PMDD.. you will not win, together we will defeat you

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April is PMDD awareness month. Having PMDD is like living with a ticking time bomb. Your life, at times, is not your own. You lose control. You behave in a way so vastly in contrast to who you are. You lose yourself.

It’s frankly absolutely terrifying. You feel like you are failing your friends, family and all of those around you. I sometimes feel so detached, trapped in a deep, dark hole watching life pass by, just hoping that  the internal battle will stop.

PMDD is god awful, it affects your mind, your confidence and don’t get me started on the guilt – it eats you alive!  The destruction that PMDD brings haunts you during your good weeks.

However, one huge positive of PMDD is the kindness and the unity  between women experiencing the very same. The solidarity and relentless support is so breathtaking and incredibly humbling. We are all here fighting for a correct diagnosis and treatment, all fighting to be understood.  We are spreading the word, sharing our knowledge and trying to make it easier for younger generations to get the help and support they need.

We are strong, we are awesome and we are fearless.

PMDD.. you will not win, together we will defeat you.

As always,

Love & hugs ❤️ xx

I wish I was invisible

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Over the last two weeks I have struggled so much.  I feel like I am detached from reality, looking in on life which is continuing and happening around me, a life that I don’t feel part of.

Every day I go through the motions, I get up, get dressed, I go to work, I try to be the best mum/friend/colleague that I can be. I smile through the tears, hoping that my sad eyes don’t give me away.
Inside I am dying, constantly battling with my rollercoaster emotions, the mental and physical exhaustion.  I cannot remember the last time I felt truly happy, all I feel right now is lost, so alone in a pit of endless, gut wrenching despair.

There is so much in my life that I know I should be happy and grateful for but I just find day to day life so difficult. I never sleep, I’m exhausted but I just lay awake night after night. I have two jobs, I go to college and I’m a single mum of twins. I have no family and I’m very aware that if I fall, I no longer have anyone to catch

I miss myself. Because the person I am now, is not me. I am a shadow of my former self, I don’t like who I am.

Last week my friend asked me if I could have one wish, what would it be? My answer….

To be invisible.

A Man’s Perspective… continued.

In light of everything my ex husband and I still talk, we have discussed, in detail, the impact of PMDD on relationships and ours in particular.  It did play a big role in our marriage breakdown.

See Sam’s thoughts below.

So I feel like a tit. I am a true believer in the fact that good things happen to good people but whoever originally stated that was clearly dosed up on a combination of tramadol & disco biscuits. I like to think I am a good person but unfortunately for me that statement..it isn’t true. But that’s my fault.

I wrote a blog post a while ago detailing how my wife’s PMDD affected me. It really did affect me and although I still tell anyone that wants to listen that Soph is my wife, the reality is we are quite far apart. I’m a man in denial.

I never left the beautiful person that I was married to. I never ever intentionally walked away, but what I did do was try too hard. That was my biggest mistake… my Trump executive order… (let’s not get into that muppet right now!)I tried to be all things to everyone and in my quest to try and be a superhero, protecting Sophie from some troubles, I found myself in a situation that actually broke us.

In an earlier post of mine you will see how I wrestled with trying to understand everything. How I wanted to be the best thing for her. In reality what happened was that I let Sophie’s disorder swallow me whole. It had a far reaching impact on me than I ever could envisage. I covered things up, because I didn’t want her to experience stress. I tried to absorb every ounce of pressure that we would go through as a couple… but I did that as one person. I didn’t share. Yes, I will stand here in the middle of everyone, in the middle of the internet and say I was not perfect…that I lied to her & that destroys me. Why? Because I looked into her eyes and promised her the world. Bottom line is I let her down… but not maliciously. I let my own sense of pride and my own desire to be a hero cloud me from the right things. All because I let this bloody shit storm of a disease swallow me up.

And yes, it is a fricking disease. No matter what anyone says, there are no experts until you’ve been through it. The thing is, as a Man I haven’t even had the worst of it. I can never “go through it”. But it still doesn’t stop it being a massive shit. It’s an unassuming, prejudicial fucktard that will try to destroy your world.

