I've started recording my PMS symptoms in a regular place so that I can track what's happening. I have the impression that every few months, either my PMS, my period, or both, are miserable and I'm not sure why or if that's actually so, aside from vague references in my personal journaling before last month when it was really bad.
Last month I spent two or three days in a very low mood, unable to get the motivation to do anything I was supposed to do, including school work. I managed to do the short assignments due for my language class, and that was about it. Then, the first two days of menstruating were absolutely miserable, and far worse than what I normally experience. Normally, I have one day of heavy bleeding with cramping, etc., but can manage with just one dose of a medicine like Pamprin. Last month, I had two days of heavy bleeding and ended up holding my stomach every time I stood up, walked, or sat down because all of these activities jarred my internal organs and made me feel awful. Pamprin didn't really help, either. It was a few days later that I started to think about birth control to get this under control again. I suspect stress is throwing hormones off, but who knows if it will level out on its own?
This month, on the other hand, the most noticeable symptom I've had is increased appetite, both before and during menses. I'm a little confused, but I like this a lot better than ending up sobbing for half an hour after an Israeli film screening I had to go to for class. (It didn't help that I had no warning for how ... upsetting this film would be ahead of time. Need to talk to the prof about that at some point, actually.) That wasn't fun, and if I hadn't been PMSing it might not have happened.
So I'd like to try birth control. I went on it freshman year when my mother suggested it in case I became sexually active in college, but nothing happened at all that year, and eventually I gave up taking it because I didn't think I needed it. It seemed fine and a helpful regulator, if nothing else. Of course, there's also the consideration that I have a boyfriend these days and may end up becoming sexually active soon. But really, the horrible mood during PMS is what makes me want to take birth control again. Because I have a hard enough time keeping my mental health on a good track without hormones playing into it, too.