Depression is a symptom that many
women experience during their menstruating years. The key element that sets
apart PMS-related depression from other forms of depression is the timing of
symptoms. More than 150 different symptoms have been ascribed to PMS, but the
hallmark of PMS-related problems is their occurrence during the two weeks prior
to the onset of menstruation (around the time
of ovulation). Women suffering
from PMS-related depression report dramatic relief from their symptoms once
their menstrual flow is underway.
On the other hand, clinical depression -- known medically as major
depression -- lasts more than two weeks and is associated with feelings of
helplessness and hopelessness. Major depression is often
associated with an inability to perform daily tasks at work and to interact
socially, as well as a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
Despite the frequent occurrence of depression among women, many sufferers
feel too isolated and embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with their doctor.
It is extremely important to share your symptoms with your doctor, especially
if you are experiencing loss of appetite, insomnia, extreme nervousness, or
disinterest in or inability to complete daily activities. Treatments are
available for all forms of depression, as well as for PMS.