It’s ok though.. there are “experts”… #bollocks

From the research I have seen, the word “expert” is a futile attempt to placate or pretend. In reality the blooming thing consumes the ones you love and in turn it consumes you.

Now, I don’t know how many husbands read this. I don’t know how many partners will look at this blog and stop and think. But you really should. Amongst all the anguish and the pain that your other half is going through, she needs you. Really needs you. She will never, ever tell you. She is to proud, too embarrassed and so you will have to guess. But if you get it wrong… I.e. She says sod off… you are actually right! But do not be smug about that.

More importantly she doesn’t need you to mask things. She doesn’t need you to lie. However tough it gets, an argument – a row, a disagreement – a misunderstanding- it can have massive implications. Believe me, you do not want to end up regretting trying to be a superhero. Superman once said that there is definitely a “right” and a “wrong” in the universe. The distinction is not hard to make.

It was in my case… but I’ll fight until the end of time to show her I still love her, no matter what. I always will, but I broke the sanctity of marriage and lied to protect the woman I love.

Be the man that I wasn’t.

PMDD – Poisonous Monthly Day Destroyer

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Holy sh*tballs…..I am going to have a rant so I will apologise now but WTF?!

I HATE my body right now, I actually detest it and I just want to trade it in for a newer, slimline, stretch mark free model, with pert boobs and a lovely attitude – my resting bitch face replaced with a happy, smiley face.

I am angry. Angry actually doesn’t even cover it, I am absolutely f**king furious. I am sick of PMDD taking countless days away from me!  Give them back….did I give you permission to take over my body and rob me of precious days?! NO I DIDN’T!!!
PMDD – you are cruel and you are a thief. What gives you the right to make me feel rougher than a badgers arse month in month out? How dare you rear your ugly head as soon as I start to feel better.

I just want to punch you in the vagina. Hard. 👊🏻

Now someone pass me my mindfulness book, chocolate and a LARGE glass of wine. Urghhhhh! Xx

Guest post:Prof John Studd DSc MD FRCOG

Effective treatment of PMS/PMDD

Prof John Studd DSc MD FRCOG

46 Wimpole St London W1G8SD

First of all we have to make the correct diagnosis and the major obstacle to this is using the term Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) preferred by the American Psychiatric Association. By labeling the condition Dysphoric it clearly labels the condition psychiatric. None of us use the term Dysphoric in conversation and patients never tell me that they are feeling a little Dysphoric today.! Such women in the hands of psychiatrists will be treated with antidepressants and when these are ineffective, as they usually are, they will have added drugs including mood stabilizers if the mood swings are severe enough to misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder (BPD) The condition has an endocrine aetiology essentially due to intolerance to the cyclical progesterone which is released by the ovary after ovulation. This causes the mood, energy and libido changes that occur in the days before ovulation together with the cyclical somatic changes, headache, migraine, bloating and breast pain. This group of regular recurrent symptoms is best called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Depression is not only more common in women but it different from depression in men because of the contribution of the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the perimenopause. This results in PMS, postnatal depression (PND) and menopausal depression (MenD). These frequently occur over time in the same woman and is collectively recognised as Reproductive Depression. (RD)

Hormone responsive depression cannot be diagnosed by blood tests, nor excluded in this way. The diagnosis is made entirely on the history. It is commonplace for women to recognise that they have hormonal depression and visit their doctor who will check the hormone levels. As the estradiol and FSH levels will always be normal in this group of premenopausal women, they are then brushed off and given antidepressants. When these invariably fail, they will be given a second antidepressant, a higher dose, and ultimately when the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder (BPD) is made they will be given mood stabilising drugs. This sad history may last more than twenty years with the woman’s life blighted by the misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. During this time she will be labeled Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Treatment Resistant Depression as well as BPD but there will be no understanding of the possible effect of hormonal changes on mood.

