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Surviving the Storms of Mental Illness with the Help of a Therapist

Friday, July 5, 2019

Disclaimer: This is a paid blog post and all opinions are my own and in no way promote any type of therapy or therapist. 

The stigma of mental illness has dire consequences for those who suffer some type of mental illness. Many people who have mental illness feel ashamed and do not seek help. Having a mental illness is nothing to feel ashamed of. Many people can survive the storms of mental illness with the help of therapy You can face the storms of mental illness by getting help.

Therapy is an anchor for those facing the storms of mental illness. When battling the storms of mental illness, you are faced with a sink or swim scenario. You may not know which way to turn or how to survive the sinking ship of mental illness. The first thing you must do is take hold of the anchor of therapy. Therapy can see you through any storm. You may feel the storms that are raging inside you are too strong, but with therapy, you can survive the worst storms.

Therapy is a strong foundation that keeps you safe from the storms of mental illness. When struggling with the storms of mental illness, you may harbor thoughts of there’s no use in trying. You may not know how to stop the negative thoughts of mental illness. One of the things you must do is build a strong foundation of positivity. Being positive will take on the worse storms. You may think the storms that swirl around you bring destruction, but with the right help, you can conquer the powerful storms.

Positivity is a rock that supports your mind, body, and soul during the storms of mental illness. When facing the storms of mental illness, you may hide under a rock instead of standing firm on the rock. You may not know how to crawl out from under the rock of mental illness. One thing you must do is stand firm on the rock of positivity. Positivity can crush mountains of storms. You may believe the storms that form against you never cease, but with therapy, you can ride out the fierce storms.

Therapy is the glue that holds you together in the midst of the storms of mental illness. When dealing with the storms of mental illness, you may turn to other ways of protection. You may not know how to ask for the right protection from mental illness. You must seek the help of a therapist. Therapy can keep you from harm during the raging storms. You may feel the storms that tighten around you leave you breathless, but with therapy, you can keep breathing through the storms.

Therapy is the encouragement that gives you peace to survive the storms of mental illness. When going through the storms of mental illness, you may reject encouragement. You may not know how to accept encouragement for mental illness. You must learn to accept encouragement. Therapy will help you turn from the pain of destructive storms. You may think the storms that overwhelm you control you, but with therapy, you can overcome the dark storms.

There is no magic pill or overnight cure for mental illness. However, if you are suffering from mental illness, consider seeking the help of a therapist.

To learn more about therapy when facing the storms of mental illness, click here.

The F-Bomb

Friday, March 29, 2019

I knew something was wrong with me the day I turned fifty. My mind had always been sharp...until menopause and what I like to call the F-bomb. My life was shattered, turned upside down by the F-bomb. Forgetfulness and fogginess exploded with a big bang!
The shards of imaginary shrapnel found their way into my mind. The person I once was ceased to exist.  My life now centered around menopause and the F-bomb. I was cursed with two of the worst effects of growing old: forgetfulness and fogginess. The F-bomb attacked my brain.
 My once sharp-as-a-tack self now walked around in an unknown new world. Menopause was a different scenario. My old, comfortable world had been blown apart and a new uncharted one had taken its place. The F-bomb had hit its target. My life was now topsy-turvy.
 The first “explosion” I had to deal with was forgetfulness. I had to be honest with myself and face the realities of menopause. I was forgetful. I couldn't remember the places, dates, names, or faces. This F-bomb was scary. I didn't know how to approach it. I was losing my mind and couldn't find my way back.
 Forgetfulness was now my reality...menopause my new life. How was I going to cope with not being able to remember the simplest of things? Had I gone crazy? I didn't really fully understand menopause and how it affected my life. To me, menopause was something you went through when you became a certain age. It was the end of my childbearing era. Little did I realize it was also the end of my normalcy.
 I bought everything I could to help me remember. I tried to cope with forgetfulness, but I couldn't. The F-bomb had taken its toll on my life. I forgot who I was and my life was on the brink of extinction. I literally thought about committing suicide. Menopause was destroying my life.

