Many frequently joke about the mood swings that come with monthly periods. While some may make light of such symptoms, those that suffer changes to their emotions during this time are seriously affected. While many may feel uncomfortable in the face of talking about changes in moods over menstruation, we should not shy away from learning how to support those who suffer from this. For many, menstrual depression is a genuine affliction – not a joke at all.

Firstly, let us acknowledge that it is very common to experience emotional distress during your period, including depression. There is nothing wrong with you if you feel this and you must absolutely acknowledge it and exercise self-care. Do not bury it just because some elements of society may not understand.

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Depression and other mood changes often show up in the days before your period starts, but they don’t automatically disappear once it begins. They can linger for a few days, if not longer — some people also experience depression after their period ends.

Experts have agreed that your monthly cycle causes hormonal fluctuations which in turn can have an impact on other hormones in your body — notably the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Both hormones are known to play a part in depression. It is therefore not simply a matter of moody tantrums but a genuine physical, mental and emotional issue.

If you have suicidal thoughts, anxiety, psychosis, manic episodes and panic attacks, please do not brush them aside. Make yourself a priority and exercise self-care and seek medical support.

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Depression during your period can have a few different causes, but it’s often much more than “just PMS.”

In fact, nearly all the mood symptoms associated with PMS can show up independently as symptoms of depression.

If depression lingers beyond your period and persists over time, connect with a therapist or doctor as soon as possible.

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