Talking About Periods And Mental Health

In the words of Lily Allen – ‘Periods, we all get periods. Every month, yo, that’s what the theory is. It’s human nature, another cycle’ yep she cleared it up nicely. The majority of uterus owners have to deal with these regular little rage monsters.

Recently, I’ve been listening to Hormonal by Eleanor Morgan where she talks about her experiences and looks at the wider cultural issue. It’s something I’ve struggled with in the last 12 years. I know I’m not the only one that struggles with their mental health when on their period. I am teary, anxious and stressed. I feel incredibly low and struggle with my self worth.

What about contraception? People ask well. For me, it does precisely nothing to help my anxiety and depression on my period and while I feel weak to let people know I’m feeling down because of my period (thanks to the patriarchy for that!) it’s completely true.

The thing is, why don’t we talk more about our mental health on our periods? This is something that impacts a lot of the the population and it is valid. If it were another medical condition we could be more mindful something that causes depression and mood swings alongside medical symptoms?

I know that for at least a week a month I don’t feel like myself. I feel like something within me takes over, I question everything, my confidence deflates. All because of a natural process which happens to make my mental illness worse.

I guess I’m writing to say that we are silenced and made to think that it’s embarrassing and that it only happens to us – which is not true! I’m yet to meet a woman who isn’t negatively impacted by their hormones. We’re not weak, we’re not overreacting, we are most importantly not alone.

Let me know about your experiences below!

Of course my period is a luxury…right?

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Every year since I was about 12 I have been blessed with the greatest luxury according to my government. I’ve gone out and bought a box of tampons or pads, my ‘luxury item’ and paid tax, meanwhile if I’d have bought some jaffa cakes I would have paid no tax, my boyfriend buying his razor isn’t taxed.

When I heard that the tampon tax would be debated I stupidly had some hope, of course anyone who was intelligent would end a tax on tampons and pads it’s something 50% of the population need. I saw the news after and remembered that the stupidly high percentage of tory men obviously aren’t intelligent and I was stupid to believe they were. Now I used to roll my eyes at this I was like but they’re not that much right? Then I sat and thought about it, actually if I add up how much I have spent and will spend it’s an obscene amount of money and simply because I am a woman. I didn’t ask for my period, I really don’t want it and it causes a stupid amount of trouble as well as eating my money.

I then saw something else, women around the world who can’t afford these items. Women in my own country, one of the most forward in the world, are having to ask food banks if they can get hold of tampons and pads because they’re having to use things they have made themselves to stop the flow. I don’t understand how it’s gotten to this. You can walk into a clinic and get free condoms but you can’t get anything free for your period? So those who can’t afford it risk their health because the blood is seen as unsanitary.

On that note I was thinking about the girl whose picture was taken off Instagram because it showed that she had bled through her pajama bottoms.

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Now, hands up ladies who’s had an accident at some point or another? Whether that be at night when mother nature surprises you or just in your pants. If I could see through the screen I would see everyone who had had a period with their hand up. These things happen more often than people would like to admit. Now I admit do I like looking at this picture? No. Is it because it’s her period? Also no. I don’t like blood! I don’t like blood coming from anywhere I’m a squeamish person! But without periods none of us would be here. None at all.

What I’m really begging for here is common sense. Periods (literally) make the world go round, they hurt and they’re irritating without having to pay extra on the items to please other people and you know not ruin our clothes. I have no doubt if it was more acceptable some people would just you know bleed and not give a damn, not me personally but some people would. Our periods are necessary whether some stuck up men who run the country are intelligent enough to know that or not, so don’t tax us on what we need!