Your depression might be caused by "menstrual psychosis"

Watch out ladies, if you've been feeling seriously depressed lately, it might have nothing to do with your head and all to do with your period. There's a hormonal disorder, known as "menstrual psychosis" which is linked to a woman's monthly hormone levels and apparently can lead to manic depression. The rare condition leaves women with feelings of self-loathing, irrational fear of death, and even thoughts of suicide. But the scary thing is that a ton of women with this are being misdiagnosed!

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Research has found that a lot of women experience these manic symptoms days before their period. In some cases women have developed this after giving birth. The problem is that a lot of doctors have failed to recognize that the issue is triggered by a hormonal disorder rather than a mental disorder. Many of these women get a variety of anti-depressants prescribed and find them to have little or no effect.

One of the reasons for the misdiagnosis is that a lot of doctors just aren't interested in the illness. In fact, John Studd, a former professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Imperial College in London is one of the few doctors who has taken a serious interest in the rare condition. "It is not a psychiatric disorder, it is a hormonal disorder and can be treated with hormones, but it can't be diagnosed by measuring hormone level," he said.

Once doctors are able to detect the condition, there are a number of ways to treat it, from prescribing patients hormonal patches to gels to progestogen pills, or in some cases performing a hysterectomy on women who have already given birth.

The issue is that many doctors fail to recognize menstrual psychosis and confuse the symptoms with that of a mental disorder. Which is why former professor of psychiatry at Birmingham University, Ian Brockington, is set on organizing an international group called Action on Menstrual Pyschosis to help raise awareness on the condition.

I can't tell you how many women I've encountered who claim they started struggling with depression shortly after giving birth. What seemed like post-partum depression continued on for years. It proves that maybe these depression spells were provoked by hormonal problems. It's definitely important to educate more people on this, so that these poor women can get the help they really need!

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Topics: depression  rare condition