People who are not familiar with depression often associate it with a general sadness. They think of it as a feeling that is experienced due to external influences, like the loss of a loved one. The reality is that many people experience depression for internal reasons – specifically hormones. Hormones are substances found in our bodies that influences mood, reproduction, growth, development, metabolism, and sexual function.
Are Hormones Linked to Depression?
Menstruation can cause depression in women. Hormones are released during this process that are used to stimulate follicles in the ovaries to get them to prepare an egg for release. In response, the ovaries secrete estrogen while the egg develops until it is mature and ready to be released. Progesterone is also produced to cause the uterus lining to thicken in preparation for fertilization. Estrogen and progesterone play a role in premenstrual syndrome (PMS) related depression.
What Do I Do If I Am Depressed?
The first thing to do if you are depressed is to talk to a doctor. If you aren’t sure what’s causing the condition, start with your general practitioner. They can rule out other potential causes and direct you to the right professional.
If you believe that the problem is a result of menstruation, then your gynecologist may be able to help. A healthy diet, exercise, and proper stress management can alleviate some symptoms. Schedule an appointment with your Women’s Health and Menopause Center doctor to learn more about the best treatment plan for you.