What women never talk about

I mean there are a few things women don’t talk about, but pushing haemorrhoids and weak pelvic floors aside, I want to talk about periods.

Not the physical side, I’m sure by now we all have that under control (although side note: I want to try those period pants – have you tried them?) but the mental side and the hormonal changes that go on over those few days of the month.

Because I don’t know about you, but there are days where I just want to curl up and hide in a corner somewhere. In fact, today is one of those days, which is why I thought today would be the best day to write about it.

It started a couple of days ago, the feeling of being a little lost. The feeling of being a little bit sidetracked… by nothing. I find myself wanting to get stuff done but then not being able to focus on anything or even wanting to focus on anything at all.

And then I get overwhelmed.

I start to feel guilty that I should be being productive, start feeling like I am failing at everything and end up feeling even worse.

After realising that my PMS symptoms seemed worse than before having kids, I discovered that there is actually a severe form of PMS known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Common symptoms of PMDD as found on WebMD

  • Mood swings
  • Depression or feelings of hopelessness
  • Intense anger and conflict with other people
  • Tension, anxiety, and irritability
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling out of control
  • Sleep problems
  • Cramps and bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Hot flashes

Does that resonate with you?

I know that as women, we don’t like to share when we are struggling. And so we look around and feel like everyone else has it sussed while we are drowning.

So I want to say that I struggle. I have days or even weeks when I just feel less than my best. And that is so common.

What can be done?

I figure, those times of feeling like we can’t do it all are the exact times when we should stop trying. We should take those days as they are meant – rest days.

There are plenty of other ways we can help ourselves too…

  • track your cycle and your moods
  • plan a restful week during your period
  • get plenty of rest, with early nights
  • take Vitamin B6 to regulate hormones
  • Have small, frequent meals to keep blood sugar stable
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and junk food
  • Exercise regularly

You may not tick all the boxes for the symptoms listed above. But if you nodded your head when reading ‘Depression or feelings of hopelessness’ or ‘Feeling out of control’ then definitely go speak to your doctor as they can support you in working out what the best way forward would be.

But whether you get PMS or PMDD, just know that you are not alone in having those days. And the more we can open up, the less we will feel alone and the better we will all feel.


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Comments 3

  1. Totally relate to this especially now that I am in my mid 40s. I think at this stage it probably would fall under the symptoms of perimenopause, the time when fertility seriously declines before the menopause. I find the feeling of exhaustion and “brain fog ” particularly debilitating. Thank you for an honest post on this important subject.

  2. I have mentioned this to my CBT therapist, I am convinced that my anxiety is hightened when I am on my period. It is another one of those mental health issues that people can’t see so assume you are just complaining about nothing or generally being a miserable cow! Will take your advice though and be kind to myself and get some B12! <3

  3. Thank you Katy! I’m struggling too, I’ve nearly left my husband regularly over the last year or so! I’ve been taking agnus castus and I do think it’s helping.

    Ps I’ve not tried period pants but I have used a cup for years and it’s changed my life!!! Highly recommend ☺️

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