Over the years I have worked with quite a few women that had a negative emotional response a few days before and during their periods. Some also had other symptoms, like cramping, nausea, diarrhea, body aches and headaches.
About thirty-five years ago, a female therapy client walked into my office and told me that she should have canceled her appointment, because she just started her period. She stated that her emotions were all over the place. I asked her if she was game to see if she could change her emotional response to her period. She answered, “Yes”!
If you were told that your first period was something to look forward to – like being a welcome sign into womanhood, you more than likely have positive emotions when it is that time of the month.
My belief is that a large percentage of girls that had no knowledge of periods before their first cycle and many of those that were aware, but were told that menstruation was a curse will have a negative emotional response the first time they experience their period. Most will have the same emotional response and other PMS body symptoms thereafter. This post is directed specifically for these women.
We humans if we have a stimulus, this stimulus can bring forth a pleasant or unpleasant memory consciously or unconsciously and we will respond emotionally. The stimulus can be a sound, a smell, something visual, a touch, or a chemical change in our bodies. I believe when the onset of your first period occurred, the same chemicals that were in your body the first time will recreate the same emotional response every time in the future you have a period.
Because I am a man and many women have been “ period shamed”, I have usually avoided this subject unless I had very strong suspicions their emotional state was related to their period.
If you want to change your response, you can change it. You will heard on this video followup I used a “Clean Language Metaphor Intervention” with Deborah;however, other processes on this blog are just as effective. Fast forward this video interview to 3:15: