Sponsored Facebook posts are usually just seen as a nuisance but this morning I stumbled across one that I think might change my life forever. The article was titled “Living With PMS That Makes You Want To Die” and I honestly just opened it to procrastinate getting out of bed. But the more I read, the more I related to the things that were being said.
I had never heard of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) before, but it is sometimes referred to as “Severe PMS”. I’ve always had bad periods, heavy and painful, and as I got older my PMS kept getting worse. I’ve been using medication to keep my periods regular and under control for the past 3 and a half years, and although things were easier I knew that it wasn’t normal to be really ill every cycle and constantly have to take days off work because I was in so much pain leading up to my period.
In March 2015 I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder; I was in my last semester at university and the low level anxiety I’d been suffering for as long as I could remember had developed into daily panic and/or anxiety attacks. 18 months later and one course of therapy later I’m definitely coping with things a lot better, but I’m still dependant on that medication to maintain a “normal” level of life.
As an attempt to solve my period problems I took the contraceptive pill for 4 months continuously (missing 3 periods) and during this time my anxiety dramatically dropped. I had put it down to things in my life settling down. But this week should have been the start of my second period since taking the break, the first was in the middle of the most incredible week and a half of my life where I did so many once in a lifetime experiences and I refused to let my body betray me during this time. However on Sunday I had my first panic attack in months. I honestly can’t remember I had a full on panic attack where I thought I was going to throw up and just wanted to get out of my own skin. This used to happen almost daily and I think I had almost forgotten how bad they could get. I don’t think that its just a coincidence that I get my first panic attack in months the day before I’m meant to start my period again. My mood had been all over the place all weekend and I just wanted to be alone (not the best when you’re on a family holiday).
Although I first heard about PMDD today I’m so sure that’s what I have. When I was first diagnosed with GAD it was a huge relief because it meant I could put a name to those feelings and start getting treatment. I feel the same today; I can go to my doctor and see what they suggest for PMDD because I definitely can’t keep going on like this.