Have you ever suffered from PMDD? Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a severe, sometimes disabling extension of PMS. I like to say it's PMS on crack. It's one of the most frightening types of depression I've ever suffered through.
How do you cope or anticipate PMS or PMDD symptoms?
After I had my 1st son, I noticed I felt extraordinarily & severely depressed until the day leading up to my period. He was around 9 months at the time and my 1st child I wasn't sure what to expect nor what was normal.
Within 6 months it became clear things were not normal. For days at a time, I'd be ready to kill myself, my husband (at the time) and anyone who looked my way. That's IF I could get out of bed & function like a normal person. A few days later, I'd get a visit from Aunt Flo & BAM my mood regulated & I was -seemingly- back to normal. It was confusing & perplexing. It took more than a year for me to even identify that pattern.
It took an additional year after that for my counselor, trusted friends or anyone to figure out what was going on let alone offer me a diagnosis or help. Eventually, I started Zoloft. After the initial 3-days of worsening depression I evened out. I used Zoloft for years to help me cope. Including during pregnancy, labor & throughout the first few years of nursing my 2nd son. None of that was ideal, yet needed.
Most recently, after having my 3rd child who is now two years old, PMDD has came back for ya girl. Sigh.
I've done well over the years at charting out my visits from Aunt Flo like a science...literally tracking every detail, every cramp, every spot, every pain, every time I've had sex, every time anything that's happened to my vagina + my mental health has been recorded. But you know what happened?
I felt better + GOT LAZY. I stopped recording because I assumed 'everything would be o.k.' I'm sure you know what assuming does? In case you don't... it makes an ASS out of U and ME. ASS-U-ME. ASSUME. Got that? =)
The past few months I've been in free-fall. Not keeping track, not knowing when PMS or PMDD could strike & both months it got me. Like a moth to the flame with a death wish I hadn't known I was in PRIME days for PMDD.
Without knowing, I began to make decisions about my life and future. I cried a great deal. I lost my patience for and with my kids. I regretted life. I felt sorry for myself for everything I didn't AND do have. I took it out on my IG stories. I journaled pages and pages of lament.
Normally, I could do a quick look on my charts to see that all I'd need to do is sit tight & be patient; to tell myself it passes. It always does. Sit tight, Grace.
But this time around, I allowed myself to grow utterly hopeless. I had 4-5 miserable days. I struggled to maintain any of my healthy habits let alone my daily self-care rituals.
Tracking is 100% necessary. #LawdHammercy
PMDD is no joke. If you need help...GET HELP!
Does anyone else track their Big P? What are you using to keep track of your cycle? Any apps anyone would recommend? How do manage feeling depressed for only a few days at a time?