My name is Pam, and I have PMDD.
I am turning 50 years old this week, on Friday, and I am stoked to share that I am finally being treated for the disorder after 37 years of wonder and wandering.
My treatment began this past October. It took one last PMMD episode to finally get me to a doctor for help. I was about to lose my husband and everything that he brought and blessed me with since we met two years ago. It took one last binge with the bottle, one last outburst of uncontrollable rage and emotion, one last period of feeling hopeless, doubtful, fearful, and sadly having thoughts of suicide.
That Friday night I had no idea what was about to evolve.
The following weeks got me to my doctor of almost 30 years. I explained to him what happened and that I was just so exhausted from battling with this monthly experience. We talked, discussed a plan, and I left with prescriptions for eating better, exercise and medications.
Today I can fairly say I feel the best I have ever felt in my life.
It would take a few weeks before I would feel the effects of the medication. All I know is that I was hopeful for better days. I gradually began feeling better. After starting the medications, I was very curious to see what the outcome would be when my period came. What I can report from that month until today is I have not had another ugly episode of over-analyzing, and being overemotional, temperamental, anxious, impatient, worrisome, agoraphobic, sprinkled with uncontrollable crying.
What is interesting though, is that after six good months, I do sense the ugly beast is trying to surface its ugly head again. I have very slight periods of being anxious and temperamental with my husband at times when I am about to get my period or we are having a heated discussion, but what wife doesn’t have these periods? Right? 😊 Perhaps my body is becoming resistant to the medications. I have been seeing my psychiatrist every two months and will see him again to mention this. But ultimately, I feel healed and am allowing the healing to continue.
Years ago, I needed to understand why I was going through these monthly emotionally-draining periods. I turned to Google to look up anything I could find. That was back in 2009. Finally, I found the word PMDD and its definition. It was an “Ah Ha” moment. Since then I have been keeping up with the research and awareness that is beginning to emerge. Women are flooding YouTube with their PMDD stories. But most importantly, scholarly documentaries, presentations, and medical research are making progress with more understanding of the disorder. Now, PMDD is an official disorder, has international support organizations, IAPMD, Vicious Cycle, and this one, Me v PMDD, and has many warriors like myself sharing our stories to let others know about the disorder and how to heal.
I thank my creator for continuing to keep me on this earth even through several attempts to end my life beginning at age 14. Thankfully he was not done with me the three times I tried to end it all because of the uncontrollable life I was living. All along, I did not know this monthly visitor, “disorder,” or my PMDD episodes. The lifestyles I had chosen to live through my teens, twenties, thirties, and forties did not help. But now as I slip into my fifties, I am living my life with a side of happiness instead of melancholy. I believe this birthday of mine is going to mark how I have finally evolved from the caterpillar to the butterfly with the help of realization, medication, and support groups such as this one.
As my husband would describe it, I was a Ferrari in an old garage with inches of dust on it just waiting to be cleaned up. The best of me is yet to come.
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams”.
In closing, I want to share how I honestly have felt my purpose over the last several years has been to bring awareness to the young women who are clueless of why they may behave in ways that may be PMDD. My dream would be to visit as many high schools as possible across the country and bring awareness of this disorder. I would even document the journey of my purpose along with the outcomes. Who knows, It just might save a life.
From what I understand, the leading causes of death for teenage females is accidental death and suicide. Could this disorder be connected to any of those tragedies? Regardless, to be informed is key. As ecstatic as I am to finally see the awareness that is spreading like wildfire, I don’t think enough emphasis is being placed on educating our young women who may be silently suffering from the disorder. I am sure a young girl is breaking up with a boyfriend as I write this who will turn her sadness into hostile emotion and possible harm to herself or another. Because it is the week before her period and she can’t control these emotions nor has any clue of the disorder, we may lose her. I can relate to her, that girl was me.
And on that note, F*** YOU PMDD.
About the Warrior
I am a 50 year old woman who has been a victim of PMDD since the age of 13 when I had my first episode over the break up of a boyfriend. I tried to take my life and ended up in the hospital for a week. During my stay I got my period. Since then, month after month, this horrible disorder would visit me. Finally, the visitor stopped visiting. I am a successful professional leading a productive life with purpose and I hope my story can inspire others to stay strong and keep searching for their remedy. My remedy is medication, but there are many other options to try. Because I have found my remedy too late in life, I feel I need to continue on this radical course of therapy to keep from suffering anymore. I will not sacrifice one more month and allow the disorder to play with my hormones. This is me now. I am free of PMDD.