WOMEN: ARE THEY CRAZY OR JUST HORMONAL?
After watching the film “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (2007) in class on April 3, 2012, I noticed that one of the underlying issues, other than the obvious (dealing with a repressive government in power and leaving your family in order to live a life of freedom), was the main character’s mood swings and bout of depression. These are issues that many women across the world deal with, even those that are lucky (live in a free country, have access to all resources needed, plus have a very supportive family) may also suffer from depression.
Growing up as a female, I have often heard, from both men and women, that women are just “hormonal” while others go as far as saying that all women are inherently “crazy.” Both adjectives being used as an explanation or even an excuse for our mood swings, emotional outburst, and deep sensitivity. However, many experts say that we are indeed prisoners to our hormones. While some are lucky enough to have mild symptoms and not suffer from a very harsh sentence, others are stuck in it for life suffering of extreme highs and lows.
According to Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Female Brain, and Founder of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, “the female brain is so deeply affected by hormones that their influence can be said to create a woman’s reality. They can shape a woman’s values and desires, and tell her, day to day, what’s important.” She further explains women’s “condition” by the following statement:
“In all menstruating women, the female brain changes a little every day. some parts of the brain change up to 25 percent every month. Things get rocky at times, but for most women, the changes are manageable. Some of my patients, though, came to me feeling so jerked around by their hormones on some days that they couldn’t work or speak to anyone because they’d either burst into tears or bite someone’s head off. Most weeks of the month they were engaged, intelligent, productive, and optimistic, but a mere shift in the hormonal flood to their brains on certain days left them feeling that the future looked bleak, and that they hated themselves and their lives. These thoughts felt real and solid, and these women acted on them as though they were reality and would last forever — even though they arose solely from hormonal shifts in their brains. As soon as the tides changed, they were back to their best selves.”
There it is, haters, women are not crazy. Women are simply victims, stuck in a body controlled by the levels of sex hormones flowing at any given time into their brains. As scientists have stated, men and women have different brain sensitivities to stress and conflict. Indeed, men and women use different parts of their brain to solve numerous different tasks such as language processing, problem solving, and the way they store or experience strong emotions. “Women may remember the smallest details of their first dates, and their biggest fights, while their husbands barely remember that these things happened. Brain structure and chemistry have everything to do with why this is so,” says Dr. Brizendine. In fairness to men, while women should not be blamed for their outbursts, men cannot be blamed for being insensitive.