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Mood swings and ToM

So every month, I get this nasty little voice that lives in my head. It has a quick a bad temper and is quick to make mean, nasty and uncalled for comments. Sometimes I realize it and can fight it off. Sometimes the mood swings get the best of me and I take it out on my family. They relize that my occasional slips are unintentional, but it always causes a few tension filled days. I'm not taking any birth control - when I did, the mood swings were much more enhanced. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there any way to save my family from the monthly monster in me?

Wed. Nov 29, 7:53am

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Great question

I definitely have this problem, and it starts about a week before my period. I start getting so irritable - everything little thing pisses me off and I have no patience. I am always so relieved to finally start my period, because as quick as that day the monster is gone and I am back to normal.

So I'd also love to hear some different ideas on this. There have been threads on this before, and people have suggested different supplements and vitamins, but I really don't want to start taking anything. I'm not sure there is anything else that would help!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:02 AM

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As you probably are aware, PMS b*tchiness is the result of a hormone peaking to start your period. Hormones effect not only your reproductive system, but also your central nervous system (brain). So the quick bad temper is "real" and it's not something that you can do much about without drugs.

Personally, I do two things:
1. Avoid other people as much as possible for 2-3 days. That way I can't offend them. If I return a friend's call a couple of days late, I just tell them it was for their own self-protection and we have a good laugh. This is easier for me because I live alone, though.
2. Really heavy exercise. I mean working out to near-exhaustion: long runs, etc. This takes up some time, but it really DOES take the edge off.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:12 AM

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OP here

I'd even be willing to try drugs...supplements, vitamins, waving chicken feathers over my head...I just want to be in control of myself.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:18 AM

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There's a name for extreme PMS, I forget what it is. My shrink said I have it, and the only thing you can do is take a mood stabilizer (which I do anyway, being bipolar). It's not ideal, but definitely makes life more cope-able. And if you think about it, if you have mood swings for a week each month, you're being grumpy for 3 months out of a year. That's waaay too much.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:29 AM

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op again

I didn't realize I had the problem before. Maybe it was amplified after my daughter was born. I'm not the kind of person to blame anything on a medical condition. I would almost feel like having "something" would be more of a problem because I would have an excuse for my behavior.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 10:29 AM

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I definitely have it, and birth control does really make it worse. I've found, though, that keeping up with the exercising really helps. I also get some pills from my acupuncturist that I think help. I believe you can find them at a natural food store (such as Whole Foods). I don't remember the exact name, but look for something that might say aka Free and Easy Wanderer. I start taking them during ovulation and stop right when my period begins. You might find that your period is heavier, but my mood swings have really improved...
Beth (aka Babooshka)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 12:23 PM

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OP, hormonal swings and one's reactions to them USUALLY change with age.

My take on it is that there's nothing wrong with YOU or ME, but that there's a lot wrong with our culture, which seems more and more unable to accomodate natural biorythms and depressions. More and more, we have to be "on" all the time -- always cheerful, always perfect, always bursting with energy. Which is frickin ridiculous, of course. Not that it makes it any easier or more pleasant for you, I know. But what we have is a bad case of being a complicated, messy, yet totally amazing biological organism. :-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 12:34 PM

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I also notice this, but now I am much more in control of my body. During those days I am concientous about working out, eating right and managing my stress levels. The better I am about avoiding sugars and fats, the better my routine works for me. Sugar really aggravates this phenomina for me. It may be what I crave, but it only seems to encourage the 'monster'. As a previous poster noted - I work out extra hard since not only does it seem to regulate my body better, but it helps 'take the edge off' emotionally as well. If I'm feeling really irritated and frustrated it helps to really work hard physically. In the summer I often head out to my garden and that works miracles for my mood.

Also, since I recognize what I am like, I work hard to not let it seep into my interactions - "Take the high road or shut up" is what I repeat to myself over and over. I try to keep quieter and listen better and am careful to take a moment to examine the situation when I really feel like lashing out - usually it's not that big a deal and I'm over-reacting.

I used to feel like someone else was in control of my body at those times, but with trial and error and perseverance I have a greater measure of control than I ever used to and some strategies for handling myself before I have to start handing out appologies. Best wishes to you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 12:53 PM

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i find it surprising that the op would resort to taking drugs for this problem but prefers that it not be a medical condition. are you talking about recreational drugs?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 1:10 PM

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op again

lol, no I do not use recreational drugs. I would rather not use drugs, but if it will help, then yes, I'd try it. I dont' want a condition because I don't want to create an excuse for myself. Like being an alcoholic...alcoholics say they have a disease and can't quit and can't control their actions. I don't want to say I have a disease, whatever kind of hormone swings it may be, I want to be in control. Maybe with a little help, but without saying "Yes, I have this and this is my excuse for acting like a jerk." Btw - I'm 27, so I wouldn't think that my hormones have changed too much other than since my daughter was born.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 1:24 PM

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