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Periods / Ali Horsfall

Is Your Period Giving You Anxiety?

Do you ever find yourself having a really anxious moment and not understanding why? It could be that your period is causing your anxiety levels to rise.

Can your period cause anxiety?

As with any symptom of PMS, anxiety can be brought on by the change in your hormone levels. The rise and fall of oestrogen and progesterone can create anxiety issues including tension headaches, palpitations, upset tummies and even panic attacks.

Do periods make anxiety worse?

A dip in progesterone is especially difficult for some women as this is known as a calming hormone so without it, anxiety can increase leading to feelings of stress and panic around the time of a period. Some studies have also found that prior to a period starting, there is a rise in cortisol – the stress hormone. Stress can make anxiety worse so the release of this hormone into your body can start making you feel much more anxious than normal.

Some anxiety however may have nothing to do with hormones. If you suffer from particularly painful periods, for example, you may start dreading them, which in turn can create anxiety.

If you have an anxiety disorder, you’ll probably find your symptoms worsen just before and during your period. It may make sense to discuss this with your doctor and change your medication around this time.

How do I overcome anxiety?

If you feel very anxious, a spot of meditation can really help. Sit in a quiet spot for five minutes or so and concentrate on your breath, pushing any negative thoughts away.

Write

Bottling up how you feel can make you feel even more anxious. Writing all your thoughts and feelings down allows you to get your emotions out.

Exercise

There have been several studies, which have linked cardio workouts with getting a handle on anxiety symptoms. Even if you don’t feel like a 10-mile jog, going for a walk or dancing around your living room can take the edge of any anxious thoughts.

Talk

It’s true that a problem shared is a problem halved. Whether it’s a friend or a professional therapist, talking to someone about your anxiety can make it feel less overwhelming.

Medicate

If you’ve tried everything but still feel extremely anxious, it may be worth talking to your GP. They can prescribe low dosage anti-depressants, which can help to relieve anxiety.

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