Negative Unrealistic Ways Of Thinking That Fuel Depression
All-or-nothing thinking. Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground
Overgeneralization. Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever
The mental filter. Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.
Diminishing the positive. Coming up with reasons why positive events dont count
Jumping to conclusions. Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader or a fortune teller
Emotional reasoning. Believing that the way you feel reflects reality
Shoulds and should-nots. Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldnt do, and beating yourself up if you dont live up to your rules.
Labeling. Classifying yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings
How To Test Your Hormone Health
If you are concerned about your hormone health, you can have your hormone levels tested in the following ways:
- Saliva testing: Saliva testing measures your bodys hormones levels at the cellular level. A saliva test can measure your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA levels. When you provide and test multiple samples over time, your healthcare provider can formulate charting changes in hormones with saliva testing.
- Blood testing: This type of hormone test requires that your blood is collected at a lab and then measured for hormone levels. A blood test can measure free and total hormone levels, which saliva and urine testing cannot do.
- Urine testing: A urine hormone test requires that you collect every drop of urine for a 24-hour period. Then your urine is tested to identify each hormone that is present and at what levels on that particular day. This is the most extensive hormone health test because it measures your hormone levels throughout the entire day, instead of the levels for a moment in time, which is the case for blood and saliva tests.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone testing: This type of test is commonly used to measure the hormonal status of premenopausal women who are beginning to experience symptoms of menopause.
Nutritional Strategies To Ease Anxiety
- By Uma Naidoo, MD, Contributor
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Thats 40 million adults18% of the populationwho struggle with anxiety. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, with about half of those with depression also experiencing anxiety.
Specific therapies and medications can help relieve the burden of anxiety, yet only about a third of people suffering from this condition seek treatment. In my practice, part of what I discuss when explaining treatment options is the important role of diet in helping to manage anxiety.
In addition to healthy guidelines such as eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, there are many other dietary considerations that can help relieve anxiety. For example, complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly and therefore help maintain a more even blood sugar level, which creates a calmer feeling.
A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is a healthier option than eating a lot of simple carbohydrates found in processed foods. When you eat is also important. Dont skip meals. Doing so may result in drops in blood sugar that cause you to feel jittery, which may worsen underlying anxiety.
Is There Anything I Can Do
There are a number of things you can do to lessen premenstrual anxiety and other PMS symptoms, most of which involve changes to your lifestyle and diet.
But dont panic they arent too drastic. In fact, youre already working on the first step: Awareness.
Simply knowing that your anxiety is tied to your menstrual cycle can help you better equip yourself to deal with your symptoms as they arise.
Things that can help to keep anxiety in check include:
- Aerobic exercise.
Why Does It Happen
Even in the 21st century, experts dont have a great understanding of premenstrual symptoms and conditions.
But most believe that PMS symptoms, including anxiety, arrive in response to changing levels of estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these reproductive hormones rise and fall dramatically during the luteal phase of menstruation.
Basically, your body prepares for pregnancy by increasing hormone production after ovulation. But if an egg doesnt implant, those hormone levels drop and you get your period.
This hormonal rollercoaster can affect neurotransmitters in your brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with mood regulation.
Its unclear why PMS hits some people harder than others. But some people may be
- eating disorders
The difference between PMDD and PME is that those with PME experience symptoms all month long, they just get worse in the weeks before their period.
Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety Before Your Period
No matter what the root cause of your anxiety, there are several ways to minimize its effects while you figure out how best to treat it.
While medications like Xanax are often prescribed and effective in the short term, they can be extremely addictive and difficult to withdraw from should you choose to discontinue use. There’s no shame in leveraging medication to get relief. And at the same time, I’d encourage you to investigate why you have anxiety in the first place.
Even if you do choose to go the pharmaceutical route the following natural recommendations can help tremendously as well. And remember, always talk to your doc about your medications before changing or discontinuing them.
Track Your Monthly Symptoms
Keep a track of each of your symptoms each month, their severity and on which days they occur via a daily log.
This exercise is very helpful in helping your doctor diagnose PMDD, and will also help you predict the days on which you are most likely to experience symptoms. This will make sure you are not caught off guard, and can help prepare for them.
University Of Texas Study
A three-year University of Texas study examined the long-term effects of bioidentical hormone therapy on menopausal symptoms, including mood alterations such as anxiety.
