I guess first things first. Introduction.
My name is Stephanie. I'm 30 years old. I live in California. I hate PMDD. I mean, I have PMDD. But, yeah, I hate it, too.
PMDD, for those that don't know, is like PMS on ... well, I'm not sure what it's on, but something that makes it crazy and out of control and anxious and angry and. This may be too much info, but my period is very irregular as is, so it took a long time to realize what was going on since the depression and anxiety only set it for a couple of weeks once, maybe twice, a year. I just thought I hated my husband.
We're now divorced, so maybe I did.
No, I didn't. Really.
Anyway, it starts with irritability and zero interest in normal hobbies. I love to read. As soon as I lose interest in reading, I know 0103's about to get bad.
I once read the story of a woman who attempted to stab her husband during such an episode. She also had PMDD. I totally understand where she's coming from because when I was married? Just the sight of my husband's ugly flip flops made me want to punch him in the face over and over and over. Irrational much? Absolutely.
Then I would just lay in bed and watch TV. It was the only thing I wanted to do. The only thing I had energy for.
I remember when I finally realized there was a problem. I got home from work tired, depressed, and just wanting to be left alone. I had just settled in to watch more TV and go to bed early when my husband called. He asked me to come meet him where he was with some close friends of ours. Said they really wanted to see me. He laid it on thick and trying to get out of it was useless. So I sat there and cried. And getting dressed to go physically hurt me.
And I thought "this isn't right, there's something wrong here."
I went to see a counselor. She encouraged me to read this book. I think it was called "change your mind, change your life" but I can't remember. To be honest, I never finished reading it. I got to the part about PMDD and it was like someone smacked me over the head with ... well, something heavy.
I made an appointment with a shrink, explained my findings and we were pretty much in agreement. He put me on Prozac.
The thing about Prozac is it takes time. And it's hard to make yourself take a pill every day for years and years when you feel fine! Better than fine! Amazing!
Except that eventually the feelings come back...
I've started and quit Prozac three times.
When I got divorced, my entire life changed. That was when I first experienced real anxiety. My husband was the bread winner. Although I had/have a steady job, I certainly don't make much. There was a whole lot of anxiety over where will I live? What will I do? MY LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. And maybe those were all normal thoughts and fears for someone going through a divorce, but the anxiety? Knocked me on my 0104. I'm still amazed that I was able to push through it and get my 0103 in order.
My next round of anxiety came a year later. The husband and I were still married at the time (we really knew how to drag things out), and I had finally decided- after a whole lot of back and forth and I-don't-know's- to give it another try and I moved back in. Then I freaked the F out and moved back out again three days later. I got back in my bed at my mom's house and stayed there for the next two weeks. And I stopped reading.
Since then, I've had severe anxiety like that twice more. Averaging once per year. I'm in the midst of it right now... And it sucks. I don't know if it's all a part of PMDD or if this is just my reaction to change + uncertainty. I'm facing possible big changes now and that is cause for some angst, as would be normal... but the severity of this anxiety is dibilitating. Definitely not doing any reading.
And my worries and fears are all totally irrational! That's the worst part. Knowing I'm going to be okay, but still allowing myself to get sucked into this abyss of nothing will ever be okay.
I know I need to see the shrink again. Maybe what I need is to be on the Prozac for more than a few months to see if it's actually working.
I'm not sure what I'll do. I want to do the mature, responsible, adult thing... and take care of myself the right way... but it's hard to maintain that way of thinking when the depression and anxiety fades and you feel great again.
Anyway, that's me. Thanks for letting me ramble on. There's something about finding other folks going through the same thing that helps me feel better. So, thank you for that.