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Mental Health and Women's Hormones

Posted by Marigrace Pilger on

Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?


I hope you are all doing well and having a good week so far. I have been pretty good lately with my own health and I could not be more grateful. Today I wanted to specifically speak to my ladies and how my mental health can fluctuate depending on the times of the month. It can be confusing why you feel so good mentally one day and so badly another day. A lot of this can be due to hormones and it is important to know why you may feel these changes. 


Let’s first talk about how hormone fluctuations can make you feel. Check out all of these symptoms thanks to The Check-Up.com.


Symptoms: 


-Anxiety

-Depressed Mood

-Sleep Disturbances

-Weight gain or loss

-Brain Fog

-Confusion

-Difficulty Concentrating


These are just the symptoms that may impact your mental health. When it comes to physical health, we know that hormones are so important to the regulation of your body systems. 


Now ladies, do you feel worse mentally around that time of the month? It is crazy to think 3-8% of women have PMDD which is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. This is different from PMS because of the level of severity and onset of the symptoms. According to Women’s Health Gov, “PMDD causes severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two leading up to a period.” Obviously this is a difficult disorder because of how soon these symptoms start prior to the period starting. This is an even bigger problem because women menstruate every month. Meaning two to three weeks out of every month (¾ of the month) the woman would be experiencing these debilitating issues. 


Women’s Health Gov noted the following symptoms.


-Tiredness or low energy

-Lasting irritability that may affect other people

-Mood swings or crying often

-Lack of interest in daily activities or relationships

-Trouble thinking or focusing 

-Food cravings and binge eating

-Feeling out of control

-Feeling sadness and despair (even thoughts of suicide)

-Panic attacks

-Feeling of tension or anxiety



These symptoms are debilitating and for women to have to suffer with these symptoms for three weeks out of the month, I can’t imagine. I wanted to bring awareness to PMDD because I feel like it is not talked about nearly enough as it should be. I also wanted to just talk about hormone fluctuations and mental health because I, myself have struggled with this. I always notice a couple days before that time, I find myself being incredibly irritable and depressed. My depression is awful during that time and I previously never wanted to fully talk about it because there is still a stigma around women and what our bodies naturally do. *Insert my eye roll here* But seriously, this time is very hard for me mentally. I notice the irritability and feeling that I need to isolate first. After that comes the depression. I notice the depression as just a loss of interest in everything. Nothing makes me happy. TV, reading, and exercise are all not exciting or entertaining to me. My phone seems dull and not entertaining and I am all around just miserable. I wanted to share this experience in case there are other women out there who also experience this. It’s bad enough that we have to suffer through that week, but add on the mental toll and it can be enough to send you over the edge. The mental symptoms  usually last about three days for me and then they tend to ease up. However, during those three days, I try my best to not shut everyone out. It isn’t an easy task since during these moments it feels like I don’t have control over my own body or mind. I have even felt like I have diassociated before and for those who have felt that, I am so sorry. Disassociation is a whole other beast and is a very scary and foreign feeling.  


Ladies, if you have struggled with this before, please leave a comment below! 


Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3



Resources:


https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicebroster/2020/07/09/how-your-mental-health--menstrual-cycle-are-linked/?sh=1b207ddc6370 


https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd 


https://www.singlecare.com/blog/female-hormones-and-mental-health/ 


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Check out my last blog post: 

https://love-brain.com/blogs/brain-battle-blog-with-gracie/are-mental-health-days-sick-days 


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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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