This morning I was having a conversation with one of my closest friends about PMS and how severe ours gets, it sparked from just us talking about our cycles to a question of whether we get depressed before our period. To which I replied a long the lines of – I get so depressed and sad it’s unreal and that before I made the link between my cycle and my mood I felt like I was going crazy.
I would honestly go from being happy and content to being horrifically depressed and wanting to jump in front of oncoming traffic – I kind of wish that sentence was an exaggeration. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I was able to make a distinct connection between my cycle approaching and my mood, as before then I was just living in the dark place rent free (one day I’ll feel comfortable enough to write about this in detail, but today is not that day).
Period apps help a lot with tracking these things and around that time I was also tracking my migraines and how they intensify with my PMS, and they just so happened to coincide which is how I made the connection. Once it hit me it was like everything finally made sense. It’s kind of sad that this isn’t something we’re taught about in school or even allowed to acknowledge as the stereotype of girls crying before our periods has sort of fucked us over – we’re seen as hysterical and our periods are used to demean us, when in reality we’re functional just in a lot of pain (like our lives).
One of the reasons I genuinely feel like we need to take PMS symptoms more seriously is because even though they can range and vary a lot, they can also be a sign of something more serious.
If we dismiss symptoms like breast soreness all the time, we could miss a possible sign of cancer.
If we dismiss the severe dip in emotional/mental health we could be overlooking signs that your mental/emotional health need to be checked out.
There’s also the fact that some peoples PMS is so serious that they can’t function, people pass out, get sick, have cramps, migraines, depression, anxiety and the list goes on. You’d think doctors would have a lot of research but unfortunately our menstrual health is seriously slept on and we just deal with it, or go on the pill – which has a whole backlog of side effects and lack of research concerning long term use.
We need to look into PMS more and be able to go to the doctors without being dismissed when presenting our symptoms.