Women have twice the frequency of depression as men.
What to do?
First, write down a complete history of your mental health and hormonal events. This means looking at mental health symptoms just before and during puberty, in the days before your period, in response to pregnancy and birth control pills, after any female surgeries, and around menopause. What were your symptoms, did they get better or did some get worse? Include your family history of female (ovarian, uterine, breast) cancers, male cancers (prostate), and cardiovascular disease.
Next if you are still menstruating, track your symptoms and your cycle for three months. Some studies suggest that 50% of women who think they have PMS, do not. Whether that statistic is correct or not, you need to make an accurate correlation.
Finally, work with your doctor to check your FSH, LH, estradiol and progesterone in both the follicular (first 10-12 days) and luteal (days 18-24) parts of your cycle. If you can arrange for continuous salivary monitoring of estradiol and progesterone (less reliable) during that same cycle, you will get a very nice picture of what your hormones are doing in relation to your symptoms. In a simplistic way-estrogen tends to be activating, and progesterone is like the drug Valium-calming in small doses, sedating and depressing in large doses. If you want to be really comprehensive, you can test your genetics (CYP450 1B1 and COMT) and estrogen metabolism to determine whether you can improve your protection against female cancers by eating crucifers, or whether these veggies might increase your risk for making ‘bad’ estrogens.