I have always suffered with my periods (I'm 41), and I found this website by accident while trying to understand why I seem to be the only one that has so many emotional-PMS problems.....most other women that I know have NO problems with the awful moods and symptoms I get right before my period starts. I have had several bouts of moderate to severe depression since my 20s and have an extensive family history of Major Depressive Disorder and BP (I'm not BP). I'm not on any meds right now.
My periods have always been highly irregular, with stress being the major culprit. I went 9 months without getting my period once during a very stressful time in my life (in my early 20s) and that was without any hormone replacement (birth control) or other purposeful attempt to control my cycles.
To some women, having highly irregular periods that only come a handful of times a year would be a good thing but to me it is pure torture because I then have MONTHS of unending PMS, depression, severe irritability, anger, mood swings, and off/on cramps. No exaggeration.....it can last for months. I pray for my period to start so I can have some peace and sanity. As of today, I haven't had my period in three months (not pregnant) but I've had awful depression, anger, sore breasts, cramps, and other problems for the last 2 months. I'm actually crying as I'm typing this.
Some times, I know about 30 minutes before I finally start to bleed because I have waves of serenity feelings wash over me suddenly. Almost like taking some type of Xanax or having a fever break after a long illness. I live for those moments when I'm suffering for weeks on end. I don't mind the severe cramping (while bleeding) because it means that I'm finally sane again. Unfortunately, it only lasts about one or maybe two weeks.
Most of the time I really want to hide away from people when I'm having so many mood problems, who then get hurt feelings when I just want to be alone. I really don't want to be around myself when I'm like that.....
When I first read about PMDD, while in therapy for a particularly bad depressive episode, I asked my psychiatrist about it and he said, "that disorder doesn't exist.....I don't believe that it is real." I actually believed him at the time, but as I get older my horrendous PMS is getting worse. I didn't pursue it further (that was years ago) but I'd like to perhaps see if maybe some other doctor can help.
Has anyone else been told this by their doctors? I'd love to hear if anyone has actually had relief from any other medication than a SSRI. I've not been on a SSRI for about 10 years, but I may have to start again because this is getting unbearable. I've even had fantasies of getting a hysterectomy because I just want it to stop.
This forum is the first time in my life where I've read of other women having the same problems that I've had, and that does help (it's probably the trigger for my tears right now). I've always been very jealous of women that get their periods like clockwork and just have mild crying jags or chocolate cravings.
Thanks for reading....I'd appreciate any feedback or comments. I've never known anyone else with my PMS problems, so I'd love to hear from you if this is something you go through as well.