Are you Crazy or Are You PMSing?
- Breast pain
- Lack of energy
- Inability to rest/sleep
- Pain in my lower back and neck
- Excessive hunger or no appetite at all
- Extreme irritability
- Slow thinking process (including slower speech)
- Decrease in productivity
- Itchiness at night
- Abrupt changes in body temperature (cold during the day and super hot at night)
- Bad-everything-days (i.e., bad hair day, terrible OOTD, dull skin day, low body image day… you name it).
- Extreme sensitivity
- A mortifying need to cry (i.e., Sob till I fall asleep)
- Desire to be alone
- A weird feeling that makes me despise people, especially men
- Raising thoughts
- Common emotions include sadness, shame, anger, irrational worry, and darkness.
- Self-deprecating thoughts
- Aggressive outbursts
- Crying easily
- Shutting down
- Impulsive reactions
Overall Summary of Symptoms: Feeling and Acting crazy.
Am I crazy or PMSing?
A recurrent question that has wandered in my head for the last decade.
Most months (if not all), I struggle with a laundry list of symptoms that destroy the essence of who I am — I promise I am not exaggerating.
My symptoms impact every aspect of my life. I often have to explain to my family, friends, partner, and even co-workers that I am going through an internal hurricane. I get that it is not fair that they have to deal with my sh*tty mood. Trust me, I have to try to finesse my way through PMSing days, but some moths are nearly impossible to tone down.
Whenever I tell someone that I am PMSing, the common responses are twofold. Either a face that states, “How convenient,” or a look of relief saying, “Same.”
The PMSing world is pretty black and white, though mostly black. Only a small percentage of people understand what you are talking about; everybody else thinks you are excusing your crazy with the time of the month. Only those that experience it, know what it truly is, and offer genuine support.
I do not blame people for not believing me, being that the research on this topic is limited, full of myths, skeptical, and saturated with unclear answers. Most people think it’s typical of women to act hysterical; therefore, they assume that that is just how we operate. They fail to consider a biological condition that flares up once a month, which we actually DESPISE.
The other unfortunate issue here is Treatment Options. I have gone to doctors and done extensive research on this. The latest updates on medical recommendations include the prescription of psychotropics (antidepressants) or hormones.
- Antidepressants will potentially regulate your mood on the sad days, which are ten to seven days out of the month for the most part. I do not think it’s fair to put our bodies through medication side effects to target a few days of sadness and mental agitation.
- In the same way, I distrust taking hormones. Virtually anything can alter your hormones and make them go from 0 to 100 in 5 seconds. Hormones are unpredictable and erratic by nature.
My message to doctors: “Thank you, Next!”
Note: If you know of any effective treatment for PMS, please do not hesitate to share with me
If you are looking for validation about your life with PMS, I will give it to you right now.
A paper, a doctor, friends, or family cannot confirm or understand how you feel, and they do not need to. The fact that your life is miserable every month before getting your menses should be enough evidence and validity for you.
I get that we live in a world where if something is not “Googleable,” it does not exist, but don’t let yourself be influenced by the masses: your gut and self-introspection matters too.
Let them call you crazy. The truth is that if you were a crazy-psycho, you’d know it. Remember Brad Pitt from the movie Seven?
“When a person is insane, as you clearly are…Do you know that you are insane?”.
The serial killer stayed silent. Hell yeah, he knows he is out of his head!
I can’t speak from a doctor’s perspective, but I can talk from a PMS-victim’s experience; who has dealt with this sh*t since age 12. I will tell you what works for me vs. what brings the hell out in me.
*Please consult a doctor before making any changes in your health practices.
- Axis Endo: I am blessed to have a best friend who is getting a doctorate in Eastern Medicine. She introduced me to Axis Endo. There is not much research on it, but I trusted her. God knows I’m helpful for this nasty powder (not the best flavor, but it works). It is the ONLY thing that helps me have survivable PMSing days.
- Meditating: 4–7 min in the morning and guided meditation to fall asleep.
- Writing about the misery, I’m going through (actively practicing).
- Favorite supplements: fish oil, iron, magnesium, and evening primrose.
- Time alone.
- Hot showers.
- Cold room before bed.
- Being outdoors.
- Listening to my body (knowing when to stop/separate for something that’s making symptoms worse).
- Warning my close people that I’m struggling.
- Exercising every day.
What makes it worse:
- Avoiding all of the things that help, especially sleep and exercise
- Negative interactions with people
- Talking to people that tend to trigger me easily
- Putting myself in vulnerable situations
- And the worst one of all: THINKING I’M CRAZY.
The moral of the story is: Stop thinking you are crazy; you are just PMSing.
Daniela Marin | Registered Mental Health Intern | Founder of HealingRight