I had a scooter accident once, when I was having my period. In the space of a minute I went from feeling tired to snarling at the world and even briefly thinking about suicide. It was extremely disturbing to lose control over who I was, but that was not only the first time: my period continues to affect my mental state. I don’t have dark thoughts every month. However, my period has always been long (7-8 days), with a heavy flow and painful cramps, sapping my energy and will.
The point of my oversharing is that our periods can drastically influence our mental and bodily health if we don’t acknowledge what’s happening and take extra care of ourselves during that time of the month.
While doing some research for this blog post, I came across something I had never heard of before: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Wow, I could finally understand why my period was so violent mentally!
According to a Forbes article by author Alice Broster on how your mental health and menstrual cycle are linked, “Three out of eight percent of people suffer more severely with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which can lead to depression, fatigue, trouble focusing, and panic attacks. The low estrogen linked to serotonin (happy chemicals) we experience effects our brain’s chemical release, which leads us to be in a lower mental state.” In another article by Mind org UK, the author explains that PMDD “can make it difficult to work, socialize and have healthy relationships. In some cases, it can also lead to suicidal thoughts.”
If you feel you might have symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, you can consult a doctor/gynaecologist/midwife and find more information here.
I am a certified Mental Health Coach and trauma conscious yoga instructor and in this article, I’ll be providing solutions that can make you feel better before, during, and after your period.