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Know Your Premenstrual Symptoms Well

You would think that after years of dealing with a hormonal cycle that I’d learn a thing or two!  Sometimes, premenstrual symptoms can still sneak up on you.  The trick is to realize them and evaluate whether it is typical PMS or something more – premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

What Is Normal For Your Premenstrual Symptoms?

Just recently I’ve been paying more attention to my sleep during my premenstrual time.  Even if I am more aware of my emotional stability (or instability), I always still seem somewhat agitated.  It doesn’t help that thoughts and images tend to whirl in my mind more actively at that time either.  I always just thought that if I kept myself calm, I’d have less trouble sleeping.

Turns out that no matter how calm or upset I am, I simply don’t fall  or stay asleep easily the week before my period starts.  That’s it, end of story.  What’s the importance of knowing this? Well, it helps me to understand what’s normal for my cycle and what’s not.  I know that my sleep is sort of a self-feeding process.  When I don’t get good sleep, my emotions are always more edgy.  And when my emotions are edgy, I tend not to sleep as well.  See what I mean?

Be Aware Of Symptoms – Are Your Coping Methods Enough?

So it appears that for me, the thing to do is make sure I take better-than-average care of my sleep routine during that week.  Not always easy to do.  Occasionally, I have taken a very mild over-the-counter sleep aid at night.  Also, I’m trying to constantly stay aware that whatever happens during this time is not necessarily more stressful than if it happened a week later or a week sooner.  Sometimes, but not necessarily.  I have to keep perspective as much as I can.

If you are:

  • Aware of your symptoms patterns
  • You do what you can to make things feel OK
  • And you still think your emotions, sleep, eating, or thought processes are way too different than during the rest of your month…
  • You may need to speak to your doctor about premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

My main clue before I was diagnosed was that NO matter what I did, it was still a horrible roller coaster ride. If you feel ineffective managing your premenstrual symptoms, get some help and realize you are not alone!

Take good care of yourselves, ladies!

Creative Commons License photo credit: scarletoak

Know Your Premenstrual Symptoms Well

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Know Your Premenstrual Symptoms Well. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jun 2010
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