Middle aged women with hormone related depression have the following items in their history. They usually have PMS as a teenager becoming worse with age-they are in good mood during pregnancy in spite of nausea and vomiting but then frequently have PND with cyclical depression occurring as the periods return. As the menopause approaches the depression becomes worse and less cyclical. This is the menopausal transition in the 3 to 4 years before the periods stop when the climacteric symptoms of depression, panic attacks, brain fog, loss of energy and libido are at their worst. This is another time when women are denied the appropriate treatment with hormones because they are “not menopausal”

This history of PMS is different from the characteristics of BPD . Patients with Severe PMS have a history of-

1. Depression worse before each period

2. Cyclical somatic symptoms such as bloating headaches even migraine and breast pain before a period

3. In good mood during pregnancy

4. Postnatal Depression

5. PMS returns as periods return

6. Depression continuing to the transition phase

7. Has recurrent cyclical depression but does not have manic episodes

8. Responds well to estrogens and not antidepressants

9. Responds badly to progesterone/progestogen whether it is oral or depot

Having made the association of typical symptoms particularly depression and behavioral changes with the periods the mode of treatment by hormones should be clear. As PMS is the result of hormonal changes following ovulation the cornerstone of treatment should be suppression of ovulation and the subsequent removal of these endocrine changes particularly progesterone.

Why progesterone? Many years ago 1986 Adam Magos and I reported the effect of repeated 12 days of norethisterone in hysterectomized women receiving estrogen. The progestogens produced depression anxiety with loss of energy which more severe the higher the dose used. The paper was even subtitled “A model for the premenstrual syndrome” We wanted to continue the study on patients who had PMS before the hysterectomy. Not surprisingly we were not able to find volunteers for this extension of the study

Suppression of ovulation is most easily achieved by the birth control pill and there are many publications supporting its use in PMS. This is a mystery because although an OC will stop the cycles and cyclical symptoms the depression and related problems become continuous rather than cyclical. In my experience PMS often becomes worse regardless of whether it is an “old pill” or the newer much heralded new pills such as Yas or Yasmin containing drospirenone.

The most effective treatment is by transdermal estrogens as these are more effective and safer than oral hormones by avoiding the first pass effect and the production of coagulation factors in the liver. There is no evidence of an increased thrombosis or stroke or heart attack risk with estrogen gel, patches or implants.

Estrogen patches 100 to 200 ug twice weekly have been the product used in the various research studies and is very effective and acceptable even though it does leave temporary skin marks. Evorel or Estradot are commonly used. Estadiol gels avoid that problem and allow variation of dose. It can also be used with testosterone gel as testosterone patches are no longer available.

The same non oral medication can be given by implants with the usual dose being estradiol 50mg and testosterone 100mg. The implant is usually repeated every 6 months It is a very simple painless out patient procedure taking less than 5 minutes.

This testosterone component is important as the depression of PMS is usually associated with loss of energy, libido and self-confidence. 93% of my depressed patient also has testosterone. The addition of testosterone makes an enormous difference to a woman’s general wellbeing and it is regrettable that GPs and even gynecologists are unwilling to prescribe, since the patch has been taken off the market for purely commercial reasons testosterone is no longer licensed for women and it is perceived to be a male hormone which it is not as young women have almost 10 times the amount of circulating testosterone than estrogen.

Most women will have their PMS well controlled by this treatment for many years with the only problem being the PMS symptoms caused by the cyclical

progesterone necessary for endometrial protection. Sometimes this is unacceptable. The solution to this progestogen intolerance may be by changing the type and duration of the progesterone, using the vaginal route, by using a Mirena IUS or even having a laparoscopic hysterectomy with removal of ovaries. This not as radical as it sounds as the time in convalescence is just a few days and don’t forget that 4% of women die from cancer of the uterus cervix or ovaries. That will mostly be avoided by this surgery. It will also cure the most severe PMS

Women happy on this treatment should continue for many years as it will prevent osteoporosis and prevent the 1 in 3 women sustaining an osteoporotic fracture later in life. There are also fewer heart attacks, cardiac deaths and certainly no increase in breast cancer. If there is a slight increase with HRT it is entirely in women taking continuous progestogen. All studies of estrogen alone have shown no change or a small reduction of breast cancer.

This suggested treatment is as effective as it is obvious but how do suffering women receive this simple curative treatment instead of years of antidepressants. GPs can be persuaded once they overcome the totally incorrect view that hormone are dangerous and recognize that antidepressants are not effective and have many side effects of more heart attacks and strokes, weight gain and inevitably loss of libido.

