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Twilight, Travel, and Treats

Reflections of a Twihard on all things twilight, travel, and treats.

It is dark and dreary outside today in Vancouver. Inside my chest I feel the same way. I feel so empty inside it honestly doesn't feel worth living. I have nothing in my life that should be making me sad. In fact I should be celebrating a healthy marriage, two children who've decided to clean their rooms today, a vacation to Asia in less than a week, and a day off tomorrow. Absolutely nothing wrong in the least.

Then why the fuck did I curl up in a ball this morning naked on the bathroom floor before forcing myself to take a shower? The answer of course is this is the reality of bad PMS. Technically the emotional irrationally depressed part called PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). You know I don't usually get all doctory on my blog but today will be an exception.

PMDD is very common. Severe PMS and the teasing that women are bitches during "that time of the month" have become cliche yet there is truth to it. It's no joke when you want to crawl into a hole and die or that some women actually become psychotic.

This is a chemical balance that is worsened by hormonal changes. It is a time when coffee isn't enough to get you going, your husband and kids irritate the hell out of you, and your happy pills don't seem to be working. The tendency towards mood disorders but specifically PMDD is strongly inherited. Good that my mom finally told me last year that she went through the same thing too before she finally had the hallelujah of menopause. Women with PMDD also tend to become much more depressed or anxious during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Okay obviously he doesn't have bad PMS but
you look up despair and New Moon you get naked Edward.

I'm writing this post to hopefully help some of you out there who may be going through the same thing. I am lucky enough to have the medical insight to acknowledge that indeed I feel like crying all day today because of PMDD. Even that is still not enough to actually make me feel better but it helps me take a deep breath before I yell at the kids. Also having had this every month since I was a teenager also helps me figure out what's going on.

The hardest thing is that no one can reach the conclusion that they have PMDD except the woman suffering because the man who suggests that you're having a hormonal day will have his head or balls ripped off.

What can you do to make it better? Well realizing you are having it is the biggest step. If you don't know you're just really hormonal then your husband who was an angel yesterday will suddenly irritate the hell out of you just by breathing and you won't recognize why. Getting out of the house and forcing yourself to exercise on those specific days (even though you don't even want to get out of bed) will help take the edge off.

Find someone to hug you super tight

Mr. TC knows now that for me the best thing is I will spend the whole day asking for really tight hugs from him and the kids. Sometimes his hugs heal me and push away the feelings that I am falling apart. I spend the day tickling the kids and seeing them laugh also helps me forget the nasty feelings.

Lastly I have to state that I have patients that I put on antidepressants just for the one week of the month they gave PMS. The rest of the month they are regular happy people. Or I have patients who are already on antidepressants and are doing well but bump up their dose just for the week before their period up until their second day of bleeding. Totally depends on what pattern their mood diary has shown the last two or three months. Yes I think it's a good idea for my patients to keep a mood diary with their period days, sad/happy score, and irritability score.

Off to run away with Rob now

Okay sorry for the medical rant but it's cathartic and helps me focus the negativity into something sort of productive.

How are the mobile blogs working out? So far these are the iphone app icons I've got.

I am hoping for more twilight bloggy icons guys. Since I am sort of on vacation again very soon I'm actually offering if people want me to help them set up their mobile blogs I'd be happy to do it. All I ask in return is a nice thank you :) And if you ever get to meet Rob you have to bring me with you.


Anonymous said...

This post was awesome..and I am so glad you shared. I have e-mailed you my experience with this.


Jelena @ Twiholic said...

Excellent post. I used to have horrible PMS - my breasts would swell up, I'd feel bloated, jumpy, irritable and you know. It is mostly that tense feeling in the lower stomach that was making me feel so irritable and edgy. So, when I fell pregnant for the first time, I was feeling like that constantly. I was totally surprised, and I was sooooo uncomfortable in my own body. But then, at 9 weeks I had a miscarriage, and that changed my menstrual cycle completely. I don't have such bad PMS, I don't bleed as much, it's shorter, and not as painful. Really interesting. The second MC changed nothing (I feared it would change it back, LOL).

I researched a bit on the net, and saw that magnesium and zinc are very good at mellowing down PMS, so I eat a lot of peanuts *which I know is rich in magnesium) during that time. :D

Jelena @ Twiholic said...

@Mrs.P. - Email? EMAIL??? Oh, you sneaky bitch. :p Silly me, I thought that's what comments were for!

P.S. Just in case you don't realize, I am joking. Not everyone is as comfortable sharing everything like I am. I totally get and respect that. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to jab Mrs.P. a little. :D

Twilight Mommy said...

