Washington: Women’s emotional responses can vary significantly premenstrually. They may become depressed or grumpy during menstruation or the premenstrual phase, known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS).Roughly 75 percent of reproductive-age women report premenstrual mood swings or physical discomfort.Brain scans show a significant increase in activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex related to emotional processing premenstrually, even if women’s emotional responses do not vary significantly. The relationship between estrogen and emotion was first investigated over 100 years ago, and it has been shown that estrogen can improve mood.Research has shown that during prepuberty, boys are twice as likely as girls to need psychotherapy. However, the opposite is true postpubertally.Women are twice as likely to develop anxiety or depressive disorders compared to men. Women’s increased vulnerability to depressive disorders typically occurs between the beginning of puberty and the age of 55, in concert with estrogen level changes.
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