The problem is the clever psychiatrists who do not understand or wish to understand the hormonal basis of this debilitating condition. I lecture all around the world but my request to lecture at the Royal College of Psychiatrists has always been refused because “nobody is interested” It is just a question of territory with the health of the patient being irrelevant.

Guest post: Prof John Studd DSc MD FRCOG

Effective treatment of PMS/PMDD

Prof John Studd DSc MD FRCOG

46 Wimpole St London W1G8SD

First of all we have to make the correct diagnosis and the major obstacle to this is using the term Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) preferred by the American Psychiatric Association. By labeling the condition Dysphoric it clearly labels the condition psychiatric. None of us use the term Dysphoric in conversation and patients never tell me that they are feeling a little Dysphoric today.! Such women in the hands of psychiatrists will be treated with antidepressants and when these are ineffective, as they usually are, they will have added drugs including mood stabilizers if the mood swings are severe enough to misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder (BPD) The condition has an endocrine aetiology essentially due to intolerance to the cyclical progesterone which is released by the ovary after ovulation. This causes the mood, energy and libido changes that occur in the days before ovulation together with the cyclical somatic changes, headache, migraine, bloating and breast pain. This group of regular recurrent symptoms is best called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Depression is not only more common in women but it different from depression in men because of the contribution of the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the perimenopause. This results in PMS, postnatal depression (PND) and menopausal depression (MenD). These frequently occur over time in the same woman and is collectively recognised as Reproductive Depression. (RD)

Hormone responsive depression cannot be diagnosed by blood tests, nor excluded in this way. The diagnosis is made entirely on the history. It is commonplace for women to recognise that they have hormonal depression and visit their doctor who will check the hormone levels. As the estradiol and FSH levels will always be normal in this group of premenopausal women, they are then brushed off and given antidepressants. When these invariably fail, they will be given a second antidepressant, a higher dose, and ultimately when the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder (BPD) is made they will be given mood stabilising drugs. This sad history may last more than twenty years with the woman’s life blighted by the misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. During this time she will be labeled Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Treatment Resistant Depression as well as BPD but there will be no understanding of the possible effect of hormonal changes on mood.

Middle aged women with hormone related depression have the following items in their history. They usually have PMS as a teenager becoming worse with age-they are in good mood during pregnancy in spite of nausea and vomiting but then frequently have PND with cyclical depression occurring as the periods return. As the menopause approaches the depression becomes worse and less cyclical. This is the menopausal transition in the 3 to 4 years before the periods stop when the climacteric symptoms of depression, panic attacks, brain fog, loss of energy and libido are at their worst. This is another time when women are denied the appropriate treatment with hormones because they are “not menopausal”

This history of PMS is different from the characteristics of BPD . Patients with Severe PMS have a history of-

1. Depression worse before each period

2. Cyclical somatic symptoms such as bloating headaches even migraine and breast pain before a period

3. In good mood during pregnancy

4. Postnatal Depression

5. PMS returns as periods return

6. Depression continuing to the transition phase

7. Has recurrent cyclical depression but does not have manic episodes

8. Responds well to estrogens and not antidepressants

9. Responds badly to progesterone/progestogen whether it is oral or depot

Having made the association of typical symptoms particularly depression and behavioral changes with the periods the mode of treatment by hormones should be clear. As PMS is the result of hormonal changes following ovulation the cornerstone of treatment should be suppression of ovulation and the subsequent removal of these endocrine changes particularly progesterone.

Why progesterone? Many years ago 1986 Adam Magos and I reported the effect of repeated 12 days of norethisterone in hysterectomized women receiving estrogen. The progestogens produced depression anxiety with loss of energy which more severe the higher the dose used. The paper was even subtitled “A model for the premenstrual syndrome” We wanted to continue the study on patients who had PMS before the hysterectomy. Not surprisingly we were not able to find volunteers for this extension of the study

Suppression of ovulation is most easily achieved by the birth control pill and there are many publications supporting its use in PMS. This is a mystery because although an OC will stop the cycles and cyclical symptoms the depression and related problems become continuous rather than cyclical. In my experience PMS often becomes worse regardless of whether it is an “old pill” or the newer much heralded new pills such as Yas or Yasmin containing drospirenone.