Over this period, women taking bioidentical hormones did not experience any adverse effects. The women also scored well on standardized tests measuring anxiety and depression levels.
Some of the women took bioidentical estrogen and/or progesterone in oral form, while others received their hormones via a topical cream.
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Period Problems And Period
A common complaint of women who visit Madison Womens Health is irregular periods or unexpected changes to their periods. A period is considered irregular when it occurs more often than before or less often than before, or if the amount and duration of bleeding has changed significantly for repeated months. Is your period suddenly much heavier than it has been? Or are you not having a period at all?
Keep track of your cycles, when you begin to bleed, and for how long. A popular app among our patients for tracking cycles is Period Tracker Period Calendar , although there are many options. Let your doctor know how many days there are between your periods and what your typical flow is like. Discuss what is different and why you are concerned. Let them know if youre under more stress than before, if youve changed your diet or exercise recently, or if you have a family history of irregular periods.
These changes could have a structural cause having to do with your cervix or uterus or a hormonal cause. Your doctor will likely want to perform a physical exam and may also check specific hormones on a specific day of your menstrual cycle.
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What Makes You Anxious
Because anxiety is a type of fear, the things weve described about fear above are also true for anxiety.
The word anxiety tends to be used to describe worry, or when fear is nagging and persists over time. It is used when the fear is about something in the future rather than what is happening right now.
Anxiety is a word often used by health professionals when theyre describing persistent fear. The ways that you feel when youre frightened and anxious are very similar, as the basic emotion is the same.
Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
Many menopausal women find that herbal remedies are a very useful way to manage their menopausal anxiety. There are two main ways of approaching the symptom:
Some women find that menopausal stress is one of a number of other symptoms of the menopause. If this is the case, start off by using a supplement containing soya isoflavones.
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If Your Menopause Depression Is Severe Consult Your Doctor
If you suffer from severe perimenopause anger issues and menopause depression, consult your doctor and discuss all the symptoms and how they are affecting your life. Mention all key personal information. Your doctor can advise or provide the right treatment therapy. Make sure to discuss the medications offered by your doctor, their benefits and side effects before taking the final call.
Transitioning into middle age often brings increased fear, tension, and anxiety. This is often attributed to hormonal changes, such as alleviating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Disturbed sleep, irritability, hot flashes, fatigue sweating, and other menopausal symptoms may cause disruptions. For some women, menopause may prove to be a time of frustration and isolation. People around may fail to understand what psychological and physical changes what youre going through. Women who are unable to cope up with such a situation end up developing anxiety or depression.
The good news is that depression during perimenopause and menopause is a treatable condition. It is important to remember that there are multiple treatment options available that may help to relieve symptoms and provide strategies for coping with changes. Consult your doctor to discuss what treatment options may be the most effective.
Q: Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Cope With Emotional Concerns During This Phase Of My Life
A: A healthylifestyle can help ease the menopause transition, including the followingsteps:
- Exercise and eat healthy.
- Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that givesyou a sense of achievement.
- Turn to friends, family members or aprofessional counselor for support. Stay connected with your family andcommunity. Nurture your friendships.
- Take medicines, vitamins and minerals asprescribed by your doctor.
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How Our Stress Hormones Work
Why do we tend to grab our mobile phones when we see texts from our bosses late at night? We react to them like frightened mice because of our stress hormones.
Our sympathetic nervous system activates when it detects a stress trigger like this. It comprises adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone which guides our reactions when we sense stress. When activated, it builds tension in our muscles. We sweat, and our hearts begin to pound.
Then, theres norepinephrine. Like adrenaline, it originates in the brain and the adrenal glands. It maintains our alertness when there is a stressor. How long it takes to return to a resting state depends on the stressors strength. The final hormone that raises our stress levels is cortisol. It has earned the name stress hormone because activating it requires a multi-step process.
So, how does it work? The amygdala in the brain first recognizes a threat. It then sends a message to another part of the brain, the hypothalamus, which releases the hormone CRH. This hormone, in turn, tells the pituitary gland to release cortisol. As you can see, knowing about the process is stressful already.
Causes Of Depression In Women
Women report experiencing depression at much higher rates than men. This gender disparity may be explained by a number of social, biological, and hormonal factors that are specific to women.
