Friday, May 10, 2019


My name is Brittan. I'm 34 years old and I'm still not sure if I have received an official diagnosis of PMDD.

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember, but over the past 10 years or so I have been having extreme mood changes. I never tracked my moods until a year ago when I was at rock bottom sitting in my therapist's office (the same day I would later swallow too many Ativan) and she mentioned PMDD. She told me to go see my gynecologist because she thinks I have the disorder. She also told me to start tracking my moods. And so I did just that. I waited about 2 months to see my gynecologist so that I would have accurate "data" to back up what my therapist suggested. And sure enough, my irregular mood swings fell right in line with my cycle. About a week before my period and until about the 4th or 5th day of being on it I was a different person. I felt insecure, jealous, angry, short-tempered, unfocused, unmotivated, and sometimes suicidal. 

I brought all of this to my gynecologists' attention. I was hopeful to have some answers, but instead of providing me with confirmation that I'm not crazy and I do in fact have PMDD, she brushed it off and acted like I just had normal anxiety and perhaps my Zoloft was no longer effective. Mind you I was on 200mg, the highest dose of Zoloft. 

I left that appointment confused and defeated. I felt like maybe I didn't have PMDD and therefore, I didn't have an explanation as to why I called out of work once a month due to feeling completely depressed and unmotivated. I felt like I didn't have an explanation as to why I was impatient with my kids and my husband. I felt like there was something wrong with me that couldn't be explained medically. 

It's funny, up until today, when I sat down to write this all out I had not even checked to see if my cycle lined up with the time that I swallowed those pills and ended up in an Adult Behavioral Facility. Sure enough - it did. I was two days off my period and I was having a terrible episode. Sure, I had personal issues going on and I had life stresses but doesn't everyone? Everyone doesn't swallow pills in an attempt to escape from their own mind. Everyone doesn't snap at their friends and isolate themselves once a month. Everyone doesn’t feel completely helpless and alone once a month. For up to two weeks. Like clockwork. It’s like waiting for a crash to happen. Just waiting to ruin all the good things in your life because your emotions and moods take over.

My stint in the behavioral facility provided time for me to reestablish my relationship with God. I may not have an official PMDD diagnosis yet, but I know that God would never have created me to experience such mood imbalances and life-altering symptoms. I know I have PMDD. I don't need a doctor to tell me that. All of my symptoms and tracking proves it. I'm getting an IUD this month to hopefully mask some of the PMDD symptoms, but I don't expect it to fully "cure" me. Now that I have a self-diagnosis of PMDD I can better prepare my mind when that dreaded date pops up on my calendar. I can pray more. I can make myself be around friends. I can recognize that the way I'm feeling is not me, but a disorder that I will not let take over.  Through my strength in God I will overcome this storm! And you can too!


Unknown said...

Hmm, I wonder if I should look into this. My depression and mood changes so much in the week and a half to week before my cycle. I'm on a very low dose of zoloft but often times feel like I need more around then. Definitely saving this to talk to my doctor about.

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