The most effective treatment is by transdermal estrogens as these are more effective and safer than oral hormones by avoiding the first pass effect and the production of coagulation factors in the liver. There is no evidence of an increased thrombosis or stroke or heart attack risk with estrogen gel, patches or implants.

Estrogen patches 100 to 200 ug twice weekly have been the product used in the various research studies and is very effective and acceptable even though it does leave temporary skin marks. Evorel or Estradot are commonly used. Estadiol gels avoid that problem and allow variation of dose. It can also be used with testosterone gel as testosterone patches are no longer available.

The same non oral medication can be given by implants with the usual dose being estradiol 50mg and testosterone 100mg. The implant is usually repeated every 6 months It is a very simple painless out patient procedure taking less than 5 minutes.

This testosterone component is important as the depression of PMS is usually associated with loss of energy, libido and self-confidence. 93% of my depressed patient also has testosterone. The addition of testosterone makes an enormous difference to a woman’s general wellbeing and it is regrettable that GPs and even gynecologists are unwilling to prescribe, since the patch has been taken off the market for purely commercial reasons testosterone is no longer licensed for women and it is perceived to be a male hormone which it is not as young women have almost 10 times the amount of circulating testosterone than estrogen.

Most women will have their PMS well controlled by this treatment for many years with the only problem being the PMS symptoms caused by the cyclical

progesterone necessary for endometrial protection. Sometimes this is unacceptable. The solution to this progestogen intolerance may be by changing the type and duration of the progesterone, using the vaginal route, by using a Mirena IUS or even having a laparoscopic hysterectomy with removal of ovaries. This not as radical as it sounds as the time in convalescence is just a few days and don’t forget that 4% of women die from cancer of the uterus cervix or ovaries. That will mostly be avoided by this surgery. It will also cure the most severe PMS

Women happy on this treatment should continue for many years as it will prevent osteoporosis and prevent the 1 in 3 women sustaining an osteoporotic fracture later in life. There are also fewer heart attacks, cardiac deaths and certainly no increase in breast cancer. If there is a slight increase with HRT it is entirely in women taking continuous progestogen. All studies of estrogen alone have shown no change or a small reduction of breast cancer.

This suggested treatment is as effective as it is obvious but how do suffering women receive this simple curative treatment instead of years of antidepressants. GPs can be persuaded once they overcome the totally incorrect view that hormone are dangerous and recognize that antidepressants are not effective and have many side effects of more heart attacks and strokes, weight gain and inevitably loss of libido.

The problem is the clever psychiatrists who do not understand or wish to understand the hormonal basis of this debilitating condition. I lecture all around the world but my request to lecture at the Royal College of Psychiatrists has always been refused because “nobody is interested” It is just a question of territory with the health of the patient being irrelevant.

Feeling blue…

img_7309Today is a bad day….I had my 11th Decapetyl injection earlier and I feel absolutely rotten and horrible.

Is it possible that the injections could stop working? My GP said it’s not possible but I have definitely felt, during the last few weeks that something is off. I had a whole week where I didn’t eat, sleep, talk, I moved around like a fat slug….leaving a little trail of misery as I go.  I’m riddled with guilt, I am most definitely the definition of a slummy mummy.   I feel like such a failure in so many ways and that all I do is let people down.

The injections are still a DEFINITE improvement on what I was going through before but they do come at a price. I consistently experience extreme fatigue/muscle weakness, I’ve gained weight which I cannot lose (Perhaps the wine/chicken nuggets have something to do with that one 😳)   and the days of good skin and hair have long gone, replaced with a dowdy looking, crazy pyjama wearing cowbag !

As previously mentioned my gynaecologist has agreed to do a total abdominal hysterectomy but won’t set a date until I see him again on April 7th. I’m worried sick he will change his mind. I want my life back, endometriosis, cysts and PMDD have robbed me of so many weeks over the years.  I actually worked it out today, 37 1/2 weeks out of 134 weeks have been lost due to PMDD alone.  That’s 37 1/2 weeks where the world has just stopped, 37 1/2 weeks of my life wasted.  I just want to feel better, I’m so worn out from battling and struggling on and on.

