PMDD Is A Bitch

I have been dealing with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) for a few years now.  It became more obvious after kiddo was born, though I am not sure why.  Maybe it was all the hormonal changes that came with pregnancy, and having a baby.  Needless to say, it never fails to rear its ugly head exactly one week before I am supposed to start my period.  Always.  I could go to Vegas, and bet everything I own on it, it’s that reliable.

My symptoms this time started on Sunday.  I was feeling agitated from the moment my eyes opened that morning, and it progressively got worse.  I became annoyed at every thing, including my husband and daughter.  Mainly my husband though.  Everything he did or said drove me bat-shit crazy, and made me very anxious.  I don’t think it was him in particular that was being unusually annoying.  I think it was me projecting my irritation and anger on him rather than my daughter.

Constructive?  No, but at least my daughter doesn’t get the brunt of it anymore.  Poor sweetie has always been the target, and I hate that.  Not that I love my husband being the target, but it’s mostly unintentional.  It’s something I need to work on so that nobody is the target, but until I figure out how to do that, husband it is.  Sorry dear, but it’s better you than kiddo.  You know I don’t really mean it.

When my PMDD hits, I wake up agitated, and then it gets worse from there.  I become angry, irritated, anxious, and sad all at once, and it usually lasts for few days.  If I am not angry or anxious, I am low, sad, and on the verge of tears.  It tapers off after the first three days or so, and then completely disappears after I start my period.  The anger and anxiety (and everything else I feel for that matter) get so bad that my body becomes tense, and heavy.  It hurts sometimes.

I have noticed since I started taking my medications that a couple of days before my PMDD kicks in, I am unusually happy and active.  That was definitely true last week.  I felt amazing, and it even shined through on the internet.  It was almost euphoric.  I was riding high on a wave of happiness, or something equally cheesy, but it’s true.  That wave always comes crashing down though, which is where I have been since Sunday.  I have been trapped under the water, unable to find the surface thanks to the wave crashing all around me.  Reminds me of the time I was at Schlitterbahn when I was a kid.  I came down the water slide, and got caught under the water.  I was confused, and couldn’t find my way out.  Thankfully the Life Guard was there.

I was taking Yaz to keep the symptoms under control, but it only helped a little.  I guess that little is better than none, but I actually feel better physically since stopping those pills.  I think PMDD is like depression.  It’s not curable, but manageable.  I just hope one day I can really manage it, and stop projecting my feelings onto other people.  I’m sure my family would appreciate that.

In case anyone was curious, here is some information on PMDD from PubMed Health, the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

PMDD:  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).

Symptoms:

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

For more information, including treatment options, visit the Premenstrual dysphoric disorder page on PubMed Health.  You should also visit your doctor, and discuss treatment if you suspect you might be dealing with PMDD.

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12 thoughts on “PMDD Is A Bitch

  1. I started dealing with this four years ago when I went back on the pill (Alesse) – I never had it before, so I can only assume it’s the (extra) hormones in my system. I can’t wait until I can stop taking the damned pill again to see if the PMDD does go away.

    It makes me bat-shit insane, too. And “forgetting” it’s coming and/or that the PMDD is what’s causing the insane rage only makes me feel even more like I’m losing my damned mind. I’ve actually added a reminder to every day of the week preceding my period, repeating forever, on my google calendar that says WARNING! so that when I feel like I’m about to kill C, I’ll hopefully see that and remember that this, too, shall pass.

    xoxo

    • I often forget too. I had to count the days from my last period, and that’s when I realized what was going on. I didn’t even realize it had been that long since my last period lol

  2. I have heard that it is the absolute pits and I am so sorry that you have to go through that once a month. I was also on Yasmin (the Canadian form of American YAZ) and it seemed to help some. But once a month like clockwork, my emotions were a raging…but i also have other…ahem…issues….I was just recently switched to Evra. It’s a patch. Hopefully that helps some.
    I hope that yours gets better as well.
    Thanks for the great information!!

    • I was on Yasmin too! The Naval Hospital here only has Yaz, so they switched me to that. I didn’t see a difference.
      I hope your new patch helps. I feel for you, having to deal with PMDD and your other…issues. 😦

  3. I’ve diagnosed myself as having PMDD (I’m hoping my psychiatrist follow suit soon!), and it’s awful. I totally sympathize with you. I hope you’re able to get it under control sooner rather than later.

  4. I really do hope you are able to manage the PMDD, I can’t even imagine how it feels like.

    I have never experienced cramps or any painful thing that comes with menstruation in fact I really do enjoy that time of the month, however my friends tell me that I will experience great pain when giving birth, since I have not experienced pain during menstruation, am sure these are just myths anyway.

  5. Sorry to change the subject a bit, but I had a question for you.

    My girlfriend and I have been talking about having kids and she mentioned that in Japan all mothers suffer from postpartum depression. I was a bit taken back by this. I didn’t think that all women suffered from this. o_o Do you have any thoughts? I’m not sure if she is correct or not, but you were writing quite a bit on the subject so I thought I’d ask.

    Thanks for your help~~

    • Not all women suffer from postpartum depression, but a lot of them who don’t so suffer from the baby blues. They are quite different, but can often be labeled as PPD. PPD is debilitating, and far stronger than the baby blues, which do not last nearly as long. I will write up a blog entry on this matter. 🙂

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