I can already feel my hormones taking over. That twinge of melancholy. The all-too-familiar feeling of a heavy heart with no reason. There is nothing wrong. I know this. But anything and everything feels sad to me. I can feel the swelling inside taking place. The back pain starting. But mostly, it’s my mood. I’m tired. I have insomnia. My energy is sinking. Gas tank is going on empty.

My husband even noticed by saying this morning, “Wife, you seem out of it. You ok?”

Yes, I’m ok. But only in as much as now I’m aware of what is going on. Knowledge is power. To be able to recognize what’s going on inside gives me a sense of relief because I know I’m not just crazy. I’m not bipolar (well, I hear we are all bipolar at times… no joke). But it was a silent concern of mine… and even my husbands.

About a year ago, my husband even researched other disorders because I was so up and down every few months which happened to coincide with when I would form a cyst… and he went on to mention “PMDD.” I was offended at the mention of a mental disorder. And initially, I lashed out at him. But I read about it and thought, “Hmm, maybe.” So I talked to my OB/GYN and Primary Care MD.

It didn’t seem that I had PMDD to them, it seemed to correlated strongly with my hormonal shift when i started forming a cyst. They did ask me if I wanted to try Sarafem which is now a pretty name for the good ole “Prozac.” At first I was hesitant, but took the prescription and had it filled. I took it for three weeks. I stopped cold turkey because I felt it wasn’t meant for me. I needed to learn how to fix things on my own. My PMD made me feel better when he started saying, “if you had high blood pressure, you’d take a blood pressure med, correct? If you had high cholesterol, you take something for that, right? You may just need a little timeout to get things re-wired in your brain. Your brain is not healthy right now.” It made sense. And he made me feel comforted. Yet, it still didn’t seem like what I was suppose to do or what God wanted me to resort to (I know, weird… but outside of my internal dialogue… I had many many many painful, tearful discussions with God). So, the med still sits on my medication shelf as a reminder of what I’ve been through and to comfort me that there is help in many forms.

The key to my healing definitely has been writing and being able to communicate and convey my thoughts with those who are closest to me.

Ironically through good ole FB… I hear it’s “MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK!!!!”  🙂

Here are some symptoms AND information regarding PMDD:

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

PMDD; Severe PMS

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when or shortly after her period begins.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

  • The causes of PMS and PMDD have not been found.
  • Hormone changes that occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle appear to play a role.
  • PMDD affects between 3% and 8% of women during the years when they are having menstrual periods.

Many women with this condition have:

Other factors that may play a role include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Being overweight
  • Drinking large amounts of caffeine
  • Having a mother with a history of the disorder
  • Lack of exercise

Symptoms

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include a least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.

Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom:

  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
  • Panic attack
  • Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating

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