Originally Posted by MiaPia
I am *not* pleasant to be around. Once my period shows up my symptoms magically disappear. I really really don't want to subject my family to my horrid mood swings any more.
I suffered from the exact same type of thing for many years -- since puberty, really, and now I'm in my 40s, so... a very long time. Eventually what was PMS grew into full-fledged chronic depression and for over 15 years I took numerous medications trying to control it.
What turned it around for me was a major diet change. I also found magnesium to be helpful. Basically what both PPs said.
I would start by making sure you have adequate protein and good fats in your diet--what has worked best for me is dense sources of protein, like eggs and meat. I tend to be anemic if I'm not careful, and this gets worse during my periods, so red meat makes me feel best during PMS/TOM. As for fats, I use mostly animal fats like butter, lard, duck fat and so on. I use olive oil but avoid vegetable oils, canola, soy, and other highly processed oils. Avocadoes are another good source of fats.
Eliminate or reduce sugar, caffeine, white flour products, and refined foods in general. Avoid artificial sweeteners, colors, additives, etc. Eat a whole foods nutrient-rich diet as much as possible.
If this doesn't help, or doesn't help completely, you might want to experiment with certain food groups, like dairy and grain, to see how they are affecting you. This year I cut out dairy and most grains--eliminated for a few weeks, then re-introduced them to see how my body responded--and it turns out that grains make me very fatigued and dairy makes me very depressed. I feel so much better without these foods in my diet! I wish I had known this 20 years ago...
Along with diet changes, consider getting your hormone levels checked. Low progesterone can be a culprit in PMS.