 I had stepped into the fogginess of a world unknown. I couldn't escape the fog that surrounded my mind. I couldn't come back to reality. 
Menopause controlled my life. I no longer was in control of who I was or what I did. The F-bomb destroyed my mind and me. Somewhere in the fogginess of my mind, a voice kept telling me to get help, but I refused to listen. I had given up.
 I went through the motions of my life. I pretended nothing was wrong. Although I kept forgetting things and the fogginess grew thicker, I kept the pretense going. My family was clueless about my behavior. It wasn't until my husband became very ill I was jolted back to reality. I got a rude wake-up call. I realized menopause was part of my life, I wasn't part of its life. It didn't control me, I controlled it. Menopause didn't define who I was. The F-bomb could be detonated at any time. I needed help.
 With the right tools, I could learn to cope with menopause and the F-bomb. I didn't have to succumb to a false reality. Forgetfulness and fogginess could be managed if I handled the F-bomb properly.
  It's been eight years since the F-bomb exploded into my life. I still have my bad days. The death of my daughter and my husband's illness triggers the F-bomb. The stress becomes too much for me and I withdraw into the fog. I forgot about the skills I had to cope with stressful situations. I let my menopause take over once again. I used it as an excuse, a crutch to not cope. I once again let the F-bomb explode into my mind.
 Am I completely out of the fogginess? No, I still have my bad days. Do I still forget? Yes, forgetfulness is my number one menopausal pitfall. Will I survive the F-bomb? Probably.
 Most of you have already experienced the F-bomb, but you can survive. Get help, talk to your family, don't try to defuse it by yourself. Menopause is a reality and the F-bomb will explode, but with careful handling of the situation, the effects won't last.        

Getting the Right Help for Anxiety Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry about 2 or more life circumstances for a period of 6 months or longer. Biological and genetic factors may combine with stress to produce psychological symptoms.

 I want to talk to you about anxiety disorders. This is something that affects me personally. A lot of society wants to sweep it under the rug, but it is a serious issue and needs to be addressed.

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety, worry, and stress are all a part of most people's lives today. But simply experiencing anxiety or stress in and of itself does not mean you need to get professional help or you have an anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety is a necessary warning signal of a dangerous or difficult situation. Without anxiety, we would have no way of anticipating difficulties ahead and preparing for them.

Anxiety becomes a disorder when the symptoms become chronic and interfere with our daily lives and our ability to function. People suffering from chronic anxiety often report the following symptoms:
Muscle tension
Physical weakness
Poor memory
Sweaty hands
Fear or confusion
Inability to relax
Constant worry
Shortness of breath
Upset stomach
Poor concentration

These symptoms are severe and upsetting enough to make individuals feel extremely uncomfortable, out of control and helpless.

Anxiety disorders fall into a set of separate diagnoses, depending upon the symptoms and severity of the anxiety the person experiences. The anxiety disorders discussed in this series on anxiety are:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Panic Disorder (including panic attacks)
Social phobia (also known as a social anxiety disorder)
Specific phobias (also known as simple phobias)

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are considered anxiety disorders, they are covered elsewhere independently on Psych Central.

Info from Psych Central.

You can learn more by going to Anxiety Disorders.

Anxiety Disorder and Menopause:

This is the category I fall into. As a menopausal woman I suffer from anxiety disorder. Because I am unable to medicate I have to live with it. My anxiety disorder is a social phobia. I have a difficult time being around people in general. I tend to pick situations where I am not around a lot of people(even in my own family).

Here's an important fact from Psych Central: Research indicates that women outnumber men three to two among those with symptoms of social phobia. Men, however, have been more likely to seek treatment.

It is a sad fact, but I think women want to sweep it under the rug. They don't want to admit anything is wrong with them. I know I didn't!

I've suffered from social phobia most of my life(as far back as I can remember). Life for me hasn't been easy. It wasn't a picnic(it was the ants). It wasn't a bed of roses(it was the thrones).

When I became menopausal it became worse. I felt as if my world was crashing in. I couldn't breathe. It felt like a boulder was sitting on my chest. Over the past year, my anxiety has quelled somewhat, but I still have my days when life becomes overwhelming and I want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. Some days I still have thoughts I shouldn't have, but I have learned to deal with it. It's something they may or may not subside. Anxiety disorder is part of my life now. It's taken root and it lives and breaths inside of me...

