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
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.