Excellent post Dr. Cupcake! A lot of people suffer from this! Thanks for posting about it hun xoxo

As for mobile blogs... Just wondered if you'd help me with mine hun? I'm usually VERY technologically with it. But this one is bugging the hell out of me! I just can't get it. Let me know if you can help xoxo

Dangrdafne said...

TwilightCupcake please don't ever feel like you can't post something personal. You know me, I always think if I can help one person with a post, then I will post it (you've already seen my long ramble about the Going Bonkers article). I love that we all feel comfortable to post more than Twilight and Rob - it is a nice change of pace and it helps us get to know each other.

I have always had horrible PMS and no one would listen - except when I yelled of course - and even the pill didn't help although it did alleviate some of the physical issues. Then the pill gave me problems and now I am back to feeling like I am in high school with my cycle - horrible PMS, acne, cramps, massive flow, and I don't know what to do because other than the PMS/flow days I feel better than I have in years, without the pill. So Dr. Cupcake and any others: What are some other prevention options that I can implement (not what he can do as he isn't hearing any of it)? As you might guess, abstinence is the prevention technique at the moment. Thanks for listening.

smartEpantz said...

Thank for sharing this TC! I won't go into great detail, but I have alot of experience with this starting back when I was very young (I think like 15ish, but I got my period for the first time when I was 10. Yes, 10.) and it manifests itself physically as well as emotionally. It has also gotten worse after both of my children were born, and I had severe postpartum depression after my last delivery.

Like you said, the best thing that helps me through it now, is that I know what the hell is going on, I'm not crazy, I'm not really gonna stab my husband in the neck if he swallows to loudly or whistles while he shaves, and in a few days it will all be over...til next time.

I appreciate your Doctoryness!
Feel better. :)



NibbleitPattinsonakaNebilet said...

I really enjoyed reading this, I love your Doctoryness, I'm used to it at work anyway and you're always really helpful, oh that you were my quack TC. Anyhoo I've had PMS since I was 14, with violent mood swings, it got a little better after children although post natal depression was a killer. Hysterectomy will hopefully take care of it although they're leaving in my ovaries so i dunno...

One boyfriends mum told him there was no such thing as PMS and I was making it up, I was vile with it you see. My poor hubs understands so do my boys i apologise all the time for being snappy and really weird...it is not joke when you know why you feel bad and treat people like shit but you can't help it, its beyond your control, no wonder women have been known to kill...

Hugsssssssssssssssssssssssssss for you xxxxxxxx

twilightcupcake said...

Thank you all for your empathy.
@Mrs. P thanks for the email dearest. You all know where you can find me in private if you need a chat right?

@Jelena - yes pregnancy can change periods for the better or worse so I'm glad that at least your periods got a bit better. The magnesium and zinc do help some people but I hadn't thought of peanuts before - I'd probably opt for the chocolate covered kind and gain massive amounts of weight.

@Twilight Mommy - yeah for getting your mobile site up! It does look awesome. I'll have to make a mobile network badge of some sort that is universal so it's easy to see as soon as someone goes to the blog on their phone

@Dangrdafne you definitely fit in that category of "doing well except that time of the month." The acne and bloating and other physical stuff is harder to deal with except watching for good nutrition and exercise. Some people will swear by doing more sauna that time for the bloating but it makes acne worse. For the mood moderate exercise (like must go shower after) 3-5X a week has been shown to have the same mood benefit as Paxil 10mg so it is definitely helpful. But I do have some people who stay on the pill until age 52 depending on cardiac risk factors.

@E - I am glad you've recognized what's going on. It definitely comes with bad pp depression - I think I actually went psychotic for a few hours every once in a while after my first son was born. Didn't admit it at the time but looking back on it I think I was in a very dark place but didn't tell anyone. Thanks for sharing too.

@Nibbles I'm glad you aren't sick of the doctors since you already have them all over you at work. The periods will go away of course but with the ovaries still there hopefully you'll avoid all the hot flashes etc for a while and also it's better for your bones (depending on your age you'd have to go on hormone replacement therapy).
I hate it when I hear people say that PMS isn't real or depression isn't a real disease. Anyone who has been there will tell you the truth and that when you are chemically/hormonally not well enough to be less than a 5/10 on mood (you know where you feel almost like not being alive) that only meds will help and no amount of counselling works. Thank god PMDD only lasts a few days of the month.

BiteME!!! said...

Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life. It's hard to do. It certainly helps one feel less alone. You are brave to put your fingers to the keyboard! I would just bake some crap and eat ALL OF IT! Hugs.

Twired Jen said...

I agree with Mrs. P, this post was awesome. Although undiagnosed, I believe my Mom, Sister & myself all suffer from PMDD. I have always felt that my moods were much worse than my friends, right before their periods.