More about anxiety disorder and menopause:

Sex hormones, menopause, and anxiety. Women are more than twice as likely as men to feel anxiety, especially during PMS, perimenopause, and menopause. Anxiety is often the first sign of perimenopause — for example, women with moderate anxiety are three to five times more likely to experience hot flashes. Many women also experience rampant anxiety symptoms when transitioning off HRT.

Progesterone has a particularly soothing effect on your system similar to, and interdependent with, serotonin. When levels begin to drop as a woman approach menopause, this can leave her susceptible to anxiety-related problems, including insomnia. As women approach menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels often fluctuate widely, amplifying any existing anxiety symptoms. In my experience, relief from menopausal anxiety and panic attacks can only be gained once the hormonal balance is restored.

To learn more about Menopause and Mood Disorders click here.

To learn more about online therapy options click here.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The views expressed in this post are my own.

Finding a Healthy Stress-free you through Meditation

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

If you’re like the typical woman, you’re stressed. From kids to chaos, stress is a part of your life and most daily events can trigger a stress attack. The kids are screaming, your boss is demanding, and you’re ready to pull your hair out and escape from it all. How can you escape when you have no place to go?

I’ve found meditation is the key for a healthy stress-free me. A few months ago I went through a very stressful event. My youngest daughter passed away and my life became filled with so much stress, I made myself literally sick. Stress can make you sick, in fact, it can kill you. I had to re-train my mind and body to relax and release.

Relax and release are two great meditation tools for a healthy stress-free you. You’re probably thinking, ‘how can I relax and release my stress?’  It isn’t easy, but it can be done with a few simple techniques.

The first step is to relax. You have to learn to relax your mind, body, and spirit. This step was the hardest for me. I couldn’t relax. Worry triggers stress and stress triggers tension. When you’re tense, relaxing is the last thing you let yourself do, but for a healthier you; you must learn to relax and release.

Relax your mind

From the time you wake up until you go to bed, your mind is crammed with a hundred things. You can actually feel the stress building. That tension headache is your mind’s way of telling you to relax. I’ve found one of the best ways to unclutter my mind and relax is through music meditation.

You don’t need any special equipment or space to practice music meditation. This simple technique only requires three things: a cd, a cd player, and headphones/earphones. The type of music you choose to listen to is also important in relaxing your mind. You need music that is soothing. I’ve found what works best for me is either classical or jazz. Whenever your mind is
feeling stressed, grab a cd, pop it into your cd player and let your mind drift into relaxation. Within thirty minutes your tension headache will disappear and you’ll feel relaxed.

 Relax your body

Stress can take a heavy toll on your body. Weight gain is a major effect of stress. It’s unhealthy for you as well. Whenever I’m stressed, I eat and the pounds keep piling on. You can actually gain twenty or more pounds in a week because of stress. Your body becomes worn out and lethargic. This type of stress reliever can kill you if you continue to eat when stressed. Instead of filling up on food, I learned to walk away from the refrigerator straight into my bathroom.

I replaced stress eating with bath meditation. This type of meditation will relax your body and take your mind off food. When you feel stressed and have the urge to eat walk into our bathroom. Light a few of your favorite scented candles, pour your favorite bubble bath or oil into a tub filled with hot water and sink into a mountain of bubbles. Let the day’s events wash away. Surround your body with aromas of lavender or jasmine. Relaxing in a tub for about thirty minutes will relax not only your body but will wash away your stress.

Relax your spirit

As the events of the day unwind your stress level is probably off the charts. You need to relax your spirit. For me, my spirit meditation routine includes writing or reading. Sitting down for thirty minutes and writing in my journal helps my spirit relax. I tend to cope better with stressful situations if I write about them. They become concrete and easier to deal with. If you don’t prefer journaling, then pick up your favorite book. Reading thirty minutes before you go to sleep actually relaxes your spirit. Thirty minutes every night of either journaling or reading is a great stress reducer. Read, write, and relax.

Release the tension

After a stress-filled day, you need to release your tension. It may sound silly, but I use scream meditation. I go into a room by myself, let out one big scream and feel so much better. After my primal release, I sit on a pile of comfortable cushions and release all the pent up stress of the day. Screaming is good for you. When you scream you are releasing tension. It’s always better to let it out than to keep it bottled up inside. Don’t worry about what your family thinks. Shout and let it out.

