“What? Are you having your period or something?” “She must be on the rag.” Hmmm…

A 2005 Medical News Today article detailed the results of the Men’s Attitude of PMS survey – in which one finding511361871_86b4e89f78 was that 12% of men believe PMS is not real and that “it’s all in a woman’s head.”

I don’t think so. However, there has been little research to find out what is causing women to feel this way.

For your average women who isn’t suffering from more severe symptoms, getting your period simply sucks. It is usually accompanied by the following:

1. agitation, moodiness
2. sadness and depression
3. cramping
4. chocolate cravings
5. weight gain and bloat.

Yuck. No fun for anyone.  However, depending on the woman and her PMS experience, I like to reframe the acronym PMS to the following:

P: Permission not to

M: Mask

S: my Self

Why reframe it in this way?

You see, we women many times use denial as an important defense against uncomfortable feelings, and we can be a little conflict-avoidant. (Not all of us, but socially, women being angry and dealing directly with conflict is the opposite of how we are socialized). Therefore, when the hormones are raging, things that ordinarily are deeply hidden, come bubbling to the surface. On those days, I am likely to hear some important truths about what has really been going on in women’s lives. For example:

  • You know, it really pisses me off when my husband gets all agitated when it is my turn to be taken care of. I am sick of it!
  • Why do my kids treat me like crap when all I do is take care of them.
  • I am frustrated that my boss keeps taking all my credit. I can’t stand it anymore.

To me, the raging of hormones is a gift. It allows frustration, disappointment, anxiety, anger and depression to surface: stuff that the woman repressed throughout the month. Then, hormones push it to the surface until there’s no hiding anymore.

A freaking-out, hormonal, upset, PMSer might just be an unmasked Giveaway Girl who has failed to feel and deal with her emotions. Either she can’t see her violated boundaries or is unable/unwilling to do anything about it.  That angry, sad energy–and emotions have energy–must go somewhere.

If you don’t effectively express your angry, sad energy, it will build, and build, and build … and pop goes the big red balloon.

I am not talking about severe and horrible PMS symptoms like those found in Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorders. I am talking about the PMS that your average woman gets. If you are intensely depressed, bleeding severely, or you feel hormonally too extreme, it is important to talk to your doctor about alternatives.

Being in middle age, I have had several friends get the endometrial ablation surgery. I am not endorsing it at all but just putting it out there for you to research if you are truly miserable and are done having kids.

Do you disagree with this article?

I am PMSing today and I will fight you on this. Bring it on!


Pic by comp fight