Dr. Barrett, a neuroscientist, reported in the New York Times (‘PMS is not just a cliché’. NYT, 6/8/2019) that Premenstrual Syndrome is a real, biological event for some women; the hormonal changes prior to flow of menses, cause women with PMS to experience more intense and negative emotions.
Women who suffer from PMS are often not aware their emotional states are affected at this time of the month. The worst thing you can do, is to ask your woman, who’s just expressed intense emotions, whether it’s “that time of the month”? When you relegate her responses to PMS, you diminish the validity of what has upset her; rather than help her to feel understood, you’re likely to make her furious because you’ve just suggested if she wasn’t over-reacting because of her period, she wouldn’t be upset. If her moods are a big problem for you, wait until she’s in a good mood and talk with her about the changes you see in her prior to her menses; ask her to talk about the issue with her gynecologist. Never suggest your woman is over-reacting because of her biology.
Dr. Jankovich has been working as a psychologist since 1974. She works with a range of areas, including relationships, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, grief, trauma, and struggles with life transitions.
The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.