Mood swings and other psychological symptoms are common before a period. Most people only experience minor symptoms. However, some females may experience severe symptoms that affect their personal relations and daily lives. 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.
Is it PMS?
Most women of childbearing age experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which causes many of them to experience mood swings in the days leading up to their periods. Some women have wild, uncontrollable mood swings as a result of PMS. They may experience crying spells to angry outbursts and anxiety attacks, then back to a stable emotional state — all in one day.
These emotional ups and downs are due to PMS starting consistently a week to two weeks before your period and stopping a day or two after menstruation starts. PMS symptoms occur during the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle, which starts typically from day 14 to 28 of a woman’s monthly cycle. Once menstruation starts, mood swings usually disappear.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more serious form of PMS. It causes physical and emotional symptoms every menstrual cycle in the week or two before your period. Along with PMS causes like bloating, headaches and breast tenderness one may have extreme irritability, anxiety or depression in PMDD.
PMDD affects up to 10% of women or people assigned female at birth (AFAB) of reproductive age.
Premenstrual exacerbation (PME)
Some have severe mental conditions in PME like anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability or anger
- Appetite changes and food cravings
- Poor concentration
- Change in libido
- Social withdrawal
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Depressed mood
- sudden sadness
- sensitivity to rejection
- feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- breast tenderness
- swelling of the feet or hands
- joint or muscle aches or pains
- abdominal bloating
- fatigue or lethargy
Why does it happen?
Experts are not sure about the exact cause of PMS, but these factors are a possible contributing factor:
Cyclic changes in hormones: During half of the menstrual cycle, your body releases an egg, causing estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. A shift in these hormones can lead to both physical and emotional symptoms.
Chemical changes in the brain: Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also influence serotonin levels. This neurotransmitter helps in regulating your mood, sleep pattern, and hunger. Low levels of serotonin are associated with PMS symptoms like moodiness and irritability, as well as difficulty sleeping and odd food cravings.
Homemade remedies and lifestyle changes
- Take calcium supplements like milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, fortified orange juice, cereal etc
- Vitamin B-6 intakes like fish, chicken and turkey, fruit, fortified cereals etc
- Add exercise for at least 30 min in your schedule.
Best practice: Track your symptoms
Start tracking your menstrual cycle and your feelings as it moves through its many phases if you haven't before. You can use this to verify whether or not your mood swings are caused by your period. Keeping things in perspective and receiving some validation from knowing there's a reason you're feeling particularly moody can also help.
There are several medications that may help to treat mood swings before a period such as Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs), Benzodiazepines, Antianxiety medications but it is always suggestable to consult a doctor before having these intakes. And it is more beneficial if you read the blog and understand the problem thoroughly