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Is this depression or just messed up hormones?

(17 Posts)
MaisyMoo123 Thu 30-Jan-14 22:51:25

Hi - I know this will seem pretty insignificant compared to what some people on here see dealing with but would really value some honest views/perspective on this. I've been struggling with 'mood swings' for a while now. - around that time of the month I get ridiculously angry about nothing and I get really down about it. I've even taking various supplements (including St John's wort) which I think is helping but things still feel unstable. I've been noticing that I'm feeling anxious and irritable at other times of the month too. It's by no means all consuming and some days I feel pretty much fine, some days even good. I work in a fairly demanding job and it's not impinging on that at all. On bad days though I feel really low. I shout at the children, snap at dh and feel generally very shitty about myself. My anger bouts - usually with myself can be really irrational and scare me. I suffered PND after my two dcs and I don't think I feel as bleak as I did then but something doesn't feel right. Sometimes, when the irritability and rage are set in I think I need help but at other times I feel fine and wonder what I was making such a fuss about. I know this probably sounds ridiculous. I just want to get myself back on an even keel but I don't know how.

gallicgirl Thu 30-Jan-14 22:56:29

I feel/felt exactly the same since DD was born 3 years ago.
I finally asked GP for help before Xmas and was prescribed ADs. He tells me it will sort out any hormone issues too but I suspect he may be saying what I want to hear.
I'm starting to feel better though.

MaisyMoo123 Thu 30-Jan-14 23:16:19

Thanks for replying gallicgirl. Good to know I'm not the only one to feel like this. I think I know something's not right. I need to sort myself out for my beautiful dcs and long suffering dh. I just don't know whether ads are the answer because I'm genuinely not sure that I'm actually depressed. I'm pretty sure the GP will suggest I try them and I know know how effective they are from past experience but I don't want to take them unnecessarily and I'm worried they'd just mask the real issue - but then I'm not sure what that is.

Sleepwhenidie Thu 30-Jan-14 23:25:35

Its the area I work in, and its not guaranteed, yet its the easiest solution if it works so its worth a try before AD's smile, but what is your diet like? Give me an idea of everything you eat and drink - and when - on a typical weekday and weekend. Apart from pmt time, are there any times - even times of day, that you feel noticeably worse/better? What supplements are you trying? Any other health complaints - skin, hair, energy, digestion?

paxtecum Fri 31-Jan-14 06:34:23

I would suggest some really good quality multi vits and minerals formulated for women.

I think Sleep's advice will be excellent.

Best wishes to you.

MaisyMoo123 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:38:31

Amazing to have an expert respond to my post! Thanks so much sleep! I quick overview of my diet - generally a cup of tea first thing and usually nothing to eat, sometimes a slice of granary toast and marmite. Tea and fruit mid morning. Soup and roll for lunch, sometimes a bag of crisps too. We tend to be meat free during the week so dinner would be something like pasta and veg, lentils or ratatouille. Sometimes a cup of tea in the evening too. I have water throughout the day. Weekends I might have a curry or chilli and I'll also have a glass or two of wine then too. I sometimes snack on chocolate in the afternoon or evening but not always. I think my diet is ok on the whole but I have read about how cutting refined sugar out of diet can help with PMS. The prospect of that is just a bit too daunting at the moment. I'm currently taking st John's wort, starflower, Agnes castus and b6. The build up to my period is usually the worst but this month I've been feeling really edgy in the week after my period and it's creeping into other parts of the month too. I am wondering if I have an ovarian cyst (had one before) so thinking that might be causing hormone issues? Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Sleepwhenidie Fri 31-Jan-14 08:04:21

Hi Maisy, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to use the term 'expert'!

Your diet may serve you much better if you add in more fat and protein, especially during the first half of the day. It's amazingly common for people to exist on carbs, often also sugar and caffeine and very little else all day and then eat in a more balanced meal in the evening and we can feel fine on that for ages, years even, but eventually it catches up with us somehow, whether low mood, energy, problems with skin, hair, headaches, binge eating etc. There may well be issues with your hormones that need medical help but tweaking your diet a bit may help and has to be worth a try smile. Start by not skipping breakfast!