Sorry I’m such a miserable moose, it’s one of those days. 😪😪 xx

PMDD – A Man’s Perspective

imageEven though my marriage has sadly broken down I am reposting this blog post my ex husband Sam wrote as I know it helped so many people. Sam and I still speak and I will be forever grateful for the days/weeks/months he supported me through my dark zone days.

It has got to be one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. The suspense, the waiting, watching and that feeling of desperate anxiety of wanting and trying to do something, anything, to help the one person you love the most. The one person that I would do absolutely anything for, but I can’t. All I can do is stand by, helpless, completely powerless to relieve the pain and alleviate my wife from the torture that she is so visibly going through. Right now, that’s what PMDD means to me. It’s horrible.

It was earlier this year that my wife was diagnosed with PMDD. In the early days, before her diagnosis it was probably quite easy to be dismissive. “Oh, you are just having a bad day”, “Stop being miserable”. You kind of ignore it –not in a malicious way but bluntly us men are relatively narrow minded and are not always the most understanding of creatures. We have grown up with this notion that for 7-10 days a month women are moody, you’ll get nagged and emotions will be all the over the place. So we stereotype, “time of the month, give it a week and it will be ok”. The reality of it was, and still is, that I started to see the woman of my dreams go from this all singing and dancing, smiley, happy bouncy person that had an incredible passion for life and everything in it; to someone totally unrecognisable. Now, I don’t mean that in a horrible way, what is important to convey is that her behaviour and attitude to life had changed, so quickly, so dramatically. It was as if someone else had taken control and literally slammed on the brakes. No longer did she feel that she was able to do the things she loved, she became very anxious, scared and so overwhelmed… a total shadow of her former self.

Then the real darkness came, she was totally consumed. I could see all her bad feelings building up over an incredibly short time frame and every time I looked in her eyes I could see it was eating away at her, it had nowhere to go and I was scared, no, I was petrified that it was going to destroy her. But in all of this, I perhaps naively never imagined that she would get to a point that she would not want to be with me or the little ones. Then one day I got a phone call. She was at a cemetery and was totally hysterical, she had reached that point, her limit. She felt so guilty and put the phone down on me. I’d never ever felt so much fear or so helpless and inadequate as a husband that I couldn’t give her a cuddle and tell her all was going to be ok. Even if I could, that wouldn’t have been enough. I have a number of mixed feelings about PMDD, I hate it for how it makes my wife feel. I hate it for causing her the pain she feels and the challenges that she faces every day. However, after all that time of having labels thrown at her by the medical professionals, I am grateful that we now know what it is. It is there, it is real and we can now get the help that she needs.

As a husband the biggest emotion I have felt on this journey is anger. Not at my wife, but with myself. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned but when I made my vows on our wedding day, I made a vow to look after her. Loving her in sickness and in health means that no matter what, I will be there. But that doesn’t stop you becoming angry with your inability to help. Have I made her this way? Is it my fault? Why are the doctors not helping? (Don’t get me started on how quickly they want to put labels on things and dish out a prescriptions to zombie-fy!) I didn’t have the answers and as my wife can tell you… I think I am a bit of a know it all! Maybe it’s the way my brain works, but I think it is sometimes very difficult to understand something you can’t see or feel, as a man I cannot ever experience what she is going through and so I cannot apply any rational logic to. But to support her properly I have had to go out of my way to try to understand. It has taken me a while to get my head around it all, but I started to find things that I could do to help –

Don’t try to have all of the answers all of the time
Plan, Plan and Plan again – understand her cycle. Make a conscious effort to remember those days in the month which are going to be the dark days, those 10 days leading up to her period. It is during these days that she will need you the most, even if she does tell you to sod off.
You have two ears and one mouth.. use them in that ratio. Make sure you listen, because there are going to be times when she won’t want to talk, so embrace those days that she does reach out to you rather than keep one eye on the football or rugby whilst she’s trying to talk
You will become a battering ram at times, but do not take it personally! There are going to be days when absolutely anything you do, good bad or indifferent will irritate her and you may be on the receiving end of a stern word or two! Remember, it is not personal so bite your tongue, take a big breath, pause and move on. If you snap back, that is when you can enter a spiral lasting longer than a few days
Be extra considerate. The simple things can go a long way, whether that is bringing her a cup of tea and a biscuit in bed or running her a bath and lighting some candles.
Constantly reassure. One of the biggest things I have recognised is that during the dark days she becomes far more insecure and far more sensitive and there is a need to constantly reassure. I’ll tell her as much as I can that she is loved, she is a beautiful woman and an amazing mum. Although she may not recognise what I am telling her right there and then, I can guarantee you it resonates.
She is here, going to war with her body and her emotions every day. No matter if she wins one day or feels like she’s lost another, when she gets up the next morning she goes for it again and again. I am so immeasurably proud of her and no matter how hard it gets I will go to battle with her, even if I don’t fully understand the enemy within.

