Every woman experiences her menstrual cycle and PMS differently. A lucky few hardly notice their periods and experience little discomfort during the days leading up to them, while others can barely function. Most women will fall somewhere in between these two extremes, but one thing is certain—the hormones that regulate our menstrual cycles affect more than just the body. Besides producing cramps and bloating, they can also produce or exacerbate mood-related symptoms like anxiety.
Because of differences in brain chemistry and the impact of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, women are already more likely than men to suffer from anxiety disorders and even panic attacks. And these can definitely be more pronounced right before and during their periods. Women who don’t normally feel anxious may find themselves feeling stressed or fearful around the time of their period. Read on for some solutions I’ve used in my practice to help patients mitigate PMS- or period-related anxiety without prescription drugs.