I ain't Trippin'! I'm Just Hormonal!

Dearest Reader,

Below is an excerpt from my autobiographical book draft. It might change when I revise it, and it might even be cut when it is being edited. Who knows? There are more things like this, things that people don't know about me that I reveal in my book. It is a tell-all about me. It is my fears, nightmares, triumphs and joys. In this bit that I am sharing, I speak of my fears. I added links for those who want to read more on PMDD. Enjoy!

"I guess, I am trippin' but... but... But nothing. I'm just trippin'...

It begins with sluggishness, and feeling a bit down.I wake up and I have no spring in my step. As a matter of fact, I feel ugly. I am not sure what's going on, so I pause and do a bit of introspection and ask, "What happened that I should feel this way? Why am I feeling so down and blue? Is this what they call a bad feeling that gives an omen? Oh, my gosh! What if I am feeling the death of a loved one? Or, maybe I am getting a psychic attack? And, look at me! I am fat and I have pimples. Why is life so hard? What's going on? I don't want to leave the bed! And, why the HELL is everyone making a noise when I am trying to sleep? The bastards!" 

Then, I check the calender just to double check because I know this feeling too well and then I sigh, shake my head while rolling my eyes obviously disappointed by what I see. "Fucking PMS! I mean PMDD! Or is it PMT? Fuck!" 

I am dramatic! *shrug* Only I would think that the devil's minions are after me when I feel a bit blue, but I tell ya, hormones can make you believe in demons quite easily. Anyway, I am artistic and dramatic and hormonal problems are just something we do! Okay? Otherwise, where would we get the inspiration from? Yeah, that's right! Anyway...

I try to not take my feelings seriously by shrugging them off when I feel this way, reminding myself that nothing is intrinsically wrong. My hormones are just off the handle and I need to calm down. I am literally a day before my period, I am an animal. The tension has been gradually mounting for the last two weeks, and now I have reached the eruption point. "And, where are those headache pills?" I ask myself, not motivated to even wake up and look for them. It is clear, I am about to have a shitty few days and I must be prepared. This is PMDD and it is not  a joke!

When I have PMS, I literally remove myself from people because I will get very annoyed very quickly with just about anyone and about anything. Not many people see this because I go into hiding, and with years of experiencing this rubbish, I am used to not losing it, or letting myself be around people who will trigger a mood. Here are some facts about this thing that was once a Syndrome, and which is now a disorder according to the medical community. 

PMDD - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is:

"Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS)."

Symptoms are:

  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
  • Panic attack
  • Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating

I was diagnosed with PMDD years ago! I was losing my mind, thinking I was bipolar and suspecting that I was being attacked by demons, when it was just this stupid, horrible hormonal disorder. Our family doctor, a man who had been looking after me since I was a toddler, suspected that I was going through some sort of hormonal issue. He said I had PMS and that it was normal for women. Then, it got worse, and worse until I started asking him every month whether I had bipolar. He didn't think I had bipolar, and since I didn't believe him, he said referred me to a psychologist who I deemed incompetent. Then I ended up at a psychiatrist. I am a Virgo, and when I suspect I have a disease or disorder, tests are the only way that I can believe otherwise.

The psychiatrist put me through screenings via questionnaires, and psycho analyzing me over a few months and consulting with my GP until he recommended that I take some tranquilizers a few days before I was due to have my period so I can get some relief. He assured me that I did not have bipolar, or depression and as far as demons coming after me, he said that demonology was not his department. 

My family doctor and the psychiatrist would talk regularly over the phone and then I finally got the pills that would calm me down from my GP called Zopax, taking the lowest dose and to tell you the truth, the pills didn't work because I was still quite tense before my period, but they told me that it would have been worse if I wasn't taking the tranquilizers. So, from Grade 10, exactly 10 days before my period, I would take a tranquilizer every night before I went to sleep. This went on for years, until I started smoking and drinking in University and coped with booze and smokes which made things worse, actually.

During our sessions, the psychiatrist gave me tools on how to handle stress and tension. I took up using lavender oil, and doing breathing exercises and stretching to relax. He also recommended an antidepressant but it was too taboo for me and I wasn't comfortable with that. I did go on the birth control pill though, which was supposed to calm my hormones and that just made me fat. I also took up more artistic endeavors because art did distract me from the tension. 

When people irritated me, I would remove myself from them and listen to music so as not to lose my temper, which I did once, with my mother, and I felt so bad for it that I never lost my temper again. To this day, I have not lost my temper by biting people's heads off and being rude. Instead, I have chosen to remove myself from situations that make me aggravated. Alternatively, I just become very quiet. If someone persists on making me speak, or if I feel unhappy about something, I become snarky and passive aggressive.

The psychiatrist also gave me great news. He assured me that if I were to ever kill someone that due to my condition I wouldn't go to jail because I have records that support that I have a disorder that has made many women kill men. In fact, now it is actually acceptable in court as a mundane reason why women act a bit batty. I laughed at him when he said that. I told him that I would never kill anyone, that I don't even have verbal fights with people, and he said that I was repressing my rage, this from a guy who only saw me 4 times over 3 months. I responded and asked, "Rage? Come on! I am not an angry person. I am quiet and soft-spoken." and with that he said that I was still repressing it. You see, due to our screening sessions, he knew about my traumatic past, and he was convinced that one day I will explode and lose my cool exterior, and I dunno... gun down people?. What he was not counting on is that I was going to find spirituality and esoteric practices as an alternative due to my lack of trust for the medical community, which has taught me that hurting people is not a good idea and that sleep solves a lot of anxiety problems.

It's more than 10 years since that consultation and I have not killed anyone. I won't either. What I have done though is realize that I am pretty aggressive when tense. I lack patience when I am tense and I simply have no time for pettiness when tense. This means that I must avoid being tense. I still have my Zopax 0.25mg pink chill pills which I carry with me everywhere in case I have a panic attack (yes, I developed panic attacks instead of killing people) and as someone who is not happy taking addictive medication since I have an addictive personality, I keep them around just in case. The pills sit with my asthma pump, which I also seldom use since I became an adult.

What people should realize is that I have had many years to practice how to keep my nerves, and tension under control. So, only a few people have experienced me in an angry mood. I am not easily angered, even when tense and going through PMDD. I have great coping mechanisms, and I do what it takes to not make myself tense, so I keep away from things that raise my pulse, and if I can't keep away from them, I use laughter as a way to deal with it. Laughter is how I deal with anything that makes me uncomfortable. It helps. Also, I have a very zen lifestyle. I don't eat things that make the heart rate increase, and I do my best to meditate a lot.

Then, you tell a man about this and he thinks that every time you're not impressed with his foolishness, it's the PMDD. This makes it tough to share this with people because men (and some women) tend to stop being accountable for their ill actions and say that it is "my hormones" that are making me feel wronged.Therefore, when I have a problem with people, I treat it as if I am a lawyer, and break my grievance down in detail, point for point and justify it clearly so that people are clear that I am not making things up due to hormones. I suppose this has made me quite formidable in debates, but still, it is quite undermining when you say something and someone dismisses you. You have to constantly be on the defensive, because people don't understand biology!. I am still me. I am not suffering from a mental problem. This is biological. If I was mentally disturbed, I would be on some financial aid from the government, and I am not eligible for such. Why? Because I am just hormonal before my period, like most women!

People can judge me all they want because of this. I understand that it is their ignorance at work. What I will give to people blaming PMDD for my actions is when I am being dramatic 10 days before my period. Any other time, I am just being dramatic because I am dramatic. Tension doesn't affect my way of thinking. It just affects how I express what I am thinking. There is a difference.



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