Does PMS get worse as you get older?



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Sparkle1984
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27 Jan 2011, 4:21 pm

I am 26 and I feel as if my PMS (pre-menstrual stress that you get a few days before your period) has got worse over the years.

I first started my periods when I was 12 years old, and back then I didn't get any PMS symptoms in the days before my periods. My periods were quite painful, but the pain didn't kick in until the bleeding actually started.

However, ever since my late teens/early twenties, I've noticed that the pain sometimes starts a few days before the bleeding starts (sometimes even as much as a week beforehand). The pain is on and off; it's not constant. It seems to be a bit worse first thing in the mornings.

In the last couple of years, I have started to feel depressed in the run-up to my periods, which is something that didn't used to happen when I was younger. Last month, about 3 days before my period began, I had a day where I literally couldn't stop crying. The thing was, I wasn't even sure what I was upset about - it was as if I was crying for no particular reason and I felt disillusioned with life and the world in general. I was in tears for most of the morning and early afternoon though, and I couldn't really concentrate on much else. Fortunately I wasn't working that day (as it was during the Christmas holidays), so I could cry in peace, although I told my parents how I was feeling and they tried to comfort me. On top of that, I felt tensed up, moody and irritable and I had cramps as well.

Right now I'm coming up towards my next period (due to start in a few days) so I'm starting to get these bad feelings again. On Monday, I felt tensed up, jittery and nervous, when I wouldn't normally do so. I just couldn't shake off the nervous feeling, however hard I tried, and it seemed to come over me for no particular reason. My voice was also stuttering more than normal, and this made me feel even more nervous because I was at work, so I needed to be able to speak to people. On Tuesday I didn't feel quite so nervous, but my voice was still stuttering a bit more than usual. Fortunately, I didn't experience any symptoms yesterday, and my voice was back to normal again (well, what's normal for me anyway).

However, today was quite a difficult day - I didn't have any nervous or stuttery feelings, but I had a feeling of sadness come over me. This feeling of sudden depression seemed to be triggered when I read a certain article on a national news website, which made me feel angry and upset. (If you live in the UK, you'll be aware the country is going through a lot of upheaval at the moment, with regards to economics especially, and it was an article somewhat related to that). Normally, news articles don't affect me so much, but they can do when I'm coming up to a period. For a split second, I suddenly had this horrible thought come over me, but I immediately regretted it, and felt guilty for even having had that horrible thought. This "thought" was very disturbing/violent and it's not something that I would normally even consider, unless I'm feeling angry inside due to PMS. The reason the thought made me feel guilty is because I don't believe in violence (other than in self-defence), and the thought totally contradicted my non-violent beliefs. I then had tears welling up in my eyes because I felt so bad about having had this thought. I was sitting at my desk at work, so I tried to hold back the tears. It seemed to work, so I got on with my tasks for a few minutes. But then a few minutes later I had the same bad thought again and the tears came back. I was scared that my co-workers might see the tears in my eyese, but then I went to toilet and wiped them properly. Once I went back to my desk again, I didn't have the bad thought any more.

These negative PMS feelings (depression, nervousness, anger, pain etc) seem to be getting more common as I get older. Has anyone else found that PMS gets worse as you get older, and what do you do to try and control it?



syrella
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27 Jan 2011, 5:41 pm

From my experience, the physical pain seems to improve, where the emotional mess may get worse. I no longer get so sick as I used to (I used to get the "flu"), but I tend to be more prone to monthly depression now. I haven't suffered from it these most recent times, though.

What you should also be aware of, though, is that women in particular are very sensitive their environment.

Have you noticed any significant dietary or lifestyle changes? How are your eating habits? Do you exercise regularly? What about stress?

If you think that you are in mostly good health, you could try talking to your doctor. They might have some additional advice for you that may help. Speaking with an endocrinologist (doctor who deals with hormones) may also help. If it's a serious issue for you, definitely talk to someone about it. Mental health tends to get written off as less important than physical ailments, but I often think it's even more important.

On a slightly related note, have you ever tried going on birth control pills before? I know some women choose to go on the pill. I've had bad results with it personally, though some people swear by it. It's been known to help with most of the negative side-effects of bad periods.

Anyhow, best of luck! I hope it gets easier for you.



happymusic
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27 Jan 2011, 7:47 pm

A Chinese herbalist could relieve you of these symptoms. If you're uneasy about trying it or don't have access to one, the book Asian Health Secrets has a chapter devoted to it that will explain everything. It's by Letha Hadady and changed my whole way of understanding. You also don't necessarily have to take herbs to treat it - you could change it through diet. You can probably get it for a dollar or something on Amazon.



Amalgoreaux
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28 Jan 2011, 9:38 am

syrella wrote:
From my experience, the physical pain seems to improve, where the emotional mess may get worse. I no longer get so sick as I used to (I used to get the "flu"), but I tend to be more prone to monthly depression now. I haven't suffered from it these most recent times, though.

What you should also be aware of, though, is that women in particular are very sensitive their environment.

Have you noticed any significant dietary or lifestyle changes? How are your eating habits? Do you exercise regularly? What about stress?

If you think that you are in mostly good health, you could try talking to your doctor. They might have some additional advice for you that may help. Speaking with an endocrinologist (doctor who deals with hormones) may also help. If it's a serious issue for you, definitely talk to someone about it. Mental health tends to get written off as less important than physical ailments, but I often think it's even more important.

On a slightly related note, have you ever tried going on birth control pills before? I know some women choose to go on the pill. I've had bad results with it personally, though some people swear by it. It's been known to help with most of the negative side-effects of bad periods.

Anyhow, best of luck! I hope it gets easier for you.


Yeah, I'd say emotional is more important because I think using PMDD or PMS as an excuse in court for slugging someone in the face is pretty embarrassing. Thank goodness for Yaz and Yasmin.



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