March 15, 2005

Pre-Menstrual Shaman

I really like this approach to PMS and unruly, hormonally-influenced moods, from elly.org:

“the hormone weeks are rough times, but i am learning more about how to handle them and what causes them.... it’s not as hard as it was before. i’ve started treating it a little like a shamanic journey or an acid trip.. i write down what i’m thinking and learning while it happens and there is always some important nugget in there.”

I’ve often struggled to come up with a satisfying perspective on PMS and other kinds of hormonal moods and effects. PMS responds to almost every placebo treatment in studies, but nevertheless it is a very real situation. It affects vast numbers of women and so could be seen as normal, but it is, nevertheless, an undesirable problem for many women. Does it work better to accept it or avoid it? Can you do both at once? What else?

Elly wasn't referring to run-of-the-mill PMS, but considering mood swings in general as altered states is working for me right now. Altered states are weird and normal at the same time (consider being sleepy, horny, preoccupied...).

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