irritability, and more. PMS has clustered symptoms, while PMT is more individual experiences.

Can PMS symptoms stop before the period?

PMS is a cluster of symptoms that begin two weeks before your period starts, and yes, it will stop by the time your period starts. As the name suggests, these are symptoms that happen before your period, so when your period does come, the symptoms will end there, but it can be similar to the signs of early pregnancy.


What helps with anxiety and PMS?

What you can do is try and do a few relaxation techniques that can help in reducing your stress, which will, in turn, help you control your PMS and your anxiety. You can also try to do a few physical activities that give you exercise and movement, or you can also do meditation and yoga to keep you calm and relaxed.

What PMS feels like?

It can be a unique experience for different women. You may feel a variety of PMS signs and symptoms that other women do not. The most common experience is food cravings, emotional irritability, fatigue, and body pains. Again, this can be different for different people, so you do not have to worry if you feel it a little different from others. This should not be something that will cause you to stop living life as normal. So make sure that you are not stuck in bed all day because of it.

Is PMS a mental illness?

Regular PMS is not considered to be a mental illness; however, once it reaches a point of severity that it now becomes PMDD, this becomes a whole new story. PMDD is a disorder that affects women before their periods. They will feel depressed and even suicidal at times before their periods, which is now a hindrance to their normal living, becoming a disability. 


Final Thoughts

Some people outside of my circle would ask me, “Is it necessary to talk to a mental health professional about your PMS and depression?” I would always say yes. The answer would always be yes. That’s because depression is a serious matter that should not be set aside or taken for granted just because it was merely a side effect of another condition. Over time, if we leave it untreated, it could significantly impact us than the actual illness.


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