I think I’ve suffered from severe PMS if not full-blown Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) since I was a young teenager. I always dreaded the weeks before my period, but it never occurred to me that the extreme up and downs I experienced every month weren’t normal. I always felt shame about menstruation, so I never honestly discussed my misery with anyone.

By the time I was in my 20’s I realized that my hormones were affecting my mental health, but I didn’t yet realize that my period was the cause of my mental health issues. It wasn’t until I was 35 that I was finally diagnosed with PMDD.

The relief of having an actual answer after so many years was huge, only because I now know there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, each month and that I am not actually 100% insane. My crazy has a two-week life-span. It will come back again and again.

PMDD can be devastating, yet it seems at times like no-one wants to understand or care. Unless they’ve been there or somewhere similar, it’s so hard to make others understand. It’s not an excuse or a crutch. If  I turn down an invitation or an extra shift at work, or a chance to see a once in a life-time thing, it’s not that I want to be a buzz kill or reject you or your invitation. It’s just that I can’t. I know it’s hard to understand how this switch flips on and off and changes who I am from one nano-second to the next 2 weeks at a time, but I’m tired of defending my decisions. Tired of defending myself. Tired of saying no, over and over again to the same request, from people who think if they just give me one last chance to change my mind I’ll magically feel better. I’m tired of feeling like people judge me and think if I just did this or that, everything would be fine. Please understand I want to be part of your life, but sometimes I need to be alone, or at the very least, in my personal comfort zone.

I know I’m needy. I need quiet time a lot. I need alone time a lot. And I need some-one to talk to a lot. That the paradox of mental illness right there isn’t it? And then there’s the stigma. The stigmas of PMS, hormones, and mental illness, all wrapped up into one neat and tidy package. PMDD.

I’d like to unwrap the package and take each stigma out one by one and smash them. Maybe that’s the PMDD showing its violent side (because extreme anger can be part of the package). Alone time can be a good thing sometimes people, a good thing but these stigmas can make it feel impossible to speak up sometimes. I’ve been stigmatized into so many different pigeon holes in my life that I just can’t sit by quietly anymore, I have to speak up. PMDD doesn’t define me or make me a less valuable member of society.

If you think you might be suffering PMDD, severe PMS or any mental health issue, please know your not alone (figuratively. If you want to physically grab some space, have at it. We can chat later). Since I’ve opened up about my PMDD, I’ve found a lot of support on-line, hiding in shadows just waiting to be found. It makes me wonder how many other woman are hiding in their bathrooms afraid to reach out, not sure who will understand or where they can turn for non-judgemental support. If that’s you, hiding somewhere wanting to reach but are too afraid, I want you to know you should. out. It sucks that sometimes you have to go find them, but there are people out there that care, and most of us seem to feel better to know we aren’t alone. Come and find us (pssst. Facebook and Twitter are great places to look) and know that you aren’t alone either. We’re waiting for you.



Wannabe's are Guest Authors to BLUNTmoms. They might be one-hit wonders, or share a variety of posts with us. They "may" share their names with you, or they might write as "anonymous" but either way, they are sharing their stories and their opinions on our site, and for that we are grateful.

1 Comment

  1. Sorry, didn’t have a colicky baby but my friend and neighbor did. Your article actually made it funny. But of course, as I said, I did not have a colicky baby so I can laugh.

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