Hi ALL it has been too long since I’ve stopped by to say hello! I’ve been training for the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston SC and that has taken pretty much all of my free time. On days when Ari is at school instead of blogging I’ve been out running — and making great progress if I might say so myself. 🙂
We’ve got some heavy stuff to cover today so lets get to it.
You all may remember my joy when I announced that I beat postpartum depression (PPD)! I was on cloud nine, ten AND eleven. I was feeling great and I mean really GREAT! I was able to discontinue Sertraline (generic of Zoloft) which is something I was unsure I’d be able to do, ever.
Of course the story doesn’t end there with a lovely “happily ever after”. If it did I’d be scared because that is NOT how my life works.
Enter Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Symptoms
After a month or so of feeling excellent I began feeling:
- Asocial ( my doctor informed me that if I were anti-social I’d want to kill all of my friends. Thanks for the clarification Doc!)
- Depressed wondering what’s the point of life
- Sad and tearful
- Hungry … very hungry ( I was so hungry I thought I was pregnant … FOR SURE )
- Angry, rage-ful and easily irritated
- I THOUGHT my marriage was doomed
- Impatient with my son
- Very down on myself – low self esteem
- Body aches especially my upper back
- Brain Fog – Spacey feeling – Zoned out (unable to hold a conversation)
My first thought was that I hadn’t beat PPD after all … that it was still there.
But what were these feelings of rage and anger… like punch the computer angry?
Of course I feared that I needed to jump back on the Sertraline wagon but, I decided to ride it out just in case it was my body needing to stabilize.
To my joy and excitement within about two weeks I eventually felt better.
But month after month those same symptoms would POP up and plague me and my family. My poor family. Again and again — and just as soon as they returned they would go away.
After looking closer at what I call “HELL weeks” (usually two) they coincided perfectly with ovulation (or around day 14 of my cycle and the clouds began to part once my cycle started).
HELLO Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
For my entire life, for as long as I can remember I have needed a nap. Some days more than others but I always felt tired, withdrawn and extremely fatigued. Sometimes so much that like I felt as if I couldn’t muster the energy to breathe.
Social events that at the time of scheduling I was super excited about, I’d end up dreading the thought of attending and often cancel. I would go shopping and even though I had a cart full of things I would leave without paying because I was just — that — tired. I wouldn’t go to the grocery store without DH because of anxiety that I took as being an introvert or maybe a touch of social anxiety. And here lately I’ve been an evil nasty short tempered little lady.
I’ve spent so much on tests thinking that I had an auto-immune disease or a thyroid problem. But all test were always negative and I was told I was in perfect health.
The symptoms of PMDD began during ovulation — the two weeks before I got my first postpartum (PP) cycle at 19 months PP (thank you breastfeeding!). At that time I made an appointment to see my Psychiatrist because I thought I needed to increase my medication for PPD. It was increased and I felt better. But now I know that was actually the beginning of PMDD.
Since I stopped Sertraline I didn’t want to start it again without putting up a fight so tried the natural route:
- Omega 3 (Flax seed oil)
- B vitamins
- 5-HTP (300 mg daily)
- Calcium Zinc and Magnesium
- D3 (10000 ius daily)
- Maca Powder
Although it is MUCH more affordable to go the pharmaceutical route. 8 bucks a month!! I do prefer natural alternatives … but then again whatever works??
… and for me that ended up being
50 mg a day on days 1-13 of my cycle … and 75 mg day 14-28. I still have some days that I am TIRED but nothing like before!
I now schedule myself around PMDD. As much as possible and respect my need for rest.
So!? What has been your experience with extreme PMS?