Premenstrual problems. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can cause the familiar symptoms of premenstrual syndrome , such as bloating, irritability, fatigue, and emotional reactivity. For some women, symptoms are severe and disabling and may warrant a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder . PMDD is characterized by severe depression, irritability, and other mood disturbances beginning about 10 to 14 days before your period and improving within a few days of its start.
Pregnancy and infertility. The many hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can contribute to depression, particularly in women already at high risk. Other issues relating to pregnancy such as miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy, and infertility can also play a role in depression.
Postpartum depression. Its not uncommon for new mothers to experience the baby blues. This is a normal reaction that tends to subside within a few weeks. However, some women experience severe, lasting depression. This condition is called postpartum depression and is thought to be influenced, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations.
Body image issues which increase in girls during the sexual development of puberty may contribute to depression in adolescence.
What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is when you feel overwhelmed by the physical and mental feelings of fear the signs listed under What do fear and anxiety feel like? People who have panic attacks say that they find it hard to breathe, and they may worry that theyre having a heart attack or are going to lose control of their body. See the Support and information section at the end of this booklet if you want help with panic attacks.
What Can We Do To Beat Hormonal Anxiety
First things first, recognise it! When does it peak for you? How does it manifest and how intense does it get? Are there things in your life that you could change or pause?
Answering these questions are important because no two bodies are the same, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Thats why trying different things until you find something that does work is key.
Why Does Menopause Cause Anxiety
Women may feel an increase in anxiety before other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, set in.
During the early stages of the menopause , levels of the female hormones start to fluctuate. These changes can lead to PMS symptoms which appear and worsen in the week or so before each menstrual period. Other psychological PMS symptoms such as low mood may also be present as well as physical symptoms such as period pains, bloating or breast tenderness.
Part of the explanation lies with the fact that oestrogen plays an important role in managing the chemical activities in your brain. When the level of oestrogen is high you feel well. As levels drop, a number of symptoms such as low mood and anxiety can set in.
Q: How Do I Know When To Seek Help For Emotional Problems During Menopause
A: Whendepression or anxiety causes difficulties in your relationships or at work, andthere isnt a clear solution to these problems, its probably time to see yourdoctor. More specific reasons to seek help include:
- You have suicidal thoughts or feelings.
- Your negative feelings last more than two weeks.
- You dont have anyone in whom you can confide.If you dont have anyone to share your thoughts with, its hard to know if whatyoure thinking makes sense. A good therapist will offer invaluable perspectiveon the issues most important to you.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
People with Cushing syndrome have high levels of cortisol in their blood. This leads to an increase in appetite and fat storage.
Hypothyroidism, if the condition is severe, can also lead to weight gain.
During menopause, many women gain weight because the metabolism slows down. You may find that even though youre eating and exercising like normal, you still gain weight.
The only way to treat weight gain from a hormone disorder is to treat the underlying condition.
During a normal, healthy pregnancy, your body goes through major hormonal changes. This is different than a hormonal imbalance.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy For Anxiety: What The Evidence Tells Us
Andy was tired of being tired and tense. Hecouldnt remember the last time he felt in control at work, focused on the job.His mind was constantly moving, especially in the direction of unfortunatewhat-ifs. He had been on an antidepressant for anxiety for years, but it nolonger seemed to do the trick. Nor did any of the other SSRIs he tried, or thetherapy he attended weekly.
When the other treatment routes failed to bring relief, Andys doctor finally decided to test his hormone levels. And when the results showed less than optimal testosterone, she ordered another round of tests to verify a pattern of testosterone deficiency. With the combination of frustrating symptoms and concrete biomarkers, Andys doctor was able to map out a route for hormone replacement therapy to help restore his health and his mood from the inside.
Testosterone replacement therapy for anxiety maynot be a well-known treatment option, but evidence suggests that it can providesignificant relief for those struggling with anxiety symptoms as a result oflow T. If hormone imbalance is the cause of your distress, hormone rebalancingmay be the solution.
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Start A Sunday Journal
Writing down your thoughts, feelings and emotions on a Sunday evening can increase your chances of falling asleep easily and can help calm your mind before bedtime. Instead of letting your anxious thoughts take control of your nighttime, write them down through a stream of journaling, to help ease Sunday anxiety.
Sunday journaling can help you prioritise your problems, fears and concerns. Tracking your emotions on a Sunday so you can recognise what triggers your anxiety and stress, and learn ways to better control them. To get started, grab a notebook and get cosy and let your thoughts take it away