Listen up, ladies: I’m here to tell you that it’s OK to feel and express your emotions. We often hear, “Oh, she must be on her period,” when a woman is seen showing anger or irritability. Maybe she is, and that’s OK, too. It is a natural elimination process our body goes through, eliminating physical and emotional matter.
Personally, I won’t hold back to tell someone how I really feel during my ‘lady time.’ What a wonderful gift, the gift of truth. I take pride in this time of emotional expressiveness, a time where we can release all the feelings that have been locked inside.
We should embrace our range of emotions; as psychiatrist Julie Holland is quoted in the blog post “Embrace Your Moods”, being “sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions is not only hardwired into your feminine brain, but is basic to your survival and your children’s”.
On the other hand, don’t go taking advantage of the situation. Learn to be in touch with your body and mind, but realise that you may need to take a few breaths before responding. Practice dealing with issues as they arise, opposed to holding in your emotions and your emotional responses until your period comes, and then lashing out at people.
“We need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms, and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of our biology.” – Julie Holland
A disappointing side effect of the social stigma of women’s cycle of emotions is that women are getting over medicated and told something is “wrong” with them too often, for just simply feeling or being emotional. In this NYT editorial “Medicating Women’s Feelings”, written by Holland, she speaks about how more and more women are being medicated for the emotional symptoms of their period, where at least one in four women in America take a psychiatric medication, compared with one in seven men. Medicating for these symptoms has become the norm, instead of treating emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or heightened irritability as a healthy or normal part of the woman experience.
On the other hand, the differences of emotions, anxiety, or depression between men and women can come down to the outward show of these feelings; to the social stigma and social allowance of how one (woman or man) should act. As Holland wrote, “We need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms, and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of our biology.”