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“Mom, Dad has PMS Again…”

May 17, 2012

It’s true, Dads get PMS also, which means we go through bouts of ‘moodiness.’ ‘Moodiness’ is just a nice way of saying that dad is tired, irritable, tense and easily annoyed. I’ve noticed there are different types of male PMS, and there are a variety of risk factors and homeopathic therapies used to treat this ailment.

I have not seen any of the medical literature (nor am I a doctor) that describes or even acknowledges the existence of male PMS, but ask any guy (or their wife) if they experience episodes of irritability, fatigue, short-temperedness, increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure and/or find they are easily annoyed while managing the emotions and issues of a female household, and I will tell you that these are the symptoms of male PMS. I have found this ailment can be acute or chronic in form, and can extend well past child bearing years – my wings are clipped and I still get it all the time.

There are certain risk factors associated with male PMS such as age, high caffeine intake, number of children in the home and the onset of sudden or prolonged stress can precipitate the condition. There are no laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. Just the existence of one or more of the emotional conditions I have noted. The symptoms are also predictable when various stresses are introduced, and the symptoms subside once the stress is removed. I have noticed that as the number of children in a household rises, so does the caffeine intake, so some risk factors certainly exacerbate on another.

The acute or sudden onset of male PMS can occur when something completely unexpected occurs – usually via a phone call. Let’s say you live in a climate with cold winters and you have small children. Your wife figures out it is better to load the kids in their car seats with the garage closed so the kids (and her) don’t get cold while getting them buckled safely in their seats. Then, she can get in the car, close the car door and use the remote garage door opener to then raise the garage door and drive away without ever feeling the wave of cold. This is a brilliant technique for avoiding the cold, but not one most husbands would likely embrace or even know about until the day his wife uses this method while running late for an appointment. In haste, and given the limited view, it is easy for any wife to back into the garage door before it has fully opened when employing this technique. The subsequent phone call can lead to an acute onset of male PMS.

The chronic form of male PMS is typically the result of a combination of small factors that build on one another, and these episodes can persist for days or weeks at a time. For example, let’s say you take a new job in a city that is a 16-17 hour drive away while you have a 16-month old baby at home and your wife is 4 months pregnant. And for the next three months you are working to get settled into your new position while commuting back and forth to your pregnant wife and baby on the weekends. All of this while trying to buy a house in your new city, work out the logistics of a cross-country move, close on your new home, find contractors in a strange city so that your newly purchased home is ready for the movers to unload your 18-wheeler full of your stuff two weeks before Christmas. Let’s just say I am familiar with this situation, and it resulted in a case of chronic male PMS.

The first form of treatment is a quiet room with a TV remote. I think the ‘man cave’ was created as a homeopathic remedy for male PMS. If you find a guy in a catatonic state in front of the television, then I suggest you not ask a lot of questions. Guys are like nuclear reactors, once we get hot we just need some time cool off. Certain topics of conversation are like removing the cooling systems from the reactor in that it can just makes things worse. Know that male PMS eventually passes. Sometimes guys need to stay up late and watch TV (it’s the only time we get to enjoy our homes alone), sometimes we need to go to bed early (we often feel better after some good sleep), sometimes we need to do our hobby for a while (fish, bike, run, golf, hunt… etc.) and other times we just need our wives to talk us off the ledge. What is perhaps most frustrating about the male form of PMS is that we can’t establish a pattern and put it on our calendar each month.

© Johnny Hea – 2011 All Rights Reserved


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