Do you like eggs? It would be great if you could have some eggs (any way you like) with buttered toast in the morning. Or maybe some full fat Greek yoghurt and berries and some raw nuts, or have nut butter instead of marmite on your toast. Have a few raw nuts with your mid morning fruit. At lunch, could you choose soup with lentils, chickpeas, beans etc? Some toasted seeds (I love the chilli ones) on the top and maybe a side salad with some spinach, beetroot and feta, or avocado, tomato and cheese? Could you make your chocolate dark (if not already)? Try and pick low GI carbs too, brown rice or pasta or even better, whole foods like the lentils you already have, or beans, sweet potato, quinoa etc.

Cutting out refined sugar can help a lot with pms, I've seen people experience amazing changes, but do what you can with that whilst making the changes above and see how you get on. Hopefully at least your mood/energy will be better such that you have the motivation to cut sugar more strictly if you want to try that.

Give that a go for a week or two and see if it makes any difference. smile

Sleepwhenidie Fri 31-Jan-14 08:13:26

Oh, I meant to ask, do you do any exercise? What do you do to relax?

MaisyMoo123 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:14:16

Thanks sleep. Really helpful and constructive advice. I think I should be able to make some of those changes to my diet quiet easily and it's the kind of food I like anyway. Breakfast is my biggest challenge - I just never have time in the morning chaos but maybe I'll just have to get up earlier. That's a challenge at the moment too though! It's interesting what you say about surviving on carbs all day - I think I'm definitely guilty of that. I don't really do any exercise. I used to run and am keen to start again but struggling to fit it in. I walk a lot though - a couple of miles a day on average. I sing in a choir which is my relaxation. That and watching crap tv!!

Sleepwhenidie Fri 31-Jan-14 09:50:27

Great. Running again would be excellent if you enjoy it and the choir sounds fantastic. The headspace/joy/stress relief and spiritual nourishment these things give us shouldn't be underestimated in terms of the knock on effect on our health and it's easy to put them bottom of our list of priorities in busy days smile

MaisyMoo123 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:24:26

My singing is definitely a good relaxation thing for me - but I've been doing it for years so whilst I know the benefits it brings it's not going to improve my current state of mind. Running might help. It's just so hard to fit it in but I must try. The dietary changes sound easy enough to implement. I just want things to get on an even keel quickly though. It's been gradually getting worse for months now and my poor family are really suffering as a result of my irrational outbursts now. I so desperately want things to change and I'm trying incredibly hard to rise above it all but I just don't seem to be able to.

marykat2004 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:50:10

May I ask how old you are? I have had very similar and getting worse. The peri-menopause can start fairly early and last for 10 years - that is the build up to the menopause.

MaisyMoo123 Fri 31-Jan-14 17:17:03

I'm 38. Seems a bit young for even peri-menopause especially given family history which is for it to happen fairly late. Who knows though. It is definitely something that's crossed my mind.

marykat2004 Sun 02-Feb-14 22:43:52

It's hard for them to tell when exactly it starts. I had my DD at 38, and started to get bad depression around 42 or 43. 38 does sound early, and, as you say, in your family it's usually late..

Sleepwhenidie Thu 06-Feb-14 15:08:24

Hi Maisy, how are you doing? Have you tried changing your diet? Any improvement?

MaisyMoo123 Thu 06-Feb-14 21:11:15

Hi Sleep. Thanks for posting again. Your advice has been really helpful. I have made some changes to my diet and it's probably too early to say and it's also been my 'good' time of the month... but I'm definitely feeling steadier and generally more positive about things. The most significant change I've made is to make sure I eat breakfast - I've been having granola with natural yoghurt, blueberries and a spoonful of linseeds sprinkled on the top. That is definitely a very positive change. I need to work on the rest of the day. I've been snacking on nuts with my fruit and eating my usual lentils etc but need to buy whole grain rice/pasta for main meals. Signs so far are good and I'm hopeful it might make a difference and it's certainly not going to do any harm. Thanks so much for your help.

Sleepwhenidie Sat 08-Feb-14 09:19:40

No problem, glad if I have been any help smile.

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