It took me until I was 35 years old to figure out my hormones. And even now they trick me no matter what I do to say I won’t be affected. I don’t have just PMS, or PPMD, I have something-is-taking-over-my-body type hormonal changes.
I can only think it is made all the worse by my ADHD. Let’s think about it. I get extremely moody, feel absolutely HORRIBLE in the pit of my being without even realizing why, and can not escape the feeling of terrible hopelessness. Then let’s look at ADHD and how it adds to the complete chaos:
- Impulsivity – adds to my need for ‘MUST ESCAPE these feelings NOW, frantically trying to find solutions without thorough thought.
- Hyperactivity – amplifies the feelings of hopelessness.
- Inattention – can’t even focus on the feelings long enough to understand what is happening, where they are coming from, or reflect on them – simply need to escape.
I never realized that I even had PMS or PPMD, but the reality is every woman has it to some extent, it is just the matter of severity. Hormones affect behavior and mood, we are only in the beginning stages of learning exactly how. So for me, add extreme ADHD to extreme PPMD, and you get a massive explosion!
So now when I feel suicidal once a month, the unknowing need to find the cause of my angst (usually unintentionally another person), and the need to escape immediately, I do the following:
- Deep Breathing and Meditating. I will get through this. I will get through this. I will get through this.
- Exercise. Especially critical during this time. Even ten minutes helps.
- Write the dates on my calendar. This way I KNOW that it is coming. I have tried to get by without writing, and it never fails I forget. I have outlook actually send me a reminder.
- Enjoy eating. It is guaranteed that I become ravenous during this period. Seriously. I could eat a bowls of cereals, bars, ice cream, salads, and still be hungry. Instead of controlling myself / beating myself up, I allow myself to indulge because it never fails that during I eat hardly anything and lose any weight I might have gained.
- Tell those I love. This is a big one. I tell the people I love. I ask them not to let me engage them. I ask them to be extra forgiving to me. It never fails that I say ‘this isn’t because of hormones, yet the next week I can’t believe I made that crazy chaos out of nothing. I don’t want people to be condescending with me (you know, the ‘it is just your hormones talking’) but instead want them to trick me into thinking they care about me and are not being condescending. It gives my friends, relatives, significant others a great opportunity to practice their own patience, listening, and lack of defensiveness skills.
- Spend time alone. There is nothing wrong with this. If I am going to be a nightmare, I would rather do it alone as much as possible and embrace the intensity of my emotions, knowing they will subside. I give myself the right to do that during this time, and make sure to plan my more meaningful events outside of this time. It can’t always work, but I try.
- Stop being defensive about it. This is a toughie, but I found this to be one of my most important steps. Instead of defending my rationale, I figured out what was happening and fessed up to those around me. In admitting my weakness I also asked for them to honor it with support during this time with compassion, patience and extra forgiveness. Those that would not honor, that used it to my disadvantage to make themselves feel better, and that make fun of me are simply no longer in my life.
Granted, many of you may not have the severity of my PMS / PPMD. And quite frankly I am sure guys have their own, we just have yet to really identify it. There is nothing wrong or embarrassing about it, if anything I wish I had understood the intensity and severity of it at an earlier age so I better knew how to manage it, and avoid destroying relationships during that time for lack of understanding it.
Sending you all lots of hormonal cheer! A few questions I have for you:
- Anyone else experience it?
- Any males (my guess is that testosterone levels fluctuate)?
- Any additional hints or suggestions?
photo credit: Britanglishman