The Link Between PMS & Depression

The Link Between PMS & Depression

Did you know that depression can be a symptom of PMS? Studies show that more than 20% of women with severe PMS experience depression. That makes it common, but it certainly isn’t healthy. The good news is that this isn’t a random you-have-it-or-you-don’t scenario and you’re not just stuck with the cards you were dealt.

To a certain extent, you’re actually the dealer and if you understand the game you can choose your cards for the next round. (The prize? No PMS! Health!)

The first thing you need to know is that PMS is correctable (and not at all necessary for your cycle). When the systems in your body are healthy and working optimally – especially your liver and your gut – your hormones will be metabolized properly and you won’t experience PMS. PMS only shows up when something is out of whack in your body and your specific symptoms actually send you messages about what’s going on. If your depression is a symptom of your PMS, you may be able to overcome it by working to prevent PMS.

In addition to addressing the root cause of your PMS, you can reduce your likelihood of experiencing PMS-related depression by being mindful of the following risk factors:

•  Taking Antidepressants and/or Oral contraceptives
Women reporting use of oral contraceptives and/or antidepressants were found to have a higher risk for major depression compared to women who were not using either.

It’s worth noting that there is a significant increase in suicides amongst women taking oral contraceptives and for adolescents the risk increases threefold(!).  

•  Hating Your Job
Women reporting work dissatisfaction had a higher risk for PMS and cycle-related depression. If you hate your job, it affects more than your 9-5 experience.
•  Stress, Drugs, and Poor Overall Health
Women with PMS who reported high psychological distress, low mastery, psychotropic drug consumption, and/or low self-rated health had a higher incidence of major depression.

So, you can do what you can to avoid the risk factors above and work to address the root cause of PMS. That will definitely help. But we’re pulling out all the guns, and there’s more. 

Here are 5 more ways to decrease your likelihood of experiencing PMS-related depression:

•  Reduce Inflammation.
Studies have shown that people with major depression disorder appear to have more persistent inflammation in the brain as well as other diseases commonly associated with inflammation, like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. 

•  Take the Right Supplements.
These supplements have been clinically proven to improve depressive symptoms: omega-3s (like in fish oil), vitamin D3, chai hu, ginkgo biloba, suan zao ren, passionflower, kava root, St. John’s wort, inositol, probiotics.

•  Exercise.
Remember you don’t have to start training for a marathon to get the benefits of exercise for mental health.  Moving for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week can make a significant impact on your period and overall well-being.  It’s a critical behavior for good mental health as well.

•  Eat Real Food
What you eat directly affects your health. To reap the benefits of food as medicine – and to achieve better periods and mental health – eat as much real (whole, not processed) food as possible. To protect against leaky gut, a condition that is linked to depression and anxiety, you will also want to include foods with abundant healthy bacteria, like fermented foods and kombucha.

•  Try Brazen PMS Support
We make a great supplement that addresses the root causes of PMS and improves the physical and emotional aspects of PMS/PMDD. If you’re suffering, the PMS Formula can provide immediate help. We put this last because all of the factors above will make a huge difference in how much you actually need our supplements. 


Our mission is to make healthy (pain-free, symptom-free) cycles the new normal. Though our supplements are definitely a powerful part of that, our long-term goal is to make them obsolete by providing people with periods the tools and resources they need to maintain their own menstrual health, on their own, forever. (Hence “Forever Brazen”!)

If you have any questions or doubts, please reach out to us –  nothing makes us happier than helping people achieve a healthy cycle.

PS.  We were surprised by this finding on booze & PMS:

We weren’t sure what to do with this information, so here it is in the postscript; The same study that covered the risk factors above found that women who reported moderate to severe alcohol consumption actually had a lower risk for PMS.

Our founder thinks the alcohol can have a mild stimulating effect on the liver, which may prevent it from stagnating (aka not functioning optimally and making you feel crappy). But this does not mean that drinking more will eliminate your PMS.

While in the short term, alcohol can stimulate the liver and help relax the body, the risks for your health from alcohol consumption do NOT outweigh those benefits.  Current research shows that no amount of alcohol is beneficial to women. (Disappointing, but true.)

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