NST Boyfriend always feels the wrath. Last night I went on a rampage, hence my lack of being on twitter or blogging. I was just too irritated.

My mood gets better once I start. I'm about to...literally... any second. I just powered down about 3 whole wheat/honey pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Mmmmmm.

My temporary fix for PMS and or PMDD, is a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine and darkness. It helps calm me, at least until I go on another rampage.

Thanks for sharing Cupcake! It's a relief to know that I'm not the only one, and hearing this from a Dr. is that much more insightful.


Stan said...

Good post :o). I've never had bad PMS as such that I've recognised, but my periods have always been irregular and my hormones all over the place. I'm not too bad now, but in the past I've had the most awful rages that I recognised afterwards were due to hormones, I used to hit Mr Stan and throw things regularly. I'll never go near the progesterone only pill again anyway!

Honolulu Girl from Trueblood Twilight said...

Well, I've definately battle some form of severe PMDD since having my two girls. I even tried going YAZ to see if that would help with the bad mood swings that I would get (I mean, throw a fork and stab my husband mood swings) and all that did was give me severe migraines instead for a year. I had to have a cat scan, and then go on migraine medicine. What a mess, now I'm on no hormones (freaking scary) but I'm trying to use diet/and exercise to curb the mood swings/migraines.
I also talk it out with my husband and when I feel my blood pressure rising, I say it verbally to him, and let him know that I'm about to scream and throw something. At first he thought it was funny, but now, he understands and usually talks me through my mood swing (which can happen in a split of a second) and he difusses me like I was a bomb.
It's exactly what you said, recognize it first, then work through it, and I firmly believe 1000 percent/Exercise and diet helps.
Thank you for sharing.

twilightcupcake said...

@BiteMe - this blog has allowed me to share a lot more about myself than I ever would. Despite talking about this stuff all day at work I don't usually talk about it in my personal life. Thanks for the support.

@Twired Jen I recently discovered how soothing it is to just soak in a bath. Honestly never had the inclination before because I still hate the getting out and freezing my ass off part. We know you're feeling down when you don't post and twitter.

@Stan glad to know you aren't throwing things at him anymore. I often feel the urge to do that on my bad days but end up screaming into a pillow instead. Less damage to the house and family.

@HG Yaz is theoretically supposed to help and was hailed as a miracle drug. I've had it help a few people but not most. Sounds like you've figured out what helps you - that's great.

mmMoxie said...

thanks for such a great post. Whoda thunk we could get medical advice on a Twilight blog. I love all my twistas! (twilight sisters)

I don't get depressed, just bloated and more cranky than usual. A hug from Mr. Moxie would be nice but he always tells me "nobody hugs Mr. Moxie. They strap themselves in and feel the Gs"

MissAmyJoon said...

Thank you for sharing TC! I'm not sure about this whole PMDD thing for myself. I have really bad periods. Like, really bad. It forced me to see an OBGYN a few years ago. No offense TC, but I don't trust doctors much. My doc was ok, but the end result is my periods are a little better, but are still very painful at times. As far as emotions go, I'm a very emotional person in general and have some anxiety issues, so it's hard to tell. Sometimes I'll feel especially out-of-sorts and remember my period is coming up. Anywho, thanks again. People need to talk about it more.

twilightcupcake said...

@mmMoxie. Glad you don't get that sad and it's funny about the Mr. Moxie quote. I really try not to get all doctorish on here but I needed this post just as much as I thought others would. It was cathartic for sure.

@MissAmyJoon - no offense taken. I deal with people not trusting us all day. I work in a part of Vancouver which is really into alternative health so I'm used to it.
Yes people need to talk about it more. I have a whole slew of questions about the painful periods so feel free to email me if you want to share more or get more info from me.

sparkle for twilight said...

The whole point of having a blog is so you have an outlet, I'm glad you posted your thoughts and shared some insight in an honest way. I hope that some people that feel this way will also be able to share talk about it to someone. These days when I read about depression and people who deal with it on their own in harmful ways, I wish they had someone they could have talked to, whether its real life friends or virtual ones.

Dangrdafne said...

@SparkleforTwilight - I couldn't agree more. Support whether from real life friends/people or internet friends/people makes all the difference. Just reading someone's funny comment on a blog can change my whole day and I find that amazing and I am very grateful for it. Sharing our thoughts is the best way to get through life and I am thankful I have a great group of people with which to share my thoughts :)

twilightcupcake said...

@sparkle - much agreed and thank you for your support. It's true if you can't vent on your own blog then what's the point? See Mrs. P's rant blog - I love hearing the stuff she puts on there.