Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dealing with PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder)

Disclaimer: Read with caution, you may know more about me than you may ever wanted to know. This is my story, and my hopes is for other women to possibly relate to what I have to go through from month to month.

So, I have a confession to make.. I suffer from PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder). I am one of the 8 percent of women every week or two before the witch arrives who gets crazy, and I mean CRAZY.
Every women is known to have signs of PMS; however, sufferers of PMDD gets PMS x 1000. 

Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder

According to , (PMDD) is a condition marked by severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation begins.

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS, but they are generally more severe and debilitating. 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:

•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

Trouble concentrating

•Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

•Sleep disturbances

I experience majority of these symptoms, and it frustrates me. I feel like Dr. Jeckyll and Mrs. Hyde!
I become my husband's worst nightmare, and it makes me want to crawl in bed and stay there until its all over, and I am normal again.

I've also been a sufferer with Dysmenorrhea since I was thirteen. Dysmenorrhea is a severe form of menstrual cramps and flow-- agonizing, and debilitating. I was diagnosed with each condition when I was in the Marine Corps. It would literally leave the naval doctors thinking I was having a miscarriage (my periods were infrequent), with intense pain, loss of blood, and a pale face. I would be sent to my barracks room with "sick in quarters" for a few days with vicodin. They also thought I had polycystic ovaries, and thought it was the reason I was in so much pain and with the infrequent cycles. The naval doctor prescribed me Prozac, and I didn't take them because I didn't want to be labeled as a mental health issue. But, PMDD isn't a mental health issue. It has to do with the hormone changes during the menstrual cycle, and it must be off balanced. Prozac was prescribed to me to alleviate those symptoms. However, I still refuse to take medication.

When I delivered Miss K (doctors told me it would be difficult to ever have children) my Dysmenorrhea went away. It was magical, and my cycles became normal. However, with my husband deployed during the entire pregnancy and birth, being diagnosed with gall bladder disease at eight months pregnant, with the surgeon telling that Miss K could die from surgery in utero; I was beyond stressed. Then, a whopping three weeks after the Mr. came home from Iraq, I had gall bladder surgery, and ended up with complications. I was rushed in an ambulance a couple days later to a civilian hospital for a week as they administered every test known to man to make sure they didn't knick my bile duct. And why was my heart rate at a whopping 36 beats per minute? My poor husband and six week old baby girl had to stay at near by hotel room. (My husband is such a amazing father for having to take care a brand new baby by is lonesome for that week.)

 I was  diagnosed with pre-partum and post partum depression. I never looked at as a mental health issue, I looked at it as a overstimulated, brand-new mother/wife that had too many things thrown at me at once. Here I was again, at a different duty station with Prozac being re-prescribed to me. I still didn't take it. I felt I would suck up what I was going through, and keep charging forward. Until I cracked up the following summer when my husband deployed to Afghanistan, and I had an eight month old on my hip. Miss K was eleven months old when I yelled at her in my parents hotel room at 3 a.m. due to exhaustion. I felt like the worst mother. Here I was again, dealing with symptoms from PMDD.

When the hubs came home from Afghanistan, I immediately became pregnant with Miss A. He was home, and I was happy. It was night and day. He got to experience the delivery, and I was in high heaven. For the first five months, I was nursing, and didn't have a cycle. I was still living in bliss. Then, they came back... along with PMDD. A year later, and I am starting to realize that I need to seek my new provider, and have him stop all this craziness. I can't live like this. I tend to keep all of this to myself, and I am tired of hiding it all under a shell.

Anywhoo, I needed to vent. I just needed to let it all out. If you read all of this, you need a blogger award. (I probably should make a button: I survived reading Semper Fi to Apple Pie's post)

Happy Thursday!