It is always after having issues such as smoking, eating or a phobic problem successfully resolved when I hear something like “If only hypnotherapy could do something about my PMT?” It is always an afterthought, but when I say that it can you can see the anxiety begin to lift.
“But you are a bloke how can you possibly understand” usually follows.
Pretty much stating the obvious, but I don’t make the rules, that is someone else’s job. I just help you get better with the game.
Recent statistics indicate that almost ninety per cent of women claim to have experienced Pre Menstrual Tension/Syndrome
It is an uncomfortable truth that many women from adolescence onward are told to expect a few days every month when auntie Flo arrives, or the curse, or the decorators are here,
Its also a cheap excuse for husbands or boyfriends to excuse their own bad behaviour, Oh its that time of the month there’s no talking to her
You feel irrational, snappy tearful or unable to cope with your day to day life.
There is an Increasingly stronger argument that for the larger number of women PMT/PMS is little more than a figment of the imagination. Now before you set about me with clubs, please bear with me.
As a young girl growing up you must learn how to deal with all the problems of change, boys are the same, things are happening down there for them too. The difference being for boys it’s all nudge, nudge, wink, wink, dirty books, and mines bigger than yours. From puberty onward women, we are being told by other well-meaning women, usually big sisters, aunts and mothers, who because they have or had PMT/PMS their female offspring deserve it as well, in books, magazines, the TV, and the internet is awash with medications to relieve or cure the symptoms of PMS/PMT.
The medical profession and pharmaceutical industry spend so much time effort and money on the symptoms the forget to look at the problem.
So where did the PMS ‘myth’ come from?
It seems that doctors as far back as the mid-1800s (an all-male occupation) were writing articles connecting ‘hysteria’ and women’s emotional state with their periods. The phrase ‘premenstrual tension’ however was first used in the 1930’s and renamed premenstrual syndrome about 20 years later.
Firs off, let’s define a Syndrome “a group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterised by a set of associated symptoms”.
So, there is no clearly defined symptom of PMT/PMS.
Physiologically there is a minority of women who do have hormone fluctuations that cause them to serious problems preventing them from functioning or working effectively. This is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The criteria for PMDD this is much more strictly defined there are only 11 clearly identifiable symptoms to choose from, such as insomnia, difficulty in concentrating or a marked change in appetite. ‘Women have to have at least five to be defined as suffering from PMDD. And they should be treated.
These symptoms are: One or more of these symptoms significant enough to affect your life:
1. Mood changes
2. Irritability, anger, or an uptick in interpersonal conflicts
3. Feelings of depression, hopelessness, or having self-deprecating thoughts
4. Anxiety or tension
And one or more of these symptoms significant enough to affect your life:
5. Lack of interest in people and activities you usually enjoy
6. Difficulty concentrating
7. Fatigue or lack of energy
8. Appetite changes or specific food cravings
9. Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
10. Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
11. Physical symptoms like breast soreness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, or feeling bloated
But for the rest of the worlds females, it’s an alteration in mood that has little to do with hormones.’
‘The medical community has to shoulder some of the blame, because again and again the normal life stages, such as pregnancy and childbirth, are treated as sicknesses that has to receive some kind of medical intervention.
Two short stories:
We will call her Sally she is nearly 11 years of age, and for as long as can be remembered the mother, her sister and Sally’s grandmothers on both sides have always had PMT/PMS, so far back as can be remembered with varying symptoms, Sally has no older siblings. Sally’s mother has begun to notice some physical changes. Now because there is a history of PMS/PMT She has already been forewarned. That is an impressionable preteen child with no medical training has been told that and I am paraphrasing “ when you get the headache or the stomach ache make sure you tell me so I can give you something for it” you will know when it’s happening your grandmother used to get terrible backache every month just before. And as for your Aunty Gladys, she went to jail for stabbing Uncle Sam, he was always going on about your aunties periods and how she was impossible to talk too.
So sally is sitting on the sofa talking to the person she trusts most in the world who is telling her she faces a life time of pain and discomfort at least once a month, or pharmaceutical pain relief for the rest of her life, and the possibility of being sent to jail. For something that happens and has been happening to women since they stood on their back legs and went into the world.
But sally is ready, she is due for her first period all the hygiene products are in place the drugs are in the bathroom cabinet mum is clucking about like watching her every move and action questions like how do you feel? Headaches yet? Got a tummy ache or backache
Not only is she ready she is spending most of her waking hours wondering if that tummy rumble, back twinge, lack of being able to do schoolwork, feeling angry at something or someone is the onset of the monthly visitor, the curse, Aunty Flo is on the way, or any of the many derogatory names for what is a perfectly natural and regular occurrence. The child is now in a high state of anxiety and living in trepidation of experiencing her first period. In plain language she is in a state of emotional and mental trauma.
Then it happens her first period arrives and passes without any concern or difficulty.
So, the inquisition follows, you didn’t feel the tummy ache or the headache? No backache?
“That’s strange, are you sure?”
“Don’t worry you will next time…”
So young Sally has now had preexisting anxiety state reinforced and embedded into behaviour if you have read any other information on the website you will understand that our imagination is a very powerful tool as what we imagine will eventually happen and what we imagine can also cause physiological changes at a cellular level within our bodies so Sally’s future is now set. For the rest of her life she will live half her life dreading her forthcoming period and the other half glad that it’s all over.
Mary is the same age as Sally, but no one ever mentions, Aunty Flo, the curse or the decorators there is no history of PMT/PMS. Mary’s mother has noticed some physical changes and she has already been forewarned that she is due for her first period. The hygiene products are in place and all is ready even the mental preparation has gone well. Because Mary’s mother has sat down with Mary and explained what will happen when she becomes a teenager explaining what to do and how to do it with all the alternatives available. Mary’s questions like does it hurt, is it painful because she will be bleeding, are answered honestly and truthfully according to her mother’s experience the why it happens, and she goes away with her curiosity satisfied, and her biggest concern is can she have a friend stay over at the weekend.
Mary understands what is happening, she understands it is natural and deals with it calmly, no anxiety, no stigma no ongoing issues.
The medical professionals suggest that there are over 150 different symptoms for PMS/PMT ranging from a simple stomach-ache, headaches, migraines, backache, anxiety and depression. It is disappointing that the medical profession continues to prescribe pharmaceutical remedies almost robotic, often prescribing a contraceptive pill to change the child’s hormones, or over the counter opiates under the guise of pain killers and their favourite panacea, antidepressants, offered, with little or no explanation as to why.
No child was born with PMT/PMS for the same reason no child was born with a fear of spiders or snakes it is a learned behaviour and in much the same way anxiety disorders can be resolved using hypnosis, the burden of PMT/PMS can be lifted easily leaving you to enjoy the whole month not just two weeks out of every four