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PMDD and Relationships: Living on a Prayer, Living with PMDD Kindle Edition
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Liana is writing with candid, first-hand wisdom. If you are someone with PMDD, you’ll find her experiences dreadfully familiar but completely reassuring. It isn’t just you! If you love someone with PMDD, you’ll recognize a lot of what she writes about but begin to see it through new eyes. You might even begin to understand what you once thought was beyond comprehension…the sudden monthly changes and unrecognizable personality of your loved one.
Now that I’ve expressed my overall sentiment of the value of this book, let me continue with my review…which is actually mixed.
The first thing that appealed to me was Liana’s overall stance about PMDD, managing it by treating the whole person, awareness being key, and that the typical pharmaceutical treatments often cause more harm than good. She echoes my own feelings on these subjects. In fact, we’ve both written some very similar pieces surrounding these issues. We are wholly aligned in those regards. But she makes some excellent points that I hadn’t considered and which have enriched by own understanding of PMDD and why I feel the way I do about these points.
Where I became less attracted was on three counts: 1) her occasional references to Jesus and the Bible (I agree with her that faith is important, but it would have been nice if the book had remained free of suggestion) 2) her repeated affirmation that untreated PMDD will worsen and result in long-term post-menopausal depression (while research may have shown that this is possible, I think her insistence of it is a little presumptuous and an unnecessary fright for women in their later years only now discovering the problem), and 3) some inconsistency regarding incidents when PMDD may actually be something else (for example, Liana writes that her own symptoms occur twice during her cycle which would lead one to believe she may experience more than 7-10 days of symptoms, yet she later says that anyone experiencing more than 7-10 days of symptoms definitely has other issues. And in another instance, she writes that some women get symptomatic during ovulation right through to their periods while others experience only one good week a month, yet here she makes no mention of “other factors” at that moment. For me, this just left me confused).
The book more than makes up for these sticky points with tons of excellent information and Liana’s hard-won personal insights. She is amazingly and beautifully open about so much; it will resonate so deeply with women battling this nightmarish condition. And such forthrightness will do wonders for anyone struggling with shame around PMDD and the resulting craziness. She’s really got her two feet on the ground too as she’s obviously done her homework and doesn’t try to sweeten the reality of PMDD with platitudes or false promises. She’s taking the realistic approach.
Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual avenues are touched upon with a plethora of practical, proactive advice. Though she isn’t a medical professional, Liana’s lived PMDD and no doubt has a far deeper understanding of it than could have been presented by any doctor researching and drawing conclusions based on a small group of women. But this is by no means a book solely based on one woman’s experience. Throughout the book are chapters dedicated to reader comments which in themselves are quite illustrative and powerful, giving credence to the difficulties unique to PMDD and their impact on the lives of those living with it.
With top points for writing, readability, content, perspective and accuracy, I have to reiterate what a fabulous book this is. It is common for me when reading an exquisite novel, as I reach the last few pages having enjoyed it so thoroughly, to be left grieving the loss of the company of its characters. Liana has written a non-fiction book that left me with the same feeling.
This is a great resource book to better understand this disorder, and what you can do to help it.
One thing to be aware of its her strong beliefs that "pills" (her chosen terminology for medication) do more harm than good. Yes, RX have unwanted side effects for some but not all. She writes we all need to "stand on our own two feet", in reference to taking "pills" for illness. She also writes, "unless your taking pills to stay alive then you have no choice but to take it and allow it to blunt your body signals." I find this opinion, she stated as fact, crude, unkind and untrue. People across the world who take medication can be just as self aware as she is, with excellent "body signals". I know some people can wean off Rx with profound results. But, I also know that for others an Rx can be a God-send (even w side effects).
Just be aware she is firmly slanted towards medications doing greater harm. She has further books for those purposes. She is entitled to write whatever she wants. And she did in this regard.
She says this towards the beginning, "One thing I have that a lot of people don’t have, or don’t make the time for, is self-awareness."
I was hoping for more from this book. Maybe a deeper look into the disorder itself, maybe more sharing of her deeper research.... I'm not sure, I was just hoping to gain a much deeper knowledge base about my disorder. However, she did validate my feelings, symptoms and need for self care.