Lately I’ve been feeling down. Beyond down actually.
I haven’t felt this bad for years. For a couple days I thought I was falling into a major depression but now I think it’s actually just stronger PMDD symptoms than I normally deal with.
I’ve mentioned before that I have PMDD. I was diagnosed in high school and put on zoloft for a while because the depression symptoms that came with it were so bad it was hard for me to control my mind for half the month. I hate being drugged so I eventually figured out how to exist without drugs with the help of exercise, healthier eating, therapy, and just dealing with the stronger depression and anxiety that rolled around every month.
This time I haven’t done a great job with any of those things. For the last week or so I’ve been fighting the depression and anxiety and losing.
Since I haven’t exercised regularly in a month or so (has it been that long?) and haven’t been eating well, my symptoms are worse than I’ve dealt with since high school.
I’ve been overly anxious, depressed about everything, avoiding people I love (or picking fights with them), eating out of control (which only feeds both the anxiety and depression), tired all the time, unable to sleep or even to care about much at all.
In short, I’m a mess right now.
I know why this is happening since I’ve been diagnosed before and logically I can clearly see what is happening to me. But inside it’s hard to get to that type of meta thinking when my brain is working this way.
Sometimes it helps me to go back to the information on the internet to remind myself that I’ve got a real diagnosed problem and I’m not just crazy for feeling like I do. Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom, and here is what I’m dealing with now:
- Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
- Fatigue or low energy
- Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of tension or anxiety
- Feeling out of control
- Food cravings or binge eating
- Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
- Panic attack
- Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
- Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
Um, crap, right? No wonder I’m a mess.
Other than anti-depressants which I’m trying to avoid, my options are a healthy lifestyle and therapy. I’ve done both and they usually help a lot. Normally the symptoms aren’t nearly this bad. Since I’ve been eating like crap lately and not exercising beyond a couple bike rides last week it’s pretty clear to see why I’m feeling the way I do. Exercise is my prescription but lately I haven’t been taking my medicine.
It scares me though, to be like this. After my half-sister Toni lost her battle with depression I always get really nervous when I notice these types of feelings and thoughts creeping up in myself. I loved her but I don’t really want to go out like that. At least I know in the back of my mind that with PMDD at least the symptoms will pass in a week or so and if I’m careful they won’t get this bad again.
Still, I get worried.
Right now blogging is part of my therapy. It’s reminding myself that this will go away and I get to bounce back to feeling what I consider normal and happy.
I just have to wait this out and remember it’s not permanent. Then I need to get back to doing what will make me feel better and have a better experience next month when my crazy hormones declare war on my body. Exercise, better food, and therapy it is. Wish me luck. ;)
This is a bit of a downer/vulnerable/scary post for me. It helps to get this kind of stuff out and work through what is happening so I can fix it and move on. No mean or negative comments will be tolerated, just a heads up. I appreciate all the supportive comments though and even just those of you who read. It means a lot so thanks!