Killer mood swings. Hormones gone haywire. Hair-trigger tempers. Uncontrollable crying. Bloating.
For eons, women have suffered the inconvenience, the indignation and the pain of premenstrual syndrome -- PMS. They've put up with the jokes, the mocking, the misunderstanding.
And no matter how much they tried to explain what they were feeling, men just didn't get it.
Until, maybe, now.
Scientists studying herds of lusty rams in Scotland and a psychotherapist surveying modern man in America have come up with a startling conclusion, one that may have women dancing for joy.
Men get PMS-ish, too. Millions of men.
"It's payback time," says Jed Diamond, a California psychotherapist and author of the groundbreaking Male Meno-pause. "Women aren't the only ones who have to deal with this."
This is Irritable Male Syndrome, a condition that transforms normally loving, caring men into absolute monsters.
IMS was coined by Dr. Gerald Lincoln of the Center for Reproductive Biology in Edinburgh, Scotland, who studied herds of rams and found they became nervous, irritable and depressed when their testosterone levels were reduced. Other research has shown the same is true of humans.
But through interviews with hundreds of patients, a survey of nearly 10,000 males ranging in age from 10 to 70, and his own personal demons, Diamond took it one step further.
He maintains it's not just hormones, but biochemical changes, stress and loss of male identity that bring on IMS in humans.
According to Diamond, if you're a guy between puberty and senility, there's a 30 percent chance you are already feeling the effects of IMS. That translates to 30 million American men.
While women may be snickering, this is no joke. Serious cases of IMS can lead to verbal abuse, physical violence, chronic depression, even suicide.
Everyone around the IMS man suffers: co-workers, family members, but especially women, who tend to take the brunt of abuse.
"If it's intense, if it's chronic, if it has a strong negative impact on a person's functioning, we say this is something that needs to be attended to," Diamond says. "Fortunately, there's a lot that can be done about it."
Many men can find relief the same way women suffering from PMS do: with proper diet, exercise, rest and by cutting back on things like alcohol, caffeine and sweets, Diamond says.