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From around three months ago, I have felt that I cannot control my emotions around the time before my period, and I googled how to deal with it. From this I found myself learning things about periods that I didn’t know before. I’ll talk about what I discovered and about the birth control pill which is something that I have become interested in.


The symptoms that plague me starts around one week before my period begins. First, I get a severe headache that I cannot bear without painkillers, and then around the next day I start feeling blue. During these times, I think about everything with a negative outlook and I feel an uncontrollable urge to cry. I sometimes cry while listening to ballads. In addition, on the weekends when I do not want to see anyone, I just stay in my room all day. These symptoms continue for around four or five days, and when they finally go away, my period comes.


Every time I get in an emotionally unstable state before my period, I feel bad about myself. I get so depressed, and studying is out of the question. I do not even want to socialize. Even if I am with friends, I think “I want this to be over so I can be alone.” and “I do not want to talk.” which makes me unable to fully enjoy my time with them. It makes me feel like I am too selfish, and I feel bad for my family and friends. These things also add to my self-hatred. Even though I make an effort to be happy, it is really tough for me to do that during these few days. When my period is approaching, I feel a lot of dread towards this emotionally unstable period, rather than towards my period.


* 月経前症候群(PMS):月経(生理)開始予定日の3~10日間のあいだであらわれる心身の不調のこと。イライラ、無気力、冷え、頭痛などさまざま症状があるが、月経開始とともにおさまる。

** 月経前不快気分障害(PMDD):月経前症候群(PMS)の中で、日常生活に支障をきたすほど強い症状のもの。主にうつ気分、不安感、怒りの感情などの精神症状が強くみられる。

*** 月経困難症:月経の直前あるいは開始とともに症状が発現し、月経の終了前あるいは終了とともに消失するのが一般的で、おもに下腹痛、腹痛などの疼痛(とうつう)

The past three months especially took a toll on me and it was getting tougher for me to deal with it, so I searched up possible causes and solutions on the internet. I found out about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)*, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)**, and Dysmenorrhea. Apparently, if you get terribly depressed before or during your period, it might be PMDD. There are Western medicine treatments available as well as Chinese medicine treatments for PMS and PMDD. If you have terrible ache because of period, it could be dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is when you get severe pain that you get that is related to period, like headaches or cramps. I did not know these things, and it made me feel relieved to know that I was not the only one suffering from these symptoms.

* PMS: a combination of symptoms that many women get about a week or two before their period. Symptoms can include bloating, fatigue and mood swings, and they often last until the period starts.

** PMDD: a health problem that is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but is more serious. It causes severe irritability, depression, or anxiety a week or two before the period starts.


I’ll introduce my ways of dealing with my depression that I get before my period. First, is to stop trying to control your emotions, and instead go with the flow. When I feel like crying, I just let myself cry, and when I do not feel like doing work, I just stop doing it and will watch movies instead to distract myself. I try to tell my friends about my mental condition in advance so that I can prevent misunderstandings without pushing myself too hard. Second, is to get enough sleep. I try to sleep a lot so that I consume less time feeling blue and rest my mind and body.


I have other issues related to my period other than the depressive symptoms. My period is irregular and sometimes doesn’t come. When I started my study abroad, my period stopped for four months due to stress. It is normal for me to have irregular periods from stress, but because it was the first time my period stopped for four months, I felt anxious I wanted to see an OB-GYN that I am used to going to. I returned to Japan for a month during summer break, and I got prescribed medicine to get my period to come by my doctor. After taking the medication for around two weeks, my period finally came.


Also, I’ve been interested in the birth control pill. Recently, it has been used as a treatment for irregular periods, relieving menstrual cramps, preventing acne and PMS symptoms. In Japan, you can get the pill for around 3000 yen with insurance, if you are diagnosed with dysmenorrhea. However, there are different treatments for different people and the price could vary depending on the hospital, so I think it is best you go see a gynecologist first! Also, Hikari, our Editor-in-Chief of honeyhands wrote an article that talks more about the birth control pill, so I recommend you to read it! The birth control pill is not exactly cheap, but I think it is a good option to relieve my physical and mental stress.


I’ve had my period for so many years now since it started when I was 14 or 15, but I realized that there were still so many things that I still didn’t know about it. I thought it was normal for people who get periods to have to endure menstrual cramps. I thought everyone suffered from cramps, and that everyone struggled emotionally during this time, so I never took my pain seriously and didn’t even consider going to a gynecologist. Realizing that we all suffer from different symptoms and that there were treatments available to relieve pain and depression changed my perspective. Having knowledge is part of taking care of your body, and I think sharing your knowledge with your friends who also might be struggling would be a good opportunity for them to practice taking care of themselves too. Once I return to Japan, I am going to see an OB-GYN and figure out the best way for me to handle my depression before my period. How do you take care of yourself before or during your period?


ヘルスケアラボ - 「月経前症候群(PMS)

日本産婦人科学会 - 「月経前症候群(premenstrual syndrome : PMS)

生理のミカタ - 「生理前になると、いつも体調や気分がすぐれない…生理前の症状から見る病気【PMS/PMDD】

Medical Note - 「月経前不快気分障害(PMDD)の診断と治療―予防や症状の軽減は可能?

なでしこ女性診療所 - 「ピルの基礎知識

BuzzFeed Japan - 「開業してわかった 日本でピルが普及しない理由

Images by Rio

Edited by Kiara and Hikari

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