And then there were three….

img_5133Hello you lovely people….

So its been a while since I’ve written on here and for that I’m truly sorry.

My reason? I’ve been such a negative, miserable, inconsolable moose (more so than usual!) that I would’ve felt terribly guilty for inflicting that on you all.

As you know my marriage fell apart. I still cry everyday but I’m coming to terms with it and accept that sh*t happens….
Life has been absolutely bleedin’ manic as I had to move house, change jobs and adjust to being a single mum….the girls and I, the three musketeers,  are doing surprisingly well though.

Amongst all the chaos in my life there is one mahusive (my new word) positive…..my PMDD (or Severe PMS if you prefer) is finally under control!!! WOOHOOOOOO!!! How you ask me………see below!

Decapetyl injections, administered once a month, taken with 2 pumps of Oestrogel have radically reduced my symptoms. I am in my 10th month of treatment and I cannot begin to describe how much my quality of life (excluding the marriage breakdown drama) has improved. No longer do my daughters, friends and colleagues lose me for at least a week a month, now they have me 24/7 (poor buggers!)

The injections have caused night sweats, hot flushes and a change in my hair and skin but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Yes, I still, on occasion spend the day in my owl pyjamas, ramming a box of 20 chicken nuggets in my mouth whilst watching Ex on the Beach….but doesn’t everyone sometimes just have a down day, where they just hide away from the world? I’m only human. The injections make me feel sick for a couple of days afterward and seem to send my heart rate through the roof but I just feel so much more level, no longer do I live in fear of the dark zone days, I actually have my life back.

The treatment path hasn’t been a smooth one, as you know I struggle in the beginning to receive the right kind of help and support. I so hope that you are not experiencing the same problems but sadly it seems to me that PMDD is still not fully understood. I had a consultant appointment where I was seen by a different doctor – whom, after speaking with me for less than two minutes informed me she was taking me off my injections and oestrogel because I was ‘too young’ and that ‘with time I should return back to normal’ I was absolutely flabbergasted… how on earth could this doctor, who clearly hadn’t read my hospital notes make a judgement like that? How can it be that Consultants/Docotrs/Registrars are so inconsistent with their understanding and treatment plans? It is frankly unnerving. The panic I felt when she said she was taking me off the injections, allowing my ovaries to ultimately switch back on was terrifying. I completely broke down and just sobbed inconsolably. Thankfully my usual consultant, who I trust explicitly, came into the consultation room and took over. He quickly retracted her frankly uneducated statement and reassured me that they will not take me off the injections as its unsafe to do so considering the severity of my symptoms . To both he and I it really is a matter of life and death. Instead, he took me through long term treatment options. Due to my struggles with endometriosis and the severity and risks associated with me having a menstrual cycle we have decided that an Abdominal Hysterectomy is the best way forward. I have to finish my course of injections (2 more months) and then on April 7th we will get a date booked in for the surgery.

Words cannot describe how relieved I feel, I know it is a radical way to control my symptoms and I understand the risks associated but now that I’m a single mum, with no one to watch over me if I enter the dark zone I just cannot risk returning back to my dark zone days, it is too dangerous. I love my children, friends and family to the moon and back, to think that my menstrual cycle resulted in me trying to take my own life is just unfathomable and I shall be forever grateful that help arrived just in time.

I’m not sure how many of you read this blog, I love hearing from you and if there is anything you would like me to write about, or if you have any questions then please contact me – I would love to hear from you.

As always,

Sending love & hugs,
Sophie