Release the worry

Worry brings stress and stress bring about health problems. It isn’t easy to not be a worry wart. I’m s constant worrier and it shows. Worry makes a woman age faster. When you worry your stress level jumps off the charts. You have to learn how to release the worry. The best worry meditation therapy I’ve found that works for me, is to walk. When I go walking, I take in the view, breath in the crisp air, and forget about my worries. Walking is great meditation for releasing worry. You are concentrating on the walk, not the worry. Don’t worry, go walking.

Release the stress

Through thirty minutes a day of meditation you can release your stress. Whether its music, a bubble bath, journaling, or writing meditation will help you overcome your stress. By relaxing you will become a healthier you. Relax and release your stress through meditation. I practice some form of meditation daily and it actually works.

Don’t let stress control your life. You can take control of your stress. The key to stress reduction and your health is meditation. You will have stress every day, but how you handle it will make a big difference. Don’t let stress stop you from enjoying the things you love. Remember your health is at risk if you’re not stress-free. Also remember meditation is the key to living stress-free.

Borderline Personality Disorder: What You Need to Know

I want to talk about Borderline personality disorder.

What is BPD?
A borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family and social factors are thought to play roles.

Risk factors for BPD include:

Abandonment in childhood or adolescence

Disrupted family life

Poor communication in the family

Sexual abuse

This personality disorder tends to occur more often in women and among hospitalized psychiatric patients.


People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly.

People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships.

Other symptoms of BPD include:

Fear of being abandoned

Feelings of emptiness and boredom

Frequent displays of inappropriate anger

Impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting

Intolerance of being alone

Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing

Signs and tests

Like other personality disorders, BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.

Many types of individual talk therapy, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can successfully treat BPD. In addition, group therapy can help change self-destructive behaviors.

In some cases, medications can help level mood swings and treat depression or other disorders that may occur with this condition.
Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on how severe the condition is and whether the person is willing to accept help. With long-term talk therapy, the person will often gradually improve.

Sources: Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008: chap 39.

Important Considerations about Borderline Personality Disorder

1. The five of nine criteria needed to diagnose the disorder may be present in a large number of different combinations. This results in the fact that the disorder often presents quite differently from one person to another, thus making accurate diagnosis somewhat confusing to a clinician not skilled in the area.

2. BPD rarely stands alone. There is high co-occurrence with other disorders.

3. BPD affects between 1 - 2 percent of the population. The highest estimation, 2 percent, approximates the number of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

4. Estimates are 10 percent of outpatients and 20 percent of inpatients who present for treatment have BPD

5. More females are diagnosed with BPD than males by a ratio of about 3-to-1, though some clinicians suspect that males are underdiagnosed.

6. 75 percent of patients self-injure.

7. Approximately 10 percent of individuals with BPD complete suicide attempts.

8. A chronic disorder that is resistant to change, we now know that BPD has a good prognosis when treated properly. Such treatment usually consists of medications, psychotherapy and educational and support groups.

9. In many patients with BPD, medications have been shown to be very helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms and enabling effective psychotherapy to occur. Medications are also often essential in the proper treatment of disorders that commonly co-occur with BPD.

10. There are a growing number of psychotherapeutic approaches specifically developed for people with BPD. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a relatively recent treatment, developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. To date, DBT is the best-studied intervention for BPD. Find out more about DBT in NAMI's Borderline Personality Disorder Brochure.

11. These and other treatments have been shown to be effective in the treatment of BPD, and MANY PATIENTS DO GET BETTER!

One of the complications is depression among other serious complications.  

BPD is something that is close to me. My daughters suffer from BPD. It's important to be aware of this disorder and get help for yourself or someone you love if you think you or they may suffer from BPD.

Finally… ‘Be Free’ From Menopause Symptoms

Saturday, October 6, 2018
Disclosure: This is a paid blog post.

For far too long, women have faced gynecological health issues with fear and embarrassment, suffering in silence because they were ashamed of getting older and going through "the change". They believed common myths such as "Doctors will think I'm a hypochondriac and my symptoms are all in my head.” Or "I should be able to just push through the symptoms." 

Times are changing! Women are being empowered and encouraged to find their voices. The #MeToo movement has spotlighted women’s rights; Good Morning America broadcast a two-part segment on menopause, early menopause caused by some cancer treatments, symptoms and remedies; and companies are devoting more resources to women’s health. 

