Know the Facts About Premenstrual Mood Change
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings.Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with medications and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms that occur before the onset of the woman''s menstrual period. Estimates of affected women range from 40 to 80%. About 5% of women experience symptoms that cause them severe impairment. PMS may start at any time during the years that a woman menstruates. The peak occurrence is in the 20s and 30s. Once PMS begins, the symptoms often continue until menopause.
To investigate the effects of pill use on premenstrual mood symptoms, and to identify predictors of pill-related premenstrual mood change, researchers used 1995-1997 data from a community-based sample of Boston-area women aged 36-44. Data were collected through screening questionnaires and structured psychiatric interviews that employed standardized clinical criteria to diagnose past and current depression. The analyses included 658 women who had ever taken the pill for at least three months. Participants were categorized according to whether they reported improvement, deterioration or no change in either of two types of premenstrual mood symptoms-tension and irritability, and moods swings and depression--after they started using the pill.
For most women, pill use has no impact on premenstrual mood symptoms, according to a community-based study of women from the Boston area. (1) Roughly three-quarters of participants (71%) reported that premenstrual mood symptoms neither improved nor deteriorated when they started using the pill. However, women with a history of depression that preceded pill use were significantly more likely than other women to experience pill-related premenstrual mood deterioration (odds ratio, 2.0).
PMS remains an enigma because of the wide-ranging symptoms and the difficulty in making a firm diagnosis. Several theories have been advanced to explain the cause of PMS. None of these theories have been proven, and specific treatment for PMS still largely lacks a solid scientific basis. Most evidence suggests that PMS results from the alterations in or interactions between the levels of sex hormones and brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
The positioning of the reproductive body as a site of madness or badness functions to marginalize women and to medicalize their distress. Taking Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) as a case example, this paper rejects this pathologization and argues that self-policing practices are associated with the experience and construction of premenstrual change as PMS. Drawing on interviews with 12 British women, it is argued that women''s experience of distress or anger premenstrually is connected to self-policing practices of self-silencing, self-surveillance, overresponsibility, self-blame, and self-sacrifice, and that their positioning of this distress as PMS takes place through a process of subjectification. An outline is given of a woman-centred psychological intervention, which identified and challenged these self-policing practices.