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How to Deal With Serious Depression Before a Menstrual Period

author image Erin Carson
A former children's librarian and teacher living in Dallas, Erin Carson loves to share her knowledge of both literature and parenting through her writing. Carson has a master's degree in library science and a bachelor's degree in English literature. As a freelance writer, Carson has published numerous articles on various websites.
How to Deal With Serious Depression Before a Menstrual Period
Crying can be a sign of severe premenstrual depression. Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Severe depression, irritability and tension that occurs 10 to 14 days before your period starts and goes away within a few days of its onset might indicate a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD. If you suspect PMDD, schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can recommend medications and treatments that can help you manage your depression. Although they are not substitutes for appropriate medical treatment, certain diet and lifestyle changes might help you cope with depression and other symptoms associated with this condition.

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Step 1

Exercise at least three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. Regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking or cycling, can reduce the symptoms of PMDD, according to Exercise can also give you an energy boost and help you sleep better.

Step 2

Overhaul your diet. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists suggests that a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can reduce mood symptoms. Eliminate caffeine from your diet to alleviate the jitteriness and anxiety often associated with PMDD.

Step 3

Take nutritional supplements. recommends adding 1,000 mg of calcium to your daily diet to alleviate the physical and mental symptoms of PMDD. Other nutrients that might help women suffering from depression associated with PMDD include magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B-6 and tryptophan.

Step 4

Employ stress-reduction techniques. Yoga, breathing exercises, massage, reflexology, meditation and other stress relievers can teach you relaxation methods, which can make it easier to manage depression, irritability and anger.

Step 5

Explore herbal remedies. According to, some medical trials suggest that chasteberry can reduce some of the irritability and mood swings associated with PMS and PMDD. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal remedy designed for PMS or PMDD to ensure it is safe and effective.

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