How I’m Treating My PMDD

If you’ve been reading for a little while now, you’ll know that earlier this year I was diagnosed with PMDD. I have recently started treating my PMDD by taking a birth control pill again. I wrote briefly about my initial diagnosis here and my life shortly about diagnosis here.

What is PMDD?

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PMDD is an endocrine disorder, which means it is hormone-related. Throughout the time that I had stopped using birth control, so around 2 years or so ago. I had noticed that my moods during my monthly cycles had gradually become worse and worse, along with having other PMDD symptoms that I didn’t recognise as being linked to my “time of the month”.

My Pill History

From around the age of 14, I started a birth control pill. Cerazette to be exact. Over the 10 or so years of taking it, my periods were non-existent but so were my mood swings – and any other PMDD symptoms that obviously back then, I knew nothing about.

I remember switching my pill to Yaz (I think) when I was around 23/24, because I wanted my periods back. Almost 10 years seemed an abnormally long time to not experience such a natural thing.
Shortly after switching pills, I became pregnant with our first child. 4 months after giving birth, I found out that were expecting our second child – this was after going back on the pill too!

So, after both pregnancies – I chose to have the Marina coil fitted, as the doctor told me that this was the closest thing to “being sterilised” as I could get – as to not become pregnant again. 1 year passed and I had it removed, mainly due to the weight I gained with it.

The PMDD Began

That brings me to the suffering. I’m sure I’ve talked about it before. The mood swings, that aren’t just mood swings. They’re not knowing who or what may trigger me to shout or snap. The hot flashes that never I can never seem to cool down from in a hurry. The 2 weeks of nausea and feeling like I had travel sickness although I was sat still. The nightmares that seem to be impossible to wake from. Crying myself to sleep and generally feeling so anxious that I want to throw up.

The more the months went by, on the day my phone alerts me that it’s ovulation day – I’d start to worry. Who will I shout at this time? Will my husband decide that he can’t deal with this any longer, and leave? What if someone takes my children away from me? All the what-ifs and some really not-so-nice thoughts.

PMDD Diagnosis and Herbal Remedies

After months of suffering this way, I asked my husband to call the doctor and they called me back. After talking to my doctor, she diagnosed me over the phone and recommended trying some herbal remedies. None of which worked but I persevered for around 4 months before I couldn’t take it any more. Some of the remedies I was recommended were: evening primrose oil, vitamin E and B-6, magnesium and calcium.

Going to the Doctor

My PMDD got worse. So much worse that even I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. The monster inside of me was trying to take over. I spent a whole night awake, crying to myself. I made sure that I wasn’t getting out of bed at all. The thoughts weren’t going away and I was scared of myself and for myself. I needed to start treating my PMDD.

Monday morning came, so I called the doctors. I needed treatment, no matter what it was. The receptionist told me my doctor had no appointments left that day and I broke down on the phone. After calming down, I agreed to just wait until Thursday to go in, in person to get an appointment for the following week. After the uncontrollable tears that morning, my husband had to come home from work, so I could just be alone and hide out in bed.

PMDD Treatment

Thursday came and I got my appointment. Knowing I had an appointment made me feel a little bit better. I felt like things were going to get sorted. When I saw my doctor, she asked how I’d been. I told her everything. She told me that the usual treatment process is to start with anti-depressants, then move on to hormonal treatments if the antidepressants don’t work out.

This is where I explained to her about being on the pill since around 14years old, and that I hadn’t experienced any of this before – so I requested to try going back on the same pill, to see if that helps. She grumbled a bit but agreed to let me try treating my PMDD with it.

How I Feel Now

I’ve just finished my first “cycle” since taking the pill again – and I do feel a bit better! To begin with, when I knew I was due to ovulate – I felt odd. I felt like I should’ve been this monster that I’d been so used to for months. But I wasn’t. I was a bit confused and worried that something may just trigger me – but I was me. I am me. As far as I can tell, for me, this pill stops me from ovulating – which therefore stops the hell that I was entering for 2 weeks out of every month and I couldn’t be more relieved.

Feeling more like myself means I don’t have to be careful about who I’m around for 2 weeks out of the month. I don’t have to hide away or become the shell of a person I was. I don’t feel ill. I can enjoy spending time with my children more – I hate to admit that they would often trigger my mood swings – I guess through tiredness.

Right now, I feel like myself again and I couldn’t be happier that I’m treating my PMDD.
Please, if you recognise that you are feeling the same, or anyone you know is – read up about PMDD and begin to find a treatment that’s right for you. I know how hard it is to “admit defeat” let’s say – but now that I’m treating my PMDD, I feel like myself again and I want to help as many people as I can to escape the hell that PMDD is.

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