Sunday, October 30, 2011 (Advice on PMS/PMDD)

Hypnothought's question:

Advice on PMS/PMDD?

John's Response:

In addition to what has already been said, I will provide you a different view point – one that I use when I run across these issues. What seems to work for the cases I have a combination of education and hypnotherapy. When I say education, I simply mean how she accepts or doesn't accept this process of life. Some girls growing up (especially those out of a strict home, an abusive situation, orphaned, neglected, etc) were never taught much about their period. Yes, their mom or guardian may have told them what it is and some things to expect but may not have gone into detail because it is such a private affair. Many societies have a thing about not talking too much when it concerns matters beneath the clothes. So many girls growing up may miss out on how important this process of life is. That it is part of the gift to be able to bring life into the world. That if you see it as a wonderful experience, it just may minimize some of the pain/embarassment/shame. After all, the level of pain hinges on how we view it.

If this was the case (and it was with many of my clients who had this issue), she may dislike the process or at best see it as a burden as opposed to seeing it as necessary and an accepted part of life. Think about the mixed messages that she could be sending her brain. Her brain is designed to deliver this process every month but her mind – consciuously and subconsciously abhors the process. The results = more than normal pain/ PMS/PMDD in some cases (of course, this is provided that the doctor has worked his/her magic without finding anything physical).

Speaking of pain...this is another issue and how one looks at pain that needs to be tackled. For example, think about three kids who all have common colds. One kid's mom is at her beck and call. She tells the child to stay in bed and rest and provide juices and soup. Another kid's mom immediately rushes the child to the hospital to get the opinion of the doctor and a prescription. And the last kid's mom tells her kid that I know it is tough but you must get up and move around – this is how you will improve. When the child becomes an adult, chances are she will view a common cold or pain the same way it was taught to her. The mother who waited on her kid with juices and soup will think this is the best medicine. The mother who took her daughter to the doctor will typically have a good relationship with her doctor and have drugs hanging around on her nightstand. And the one who told her child to move around will probably handle it better than the other two simply because she thinks moving around will eventually heal her. This goes for the period as well. If the child grows up seeing mom handle her period negatively/with excess pain or didn't explain much about the process, she just may program the child this way.

Of course I am generalizing and it is my opinion and what worked for doesn't mean it will work in every case...But find out how she views her period and motherhood. The ones I have had were usually in the mid 20s to 30s and were not ready to be a mother for various reasons – single, lesbian, career driven, relationship challenges – imagine the messages going on inside of their brain about getting pregnant/period? This mindset would create much stress. The ones who I have explained these issues to really understood and changed how they viewed life (education). Just informing them made a difference for them. After that, I taught them how to relax and 'let go' of their stress (hypnotherapy).

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Counselor

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