Friday, 4 February 2011

Happy Pills and stress

Today I am going to be selfish with my blog post and talk about me!  When you are a busy mum of 3 and a carer for someone who has cancer, you dont often have time to care for yourself, or at least that is what I have come to discover recently.
Just before I gave birth to Sofia I was diagnosed with PMDD.  I am guessing most of you have never heard of PMDD, I certainly hadnt until I saw my GP.  So what is it?

PMDD or to give it its full name Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a condition marked by severe depression symptoms, irritability and tension before menstruation,  these symptoms can include

  • 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 peopleTrouble concentrating
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Sleep disturbances
It is said for PMDD to be diagnosed then 5 of these symptoms must be present, I had all of them!
My dr spoke to me about anti depressants which for a number or reasons I was against, then before I had chance to take things further I fell pregnant with Sofia.  During pregnancy I was fine, all symptoms went and I was feeling good.  After Sofia was born it came back with a vengeance but before I had chance to do anything about it I fell pregnant again!  Again all the symptoms went I felt normal.

After Richie was born I started to get those familiar feelings of anxiety and rage so I made an appointment with my GP and this time agreed to try the Fluxotine.  The plan was to take it for 2 weeks during my monthly cycle then have 2 weeks off.  I was sceptical at first but decided to give it a try,
After a while i began to notice changes.  I got bored sitting around all day and got up and cleaned my house, sounds mundane i know but I had no enthusiasm, no motivation and no interest in anything!  Of course I could not see this at the time, but looking back I now realise I had no pride in myself or my home.
I had no energy, I would sleep at the drop of a hat but also stay up late at night because I could not sleep.  I had terrible rages and mood swings and would get quite violent at times.
My Happy Pills have changed this, last month there were no rages, I am stable and calm and have interest and pride again, that is until its time for my 2 week break, then i plummet, i get teary, am tired all the time and feel anxious about everything.
Today was my medication review with the Dr and I discussed how I felt with her.  She suggested I take the Happy Pills full time for the next 6 months.  I had mixed feelings about this and questioned if I really needed them, then we listed out major stresses in my life at the moment
1. Caring for someone with cancer
2. Building a house
3. Looking after 3 children
4. Being unemployed
5. Having a small baby

All of which on their own would be stressful enough but when they are all together then I guess it is no wonder I am feeling the pressure a little bit!  So now it is official, I have moved from being a part time nut job to a full time one!

I feel a bit of a fraud, i dont "feel" stressed but then what does stress feel like?  I also feel like a bit of a fraud, after all it is Rich that is going through this traumatic experience, he is the one having treatment, what right do I have to be stressed when I am perfectly healthy?

Running has helped. I feel good when I run, i forget everything and I am focused.  In time I hope that my running ability will  improve and I can use that to fight this stress.   

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