New York biotechnology company JDS Therapeutics, LLC for example, invests millions of dollars to research and clinically test non-hormonal, gynecological health supplements. Advertisements for the company's line of natural, plant-based, nutraceutical products emphasize women's strength, resilience and the control they feel they should have over their menopause symptoms. 

While menopause is a normal, natural event, a turning point in all women’s lives, it should not disrupt daily life. Some women experience few or no menopause symptoms at all; others may suffer from irritability, fatigue, day and night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, restless sleep, or all of the above. Certain cancers and treatments can also cause hot flashes and other symptoms.

Remedies for menopausal symptoms are often more concerning than the symptoms themselves. Hormone replacement, can be an effective solution, but it has also been associated with increased risk of blood clots, strokes, cancer and dementia. A woman’s medical history may compel her doctor to preclude her from undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

Some natural supplements have been shown to provide relief from menopausal symptoms without hormones and with no adverse side effects other than that of a placebo (sugar pill.) Used by European women for over 15 years, Swedish flower pollen extract is recommended as a treatment for menopausal symptoms such as irritability and uneasiness, mood changes, hot flashes, excessive sweating day and night, and restless sleep.

Efficacy, integrity and quality of supplements can vary, however. There are multiple varieties of Swedish flower pollen extract available on the market, with varying degrees of quality, and several methods of cultivating it. Extract from lower quality plants or cultivation in a manner that doesn’t maintain the integrity of the extract will not be as effective--or perhaps not effective at all.

JDS Therapeutics’ Relizen® is recommended by more than 5,500 U.S. gynecologists. Eighty-nine percent of women who tried it said they would recommend Relizen to family and friends.
Plant-based, soy-, dairy- and gluten-free, Relizen is non-hormonal, not an estrogen, does not bind to any estrogen receptors and, unlike phytoestrogens such as soy, black cohosh, red clover, Relizen has no estrogenic activity, which means it does not act like estrogen in the body or impact estrogen levels. 

Relizen has been rigorously tested and backed by extensive clinical studies, and is supported by real reviews and members of the medical community. According to data collected from over 2,300 women taking Relizen in the United States, 78% reported a reduction in the frequency of hot flashes and 75% reported a reduction in intensity of hot flashes.[1] It is hypothesized that the specific, rigorously-selected variety of the proprietary Swedish pollen extract formula featured in Relizen works centrally, to reduce hot flashes due to menopause and has a mild serotonergic effect on the hypothalamus, the portion of the brain that maintains the body’s internal balance.

The manufacturing process used to derive and purify the Swedish pollen extract used in Relizen is highly sophisticated, stringent and controlled. The unique biotech process is under strict control and designed to remove most of the pollen allergens. Only premium pollen is used for extraction. The company’s Swedish manufacturing partner complies with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and manufacturing facilities have passed FDA inspection and are regularly inspected by the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA). Further, the Swedish flower pollen extract used in Relizen is grown in a pesticide-free environment and with the husk removed.

These extra measures improve the body’s utilization of the extract and ensure that the active ingredients in the supplement contains nearly 100% of the essential substances needed specifically for the benefit of easing menopausal symptoms.

Menopausal symptoms do not just “go with the territory of being a woman." These symptoms are very real, and relief and support can be, too. Communicating with your doctor about gynecological health symptoms can result in a treatment plan that controls symptoms and improves how women feel both physically and emotionally.

As with all medicines and supplements, women should consult their medical professionals before taking Relizen if there are any allergy or other concerns.

[1]Data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial of 64 menopausal women. Winther K, et al. Climacteric. 2005:8:162-170. 

Is it PMS or Perimenopause? #spon

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Disclosure: This is a paid blog post. I was compensated.

It’s happening again. You wake up feeling “blah”, wanting to sleep for another eight hours. Your brain feels as though it is in a fog—you are unfocused, confused, forgetful, clumsy and off-center. You are feeling anxious, irritable and want to cry and scream at the same time.

For a woman in her teens, 20s, 30s, or early 40s, this scenario may be a signal that her period is about to commence, and her symptoms could be attributed to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). A woman in her mid-late 40s and older, however, may be experiencing the first transitional signs of menopause—perimenopause, whose symptoms echo those of PMS.

