Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The S.O.S for PMS by Mary M. Byers

Back in the 80's, PMS was all the rage-excuse the pun. It was slowly being recognized and even accepted by medical doctors as a real condition as opposed to an imaginary "all-in-your-head" illness. Publications that catered to women ran articles on symptoms with the assurance that your Gynecologist could help by prescribing a strong Pamprin for you. (It turned out that the strong Pamprin was actually Xanax or Buspar, an anti-anxiety medicine not related to the actual condition at all.)

With the 90's coming into view, the focus shifted to menopause. The attention PMS had received in the 80's was now concentrated on menopause and convincing women through magazine articles that it was not "all-in-your-head" and your Gynecologist could help by prescribing medications (hormones) to alleviate those symptoms. (see the pattern?) As it stands, even in 2008, most of the attention on women's health lies in treating menopause with many practitioners forgetting there's a large group of women still contending with PMS. We didn't all magically cross over that line at the same time.

Enter Mary Byers, author and motivational speaker. She reinforces the legitimacy of PMS in her book "The S.O.S for PMS". Unlike the information available in the 80's, Byers focuses on prevention instead of treatment, which is what makes this approach so successful.

After all, did magazine articles back in the 80's encourage you to delegate at that time of the month to prevent feeling overwhelmed? Or exercise throughout the month to control stress management? Or to avoid certain foods for the 2 weeks before getting your visiting friend? (this information alone, in this reviewers opinion, is vital information)

In order to manage any condition, you must first recognize it. Byers helps by providing insight to the signs and symptoms as well as providing charts that can be used to document what symptoms the individual reader struggles with the most.

Byers moves on to tackle the areas we can control throughout the month that help ease the severity of symptoms when they do present themselves. She examines how faith in God helps in dealing with PMS as with all situations in life. She writes a chapter for husbands-one I would recommend all men read just to understand the condition itself. And then she ends the book by giving us permission to accept and embrace our shortcomings while we strive to change them. Even PMS. Especially PMS.

"It is my hope that after reading this book you'll have the confidence and ability to continue to build great things in your family every day. The greatest thing about the future is that you have the power to influence it. Change begins in the moment of decision, and there's power in deciding that tomorrow will be different than today." ~Mary Byers

186 pages
Harvest house Publishers