Mine was in May 2015.
I had been having frequent low episodes throughout 2014/2015 which were beginning to get progressively worse but I always had something to attribute my sudden low moods to, moving house, redundancy, wedding planning, moving again, a court case and just general stresses of being a full time working mum of twins. At the beginning of 2015 things in my life had calmed down, yet I was still frequently entering the Dark Zone* so in April I began a mood diary to track my feelings, symptoms and dates.
However in May 2015 I became dangerously low. One day I drove to a local cemetery with woods surrounding it. I had a farewell note in my car addressed to my husband and daughters. If it wasn’t for a passing lady who came and spoke to me I believe I would be dead. I don’t recall driving there but I later found a page open on my phone about how to hang yourself. I have since been told that I disassociated. The one thing I know for certain is that I do not want to die and that I could never intentionally leave my husband and children.
The kind Samaritan sat with me and we called my husband and he took me straight to my GP, who referred me to my local mental health crisis team. As an adolescent I was diagnosed with severe depression and emotional unstable disorder so the Mental health team quickly deduced (and incorrectly) that I had delayed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my history. I was prescribed anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, sedatives and sleeping pills, on one occasion I was so drugged I couldn’t even walk to the toilet.
However, I couldn’t fathom why I would go from being fine one minute, and off the scale awful the next. The day before the incident in May I had been shopping in Cambridge with my husband, we had taken a selfie which I posted on Facebook along with ‘ Feeling happy, Love husband and wifey time!’ The next day I nearly took my own life.
Over the next few months I maintained my mood diary whilst continuing to see a Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and support worker. It became clear to me that my problem was related to my menstrual cycle.
All the ‘Dark Zone’ dates logged were 5-7 days before a period, the days recorded where I felt better were often the day of or the day after my period began. Armed with my mood diary and work attendance records (which evidenced a pattern in my absences) I met with the mental health team, who agreed to write to my GP stating they believed I had a menstrual disorder. A week later I met with my GP who then referred me to a gynaecologist. Now it was just a waiting game…and sadly my ‘dark zone’ episodes were getting progressively worse.
*See Dark Zone blog post.