Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, has long been understood to be an emotionally vulnerable time for women. Women may be illogical, moody, and irritable as their body undergoes hormonal shifts to prepare for the menstruation process. For some women, this is a minor blip in their consciousness. For others, it may be much more severe. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PDD, is the extreme version of PMS, and has resulted in hallucinations and criminally violent behavior. It can also result in severe depressional swings. Though the most extreme versions should be evaluated and treated by a doctor who is familiar with hormonal psychotherapeutic treatment, there are a number of things that you can try to enhance your chances at a more stable cycle.
Many studies have shown that exercise is one of the most effective ways to stabilize your hormone levels. Working out has been known to reduce the severe symptoms, both physical and emotional, of menstruation, as well as to reduce general depression and anxiety as a whole. This doesn't need to be long or extreme workouts, either. Two ten-minute walks in a day are often enough to make a difference in the body's endorphin-producing centers, which can help provide the good feeling hormones to combat those which make you depressed.
The natural world, and time in it, is becoming a large topic of discussion as people realize how much being outside in natural spaces can cure anxiety, social anxiety, depression, ADHD symptoms and much more. This would not have been a topic of research one generation ago, because of the fact that people spent most of their time outside, and it was uncommon to spend time fully indoors. With the advent of so many more time-consuming indoor activities, this has shifted for many, particularly young girls who are just getting their first periods. A simple solution is an hour or two outside most days.
Proper nutrition can also go a long way in combatting hormonal depression. Avoiding foods that have been identified as xenoestrogens, or outside sources of estrogen, is one way to help. Supplementing with zinc, fish oil, and vitamin B will also help your brain to have the building blocks that it needs to calm itself. The more nutrients that you can get from whole foods, the easier it will be for your body to absorb them. Though it can take supplements, some of the less expensive nutrient companies can have additives or processes to extract that add unwanted chemicals to the food, or provide you with inorganic versions of a nutrient that can't easily be taken up by the body.
Of course, if the lifestyle changes are not enough, then it may be time to consider medication. There are a number of period teas and other natural supplements, like dong quai and red raspberry leaf, that can help some. If, however none of these are effective, it may be time to see a medical professional for more help.