For the great majority of the time after my diagnosis, the depression and PMDD that wreaked havoc on my life went away. It was like a great fire being doused with water. However, I still have a few leftovers that lingered on – some coals that still smolder. If you have had a difficult time with your period and moods, this might be useful for you to read.
My PMDD went up and down every two weeks along with my period, and the moody time was actually clinical depression. I had classic depression symptoms such as fatigue, sad feelings, tearfulness, sleeping difficulties, tons and tons of negative thougths. I also had an odd sensation of being disconnected from people even though I was talking and being social with them. It was a crash, and I felt it it hit me hard and drug me straight down.
I went on antidepressants for about two years and gradually came off them, but something else remained. My premenstrual week was filled with aggitation and irritibility. I would fly off the handle more more easily than usual. I’d feel tension in every part of my body, and it lingered much longer than it used to. I’d keep my “mad thoughts”
longer, and everything in my day seemed to be touched by it. I snapped at the kids, at my husband, felt like the whole experience was about how frustrating everything was. I couldn’t possilby do enough yoga to tame this. Fortunately, I was able to start on a birth control pill that was coming out then designed to help with PMDD. I noticed a difference the first month I was on it and was pleased to finally feel like that week was under control.
I would say that now my premenstrual week is in the range of what most women feel like. A little moody or frustrated for a day or two, but definitely something manageable. The yet-lingering problem is that now I’ve had a lot of practice living angry. Yes, it’s just a week out of each month, but that’s one fourth of a year. That’s three months of just being angry all day!
I think that went on for about two years or more. I really don’t like knowing that because I’ve always thought of myself as someone who could handle anger better than that. I could push it to the side so I could cool down, or it would simply be something I could rechannel quickly. So I have that body and brain rehearsal to combat now and then. When I start getting on a tear (either by myself or with my family), I know I have to stay aware of that. My symptoms are well controlled, but those channels and pathways in my brain and nervous system are still there waiting to be lit up.
I’m curious about this symptom switch because I never recall feeling especially angry when I was experiencing my untreated PMDD. It was always just like classic depression. It does emphasize the truth about what I learned in my counseling training. Depression and anger are very closely linked. I can really understand why guys who have so-called anger management issues most likely have depression underneath it all. I’d love to hear your feedback. I haven’t really met or heard from many women who seem to have had PMDD. It’s a lot easier to find women who’ve had postpartum depression. So if you’ve managed PMDD before, drop a comment.