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by Liz Lawler

No, This Isn’t PMS. You are Just Really Annoying

I did an about face this month. I decided to  stop believing in PMS. PMS and Premenstrual  Dysphoric Disorder weren’t actually  included in the DSM until some time in the  1970s (and against protestations of many  psychiatrists). Before that, we have the  Victorians, Freud et al, to thank for notions  of female hysteria and humors. Isn’t it possible  that what we are dealing with is just  straight depression? Real anger? I do find  myself occasionally breathless with annoyance,  my voice rising an octave or two. But  when I think of this as PMS, it is usually  just a coincidence, and the thinking, the  “noticing,” only makes it worse, heightens  the sense of crisis. So, I am no longer going  to “notice.” I will deal with and process my  annoyance, rather than sublimating it. And  if it gets really bad, I will see a therapist,  not a bottle of Evening Primrose Oil.  

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