The lead up to your period can be a tricky one. An easy one. An unremarkable one. A total sh*tshow in which you can't stop crying and have never felt more self-conscious. The point is that PMS affects women in so many different and unpredictable ways - you could barely notice it or be completely consumed by it.
Under new guidelines, those that suffer with the latter could now be offered psychological therapy on the NHS.
Senior doctors are recommending that women whose PMS affects their "daily functioning" - with work or relationships - would be offered CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as a way of dealing with their feelings, thoughts and emotions.
If this strikes a chord and premenstrual syndrome crashes through you like a sad, destructive freight train, you are not alone. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, four in ten women experience depression, anxiety, irritability, loss of confidence and mood swings up to two weeks before their period starts.
That's almost 50% of us, with one in 20 women encountering such severe and debilitating PMS symptoms their marriages and work lives break down and they experience thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
Shaughn O’Brien, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Keele University, believes the trouble with PMS is that most people only see women with mild symptoms.
"They don’t appreciate the impact PMS can have on some women: divorce, suicide, inability to work," he told The Times.
He believes by offering up a thought-altering technique such as CBT, instead of antidepressants, it could act as a safer, longer-term solution for sufferers. "It is an action that continues. Once you stop a drug the patient goes back to where they were; CBT sets them up for the future and they can return to it by themselves."
Would you try therapy to combat your PMS symptoms? Tell us in the comments box below.
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