Ask Angie: My Period Makes Me Cray-Cray!

Dear Angie,

Each month, a few days before my period starts, I feel absolutely nuts. I start yelling at people, I start crying for no reason, and I generally feel like my life is over. When I try to talk to my parents about how I’m feeling, they shrug it off, saying that its ‘all in my head’. What to do?

Signed,

Period Problems

Dear Problems,

Oh the fun world of PMS! First of all, it may help to realize that the symptoms that you have are definitely real, and that you are not alone. Womenshealth.gov notes that 85% of women and girls report having at least one PMS symptom a few days before their period starts. There are some things that you can do though, to ease the crazy feelings.

The first thing that you can do is to simply chart your symptoms. When you find yourself starting to feel angry, anxious, tearful or depressed, make a dot on your calendar. Then bring your calendar with you the next time you visit your doctor or the gyno. This way, your doctor can see whether or not your symptoms have a pattern and can talk to you about possible treatment options.

Another thing that you can do is get some exercise. Even mild forms of exercise, like walking, can help ease pre-period anxiety and depression. Also, make sure that you cut down on foods like sugar and caffeine, and increase your intake of calming foods,such as turkey, milk, cheese and blueberries.

Also, it is important to determine what you need to get you through this time of the month (in one piece). For some girls, it may mean that you may need a bit more time to yourself during the days before your period. It may mean that you read your favorite books, meditate, listen to music, or engage in your favorite hobby. For others, it may mean that you need to find a friend that you can vent to. And for others, it may mean that you talk to a minister, counselor or therapist that you trust. The days before your period are a good time to engage in those activities that help you to feel happy and calm.

Finally, if you are feeling severely depressed, unstable, suicidal or out of control, be sure to immediately tell a doctor or a counselor who you trust. Severe emotional symptoms can be a sign of a disorder known as PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD is a serious concern, and a doctor can suggest treatments to help you manage the disorder.

Be well,

Angie

Image credit: creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

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