This is for you, but you may want to share this with your "mama 'nem," including the men you're extremely close to.
A lot of times those around us, even women, don't understand what really happens during "that time of the month." People like to joke around about the mood swings a women can experience, not realizing how serious they can be for that woman. (I'm not saying the mood swings don't make a good joke, they do.) I will admit that, though I am somewhat understanding, when I'm not in that situation, I can forget what it's really like for a woman to be in the midst of PMS. A young lady recently came to me for advice and understanding in regards to depression and anxiety as related to PMS, and I was so happy to share because, until recently, I thought I was the only one in my shoes. I am certainly no expert, but I've learned a lot about depression and myself in regards to it, so I feel led to open the discussion in case it helps someone else.
PMS stands for Pre/Post Menstrual Syndrome. For different women, it comes at different times of the menstrual cycle. During PMS and the week during which a woman is menstruating additional, and sometimes excessive, amounts of hormones are released within her body. The hormones affect more than physical change. They cause the mood swings we associate with a woman's cycle.
Even more important, the change in hormone levels can cause depression and anxiety. So, for some women, that means that during their PMS and cycle week(s), they become acutely depressed and/or anxious. For those who already struggle with depression and anxiety, like myself, these symptoms become more intense during our "time of the month." Not only does this change affect us personally, but it affects those around us, and, in turn, our relationships.
I'm not doctor, but I deal with this amplification monthly, so I have three pieces of advice.
For those who struggle: Learn yourself and how to deal with this change. You know how often your menstrual cycle comes. Track it, prepare yourself for the coming intensity of negative emotions, and learn how best to cope with it.
For those who struggle: Explain this change and its effects to those who are significant enough to be affected by it. I know it may be uncomfortable initially, but talking about it with those who are important to you can greatly decrease the strain it puts on your relationships.
For the men and women in our lives: Listen. Though men will never understand completely, the more you learn and realize that we go through literal physical changes that we can't control at that time, the better you can deal with the mood swings. And ladies, lets all remember that we've been there! Have some sympathy.
Discussion: In what other areas of life can we all be more understanding in order to take strain off relationships?