The event began with Lisa Stenberg, author of the best-selling Bli vän med din PMS (Make friends with your PMS). Lisa emphasized the importance of keeping a menstrual diary to better understand and manage symptoms. She also talked about diet, nutrition and partner and parental support. "It's vital you track your period + symptoms every day, and get the support of your partner, mother, friends".
Psychologists Ulrike Braun and Susanna Johansson followed with a presentation on the psychological impact of PMS—on sufferers, families and relationships. The presentation identified typical cyclical negative thought patterns triggered by PMS (like “catastrophic thinking”, “all or nothing thinking” and “mind reading”), as well as practical ways to identify and defuse them. Braun and Johansson’s book, PMS! Få hjälp med KBT (“PMS! Get help, with CBT”) is the first in Sweden to apply CBT to PMS, and show how PMS symptoms can be managed and understood using CBT techniques.
Prof. Torbjörn Bäckström gave his presentation in his capacity as Senior Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Umeå University. His presentation described in detail the mechanism and natural brain substances that trigger PMDD. As well as the performance of, and options for, existing treatments.
A panel discussion at the end included PMDD advocate and TV-profile Paula Fenjima Manrique who shared the story of how the severity of her own symptoms dramatically impacted her life in the long years before she was diagnosed with PMDD. “Take PMDD seriously,” she said. “And don’t try to do things just because other people expect you to.”
The well-attended event was organized by Isabel Lindström of Bättre än de flesta, an organization working for gender equality. Isabel and author Lisa Stenberg appeared on SVT discussing PMDD and PMS.
SVT also published an in-depth article on PMS interviewing CSO Torbjörn Bäckström.