Perimenopause, which means “around menopause,” refers to the stage in a women’s life when she naturally transitions to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.  It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

Symptoms of PMS and Perimenopause

Symptoms for both PMS and perimenopause are similar:
  • Mood swings, including anger, depression, anxiety, irritability, an “emotional roller-coaster”
  • Fluid retention and bloating
  • Food cravings and intake
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Brain fog

Though hot flashes and night sweats are most often associated with menopause, they can occur in women entering the perimenopausal stage, too. The first few times it happens can be startling. Suddenly, you go from feeling fine to feeling like you’re on fire. Beads of sweat may appear, and your face may become flushed. You may think that the heat in your room is too high, you’re coming down with a fever, or your blood pressure has skyrocketed. When it passes, you may feel a cold chill.

Changes in Periods
While PMS symptoms usually occur a week or two before the start of a woman’s period (during a typical 28-day menstrual cycle), perimenopause symptoms are less predictable, linked to fluctuating hormones, and can occur at any time. During perimenopause, most women continue to get their periods, but their cycles may become inconsistent. In some cases, a period that used to average between five to seven days, now only lasts two to three days. A woman in perimenopause get her period again in two to three weeks, instead of following the usual 28-day pattern. She may even miss her period for a month or two, and then have it return on a more regular schedule. It can be very unpredictable.

Heaviness of blood flow can change, as well. Some women experience a dramatic increase in menstrual blood, which is not only inconvenient, but can lead to anemia, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pains, fast or irregular heartbeats, headaches, and a pale complexion.

Treating Symptoms of PMS and Perimenopause

Women suffering through PMS and perimenopause symptoms, such as irritability, have been the butt of jokes, because, for a few days a month, they become moody due to hormones they can't control. No more! These symptoms can be very limiting to everyday life, and sometimes even unhealthy. Women have been waiting a long time to find something to relieve their symptoms. Now they have Serenol
Serenol is a hormone-free supplement from JDS Therapeutics, a biotech company with a dedicated line of natural, plant-based, nutraceutical products for the non-hormonal treatment of PMS, perimenopause, and menopause. Its three primary ingredients, Purified Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Chromax® chromium picolinate, and Royal Jelly, have shown in clinical studies to be as safe a sugar pill. However, Royal Jelly is a substance naturally created by honeybees (though it is not the same as bee pollen); therefore, women who are allergic to bees or bee products should not take Serenol. Royal jelly also may act as a phytoestrogen.

Royal Jelly, which contains water, amino acids, proteins, minerals and vitamins, has been known for years in Eastern medicine to have many health benefits, including its ability to alleviate PMS and perimenopause symptoms, such as mood swings, water retention, and fatigue.

Swedish Flower Pollen Extract has been used for years by millions of women in Europe, credited with numerous health benefits, including non-hormonal treatment of women’s health. Numerous studies show a link between the use of flower pollen extract and relief for PMS/perimenopause symptoms. Women who took the extract experienced less water retention and cramping, a more positive mood, better sleep, less irritability and overall improvements in well-being. 

In one study, thirty-two women between the ages of 27 and 50 were given flower pollen extract to see its effects on symptoms. After two months, overall PMS/perimenopause symptoms were reduced by between 27 and 57 percent – a significant improvement with minimal risks of negative side effects. What’s more, weight gain was reduced by approximately 50 percent for those women taking the extract and not the placebo. SourceBased on data from Winther K, et al. Climacteric. 2005;8:162-170 and Gerhardsen G, et al. Adv Ther. 2008;25(6):595–607

Not to be confused with bee pollen, Swedish flower pollen extract is found in plants before bees extract it, so it is a clean substance. Specifically, flower pollen extract comes from the core of the pollen grain, rather than the whole pollen grain. This nutrient-rich extract contains a rich number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which have notable health benefits. It has very few contaminants (no bee parts or dirt!); is easier to digest, which leads to better nutrient absorption; and is less likely to trigger allergies.

Dealing with monthly PMS symptoms and the beginning of perimenopause can be frustrating and painful. However, a supplement such as Serenol, with its natural substances, may help alleviate annoying symptoms. Of course, it is important to speak to your doctor to discuss your specific symptoms and the best solutions for you and your body.