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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From Mad Ramblings to Clarity

WARNING: Female content below.

I debated posting my ramblings of a mad woman from yesterday,  but decided I would save you from the crazy rant and just give you a brief overview.

It started Sunday night. I hit a severe low. I went to bed and cried and cried. My poor husband didn't know what to do. He's a fixer. Try explaining that you don't know what's wrong to a fixer. It doesn't work very well. Still, he held me and thats what I needed.

My low mood continued throughout most of yesterday. I've known something was off for a while. It seems to come and go. I spent time writing all of my crazy thoughts down and I talked with two of my closest friends. They don't sugar coat it for me and tell me when I'm being ridiculous. Making a doctor appointment was strongly suggested. Which I did. I go on May 9th.

By the time I got to making the appointment it started to dawn on me. All of these problems that I have relate back to one thing, my period. It seems I have yet again "forgotten" that I have a real medical diagnosis. I have premenstrual dysohoric disorder (PMDD). I'd somehow convinced myself that by losing weight, lowering my caffeine intake and eating healthy all my symptoms would go away. I'd also convinced myself the only trouble I had with my period was just the heavy flow which I've mostly been managing. The thing is there's so much more to it than a heavy flow. My mood fluctuations, my food cravings, migraines, and even the times I'm downright exhausted to the nights I can't get to sleep. All of these can be explained by PMDD.

I don't want to use PMDD as an excuse and I think that's why I go back to thinking it's just all my fault that I can't control these things. Which leads me to feeling like I'm failing at life or that I'm somehow deficient as a human being. Why can't I get my act together? What is so wrong with me that I continue to fail at these things.

In remembering that I have PMDD it helps me to see that I'm not some horrible person who enjoys causing havoc in my home or annoying my friends with yet another crazy rambling. I'm sure ny friends say to themselves "Oh, there she goes again" *insert eye roll here*.

So, all of this to say: Hi! My name is Elle and I have PMDD.

I'm going to act accordingly and work on managing my PMDD as a whole,  not as separate problems. I will try my best not to use it as an excuse for being an unpleasant human being at times. But if I've got a bit of a 'tude please, forgive me.

Here's and excerpt from a website, Medicine Plus, that explains PMDD:

The causes of PMS and PMDD have not been found.

Hormone changes that occur during a woman's menstrual cycle may 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:

Severe depression
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

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


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:

No interest in daily activities and relationships
Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
Food cravings or binge eating
Mood swings with periods of crying
Panic attacks
Irritability or anger that affects other people
Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
Problems sleeping
Trouble concentrating


A healthy lifestyle is the first step to managing PMDD.

Eat healthy foods with more whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and little or no salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.

Get regular aerobic exercise throughout the month to redue the severity of PMS symptoms.

If you have problems sleeping, try changing your sleep habits before taking medicines for insomnia.

Keep a diary or calendar to record:
The type of symptoms you are having

Antidepressants may be helpful.

The first option is usually an antidepressant known as a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). You can take SSRIs in the second part of your cycle up until your period starts, or for the whole month. Ask your doctor.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be used either with or instead of antidepressants. During CBT, you have about 10 visits with a mental health professional over several weeks.

Other treatments that may help include:
Birth control pills may decrease or increase PMS symptoms, including depression
Diuretics may be useful for women who gain a lot of weight from fluid retention
Nutritional supplements -- such as vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium -- may be recommended

Other medicines (such as Depo-Lupron) suppress the ovaries and ovulation

Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen may be prescribed for headache, backache, menstrual cramping and breast tenderness

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