Hello and Welcome!!

~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
Moving into the holidays, I am focusing on posts about positive things women with PMDD can do to strengthen our relationships with our loved ones.
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If you're looking for information on a particular topic, just type that word in the search box. You will then pull up all posts that include information on that subject, assuming the search box is working, which occasionally it is not. Sorry about that. I have no clue why that happens.
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I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Voices of PMDD, A Partner's Perspective on Seeking Treatment



I have to start with thanking everyone for reading my last post. It was great to know that my post hit a chord with so many.
Liana asked me an interesting question – does my partner know she suffers from PMDD?
The simple answer is yes, but I think she subconsciously would prefer to forget that PMDD-driven events happen. One of my greatest struggles has been the lack of empathy received during and after PMDD episodes – just part of the PMDD zone, I guess.
How black have I been?
I wrote the following during one of our PMDD episodes:

Do I care anymore?
I don’t like being hurt, but it is also pointless being in a relationship where I don’t get what I need. This can only lead to frustration. I am being made to feel worthless every month. As I’ve been warned, that comes with a substantial mental health cost. There is only so much you can put up with, and I think I am there now.
So, plan from here? I’m an exhausted man. I’ll just avoid her, and give myself space to think about if I can handle things any more. There is no point trying to directly reconcile, as she will just want to fight.

One of the pieces of feedback I received from my prior post was asking what we had done to try and treat the PMDD. I couldn’t fit everything into my prior post, so I thought I’d cover it here.
My partner has found it challenging to seek clinical help – to do so requires her to speak to outsiders regarding the details of her moods etc., that she knows are challenging (you are making me shove pills down my throat/they are making me fat/you are making me tell strangers about how crazy I am).
I completely understand...and yet, I
definitely end up with a sense of hopelessness - if she had diabetes, there would be no doubt she'd be accepting of medical help. 
However, with my support and encouragement, we have certainly explored this space.
We first went down the SSRI route. I’ve no doubt this helped, but the side effects became frustrating for both of us.
We sought specialist assistance after that and some hormone type medications were prescribed, one of which was Cyproterone, but it was really a disaster. We only lasted a couple of months – the side effects were horrific. The most accurate description would be that she was in the PMDD zone for two solid months. It is almost impossible to describe how awful you end up feeling as a partner when she is constantly angry and you can't do anything right.  You end up suffering from sleep deprivation from wondering just what has gone so horribly wrong in your relationship. What makes it even worse is she has no ability to understand the impact her behavior is having on you - there is absolutely no empathy. 
I ended up as a burnt out mess.
Where are we today? We are retrying vitamin type supplements, as well as making diet changes. Caffeine seems to be a bit of a problem – one of the many tips we’ve picked up from the Rushing Woman’s Syndrome eBook, which describes the “biochemical and emotional effects of constantly being in a rush, and the health consequences that urgency elicits.ˮ
So things are quite calm at the moment – and my own blackness has gone. Until the next time.

3 comments:

  1. You are an exemplary partner. I commend you.

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  2. I would just like to say that I am guilty of this lack of empathy while in the PMDD Zone. It is hard to describe, but I can stare a hole right through you and Just. Not. Care. About you, about me, about anyone or anything. I feel dead inside, and the only reaction you are going to get out of me, if you get one at all, is rage or tears. Perhaps others will comment if they experience this symptom, and can help to explain what it feels like to them. For me, it is driven by a deep sense of hopelessness and apathy. The feeling that nothing matters, so why even try? Of course, none of this is true, but this is what my PMDD brain is telling me, and I've said it before, it's very hard to argue with your own brain. In fact, it's exhausting. It doesn't leave much room for dealing with anyone else, no matter how much you care for them when you are not in the PMDD zone.

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  3. I met a wonderful girl and the first 2 weeks were amazing. Then the PMDD kicked in, which is when she told me about it, and the next week was just like this - "It is almost impossible to describe how awful you end up feeling as a partner when she is constantly angry and you can't do anything right. You end up suffering from sleep deprivation from wondering just what has gone so horribly wrong in your relationship. What makes it even worse is she has no ability to understand the impact her behavior is having on you - there is absolutely no empathy." She ended up breaking it off with me and still spent the next few days pointing out all the mistakes I made. It seemed to be all my fault. After a barrage of texts consisting of f-bombs I had had enough and shortly after asked her to not contact me again. I wish she would stop drinking a pot of coffee everyday and start taking meds...but I think she's in self denial and doesn't realize how bad her PMDD has gotten. It seems only I received the brunt of her anger. I don't know. I still pray for her and remember the amazing girl from the first 2 weeks.

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