We’re gonna get real with each other for a second, folks. It’s time to talk about menstruation and all of the delightful symptoms that can present themselves both before and after your cycle.
I’ve noticed that for the past few months I’ve been feeling blue. Not all the time, but rather, specifically either the week before or after my period. I was talking to my mom and sister about it, sharing my frustrations with them, and my sister informed me that many women are also privy to this charming component of menstruation.
Being a woman is an absolute joy ride, let me tell you.
I started to do a little research on the topic and came across a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD. I’m not attempting to suggest that this is what I have, but I wanted to talk about this condition a little bit in hopes of providing some knowledge to those of us who, like myself, aren’t familiar with what it entails.
“While the exact reason for PMDD is yet to be discovered, studies have pointed to certain potential causes.
“A recent research conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that the cells from women suffering from PMDD react differently (and more sensitively) to fluctuations in reproductive hormone levels than in women without PMDD.
“This heightened sensitivity affects the brain’s chemical and neurological pathways that regulate the mood and feeling of well-being, possibly leading to depression around period.
“Since a woman’s reproductive hormone levels change from two weeks leading up to menstruation, this is the time period is when PMDD affected women experience their symptoms,” says an article via Flo.
Some of the symptoms affiliated with PMDD, mentioned in the article, include:
- “frequent and extreme mood swings; feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection
- “increased irritability, anger or relationship conflicts
- “markedly depressed mood and feelings of hopelessness
- “severe anxiety, tension, feelings of being constantly ‘on edge’
- “decrease in interest in usual activities (e.g., hobbies, work, school, friends, hobbies)
- “difficulty in concentration
- “lethargy, feeling often and easily tired
- “marked change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings
- “excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- “feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- “other physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating, weight gain.”
A good indication that PMDD is what you’re dealing with is if you’re experiencing five or more of these listed symptoms.
While I’m unsure if this is what I have, perhaps this information can benefit someone else who finds themselves feeling quite depressed throughout their cycle. Spread the word, and hang in there, ladies.