Depression and menstrual cycle - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After 2 1/2 years of wondering if I have PPD, I have realised that I have depression that is directly linked to my menstrual cycle. (It seems to have really been sparked off by pregnancy - I don't remember having this before I got pregnant.)

I get really, really depressed and angry around the week before my period, and by about day 7, I feel on top of the world. Then the next month, it comes back again. I find it really scary - as though someone else has taken over me for about 2 weeks a month.

As I am still BF'ing, I would prefer not to go on meds. My doctor suggested Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin B12 (or was it B6?).

Has anyone out there had this kind of depression? If so, have you had any success with meds or with a more natural solution? I would appreciate any advice or information given.

Thanks mamas.
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#2 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 09:59 AM
 
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I noted something similar a few months ago. My DD is a year old, and my period returned when she was about 7 months old (even though I was exclusively BF...oh well!). I'd never really had PMS or even difficult periods before getting pg, but these ones were doozies. As you describe, I felt SO angry for about a week before my period came, and very depressed. It got a little better when my period actually came.

It got so bad that I went to the dr because I thought I must surely be going crazy, I felt so out of control and angry. It turns out I have a thyroid disorder, and that can really impact your moods. Things like PMS become amplified and you feel out of control. I'm on medication now and waiting for it to take effect -- I did notice that this month's PMS didn't seem *quite* as bad!

Good luck to you!
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#3 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 12:05 PM
 
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I have the same thing. I use primrose oil and its 100 mg of B6 (as recommended to me by midwife) - I use a stress complex, B and C (with a touch of valerian) multiple. I found it really helps especially if you get regular cardio exercise - also try Roobois tea in the evenings.

peace
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#4 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 01:50 PM
 
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This reminds me of something I've been meaning to post:

I've had the same thing since the birth of my first baby. Wild mood swings, especially before my pd. I notice that I crave certain foods at times of the month. I'd like to try and even out the mood swings through diet first. Since I'm the menu planner, I figured why not plan a month of menus around my cycle.

Does anyone have any experience around what foods to each for certain times in your cycle?

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#5 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 07:19 PM
 
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hi, i'm experiencing the same thing. I'd really be interested in what you all are doing for it. I got my period when my ds was only five months, even though I exclusively breastfed. I would have isolated periods of moodiness and irritability during the pregnancy and afterwards, but it wasn't until I got my period that it got really, really bad . After two months I started suspecting that it was cyclical. I have good days and bad days, but there's a period of about two weeks that I'm really no fun. I can tell when its going to start because i get crampy when I ovulate and my breasts hurt when my ds bf. I try to be conscious of it more during this time, but it gets so bad. Some days my husband says, "you're fine," and then a few hours later he says, "you really need to get some help."

I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn't really helpful. So, I started looking into alternatives to drugs and started using evening primrose and omega 3. I also infuse some st.john's wort, lemon balm, nettles, and raspberry leaves. Sometimes when I get really upset I'll take about five drops of Motherwort in a small cup of water to calm me down. Now my son is 8 months old, I just finished a two week bout of , hopelessness, and anger but haven't gotten my period yet (no chance of being pregnant), but I feel a little better.

On another note, my husband thinks it has to do with lack of sleep. Anyone else experience this? My ds has yet to sleep through the night. He still wakes up and wants to eat, sometimes I can get him to fall asleep again, but I think he's only gone more than four hours without eating twice in his 8 months of life. anyway, I could start a few more threads on that one.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-08-2004, 07:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C
Does anyone have any experience around what foods to each for certain times in your cycle?
I'm no expert, but I always try boost my calcium intake and eat a lot of calcium rich foods about a week before and during my period. This is supposed to help cramps, I believe, and counter the calcium loss during your period. I used to get really bad cramps, which makes me even more lousy to be around, but find this helps. The book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years by Susun Weed has a lot of useful info. IMO on herbs to take for depression and exhaustion and tension, among other things. hope this helps some
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#7 of 9 Old 11-09-2004, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your replies, mamas! It looks like I am not the only one suffering from this. I have done a bit of research on the web and found out it is called PMDD, like PMS only much worse. (Don't let anyone tell you 'It's *just* PMS.) According to various websites, there are quite a few things you can do for it:

1. Meds - specifically Prozac and Zoloft seem to be mentioned a lot
2. Herbal - Evening Primrose Oil, B6, calcium and magnesium (although most websites state that in studies, these don't seem to do much - I guess it is a matter of trying it for yourself)
3. Therapy
4. Exercize
5. Enough sleep (good luck if you are a mama of a little one - mine is 2 1/2 and has still never slept through the night!! But I do find when I have had more sleep, I feel better. The worst days have to be when I get very little sleep.)

Personally, I take calcium and magnesium (which does help me sleep better) and am trying EPO. I should exercize more, but I live in the UK and winters are a bit grim, so it is hard to find the motivation to go out in the rain. I am still BF'ing but am considering going to my doc for meds that are compatible with BF'ing, as when I get this, it is really, really, really bad. It turns me into a very bad mother.

Fortunately, I am in my good 2 weeks at the moment and enjoying every minute of it. Unfortunately, I know that the dark, bad days are coming, and I will have to get through them before I can have good days again.

If anyone wants to do more research on this, I would suggest searching under PMDD on the internet.

Good luck mamas!!
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#8 of 9 Old 11-09-2004, 09:23 AM
 
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Hey mama, I am in the UK also, and have the same problem with my cycle.

If you go to Holland and Barret you can get an herbal tablet called 'flash fighters.' It really takes the edge off those bad moments/days/weeks. It has lots of good things in it.

Also, though a bit pricey, chinese medicine can help to rebalance your system.

I hear you on the weather.

xxoxx
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#9 of 9 Old 11-09-2004, 11:45 AM
 
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re: exercise.


Are you able to exercise in the home? via tape or DVD? I do this before the child wakes up in the morning. NOt so easy when its dark and cold but better than going outside. Also, exercise in the am helps with sleep.

cheers
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