CLEVELAND - When you see a headline that states "PMS is a myth" immediately you ask who in the world did this study? Well, at least this team of "study-ologists" was led by a woman. Her name is Dr. Sarah Romans of the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Nearly 50 studies tracked womens' moods across the menstrual cycle. About 15 percent of the studies found PMS mood swings kicked into high gear as the cycle approached, and disappeared when Aunt Flo showed up.
Here are some more numbers for you:
- 38 percent of the studies found no association between a woman's mood and any particular phase of the cycle.
- 9 percent claim the worst moods occurred outside of the PMS window.
Those are the numbers. Here's my reality.
In my world, PMS is alive and well. It stands for Pardon My Snippiness because there is a high probability I will enter the bad mood zone and live there for a few days. I'm usually a very happy, centered person who loves life, family, friends, even the neighbor's dog. But a few days before the crimson curse arrives, you will find me exiting my happy place and entering the snippy zone.
It starts with my emotions. I am highly sensitive about everything. I will cry watching a commercial, say a few choice words to a squirrel who makes me hit the brakes in order to save his life, and God help my husband if he leaves the toilet seat up on these "special" days, because the fury will be unleashed. Simply put, I am a piece of work.
My body begins to crave salty and sweet foods. You may find a bag of chips and piece of chocolate on my desk during my PMS period. Get it? PMS period? Ok, you're not laughing so you're probably experiencing it right now. I understand where you are, because I don't laugh much when PMS disrupts my happy space with its instability. One minute I'm running through the poppy fields singing "The Sound of Music." The next, thing I know I'm strappin' on my boxing gloves singing LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out."
Am I the only woman out there who experiences this? I don't thinks so. There is a sisterhood of women who feel the same way I do. And any man who has lived with any of my "sisters in the struggle for mood stability" can confirm that we do change once a month. There are men who will tell you they subscribe to the "yes, dear" campaign during this time, as a means of survival. Any intelligent man knows you don't cross a woman who is experiencing PMS. It's just not a wise thing to do.
And then when that "time of the month" finally comes, you're still not totally safe. Because now we must deal with "it." I don't like dealing with "it." Then comes the makers of Always telling me to have a happy period. Happy and period do not go together. Ever. I'm more calm and I have the ability to put away the chips and chocolate, but by no means am I happy.
Happy returns when "my friend" says goodbye. See ya. Adios. I'm outta here. Get the picture?
So, Dr. Sarah, I appreciate you taking the time to explore the many realms of PMS. My reality says PMS continues to wreak havoc on the estrogen nation. My worst moods occur during, and sometimes after, PMS. I'm sure my husband will co-sign that statement.
PMS, or Pure Misery Syndrome, is not something I look forward to. But I've learned how to handle it. I don't need a study to tell me what I'm feeling and what it's not related to. The pre-menstrual madness lives. It's real to me and many other women.
I'm sure the good doctor stands by her numbers. But I must go on record and say PMS is not fiction, it is a fact.
Now, excuse me while I go to the vending machine for some chips and a Snickers bar.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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