Hello and Welcome!!

~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
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, Rest in Peace

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Preparing Ahead for Your PMDD

Hello and welcome...today we have a fantastic guest post by Renell that was originally posted on Facebook.  I've chosen to add my two cents worth in italics (Sorry! It's the writer/editor in me!) so if it reads like two people are talking here, that's why.  Please feel free to leave any positive suggestions YOU might have for coping with/managing your PMDD in the comments section.  I'm sure we could all use a bit of help in that area.  Thank you for stopping by, and may this help you in preparing for the next time your PMDD comes around...

I now turn the keyboard over to Renell...

Hi, everyone!  I'll get right down to business: In recognizing a common theme in the comments on the Facebook PMDD loops I belong to, I'd like to offer some tips for support I've found helpful in my own therapy. We all know that every single month like clockwork our hormones will wreak havoc and PMDD will rear its ugly head. If you're anything like me, you suffer through it and once the symptoms subside you're so glad to feel normal again that you forget you have PMDD at all.

Or at least we want to forget!  This is one of the places where denial comes in...when the episode is over and we want to just pretend it didn't happen, so we don't have to deal with all the problems we created during the episode.  Unfortunately...

PMDD will remind you it's here to stay once that dreaded ovulation day rolls around yet again. Embracing this disorder means we need to accept its existence in our lives and plan for it.

I like that...embracing this disorder.  Might as well, because it's not going to go away.

Let's try to be proactive rather than reactive to our PMDD. Here are some ways you can plan ahead. These tips are useful whether you choose natural therapy or medication to relieve your symptoms.

1. Mark off the dreaded luteal phase on your calendar for the upcoming month so you know when the PMDD symptoms will likely begin.

2. Plan your activities around these days according to how your mood is likely to accept them. Make sure your partner knows what's going on as well so that he/she can help you with extra support.

3. Do housecleaning or laundry ahead of time. I clean the entire house the week before my luteal phase so that when I am in the PMDD zone I don't have major cleaning to be bothered with. It also helps to relax in a nice clean house.   I love this idea, Renell!

4. If you only take meds during your luteal phase and they take a few days to kick in, consider taking them a few days early so they have already kicked in on the first day of ovulation (Warning: Discuss this with your Dr. if you're not sure that this is okay given the type of meds you are taking)
5. If you are highly irritable during your PMDD episodes schedule time to be alone. Sometimes it's hard for us to be around anyone during this time. Don't feel bad for needing this and do whatever you can to carve out time for yourself.  (I added the bold).

6. If you are prone to getting depressed during this time, schedule time to be around supportive friends who can help. No sense in going through this alone. Calling a friend or family member over to simply talk in your sweats or pj's helps quite a bit.

7. Shop ahead. Stock the fridge with healthy foods like leafy greens, fruits and healthy carbs to boost your energy during this phase. You'll crave junk food and if you already have healthy food on hand you'll be less likely to drive through a fast food joint for a greasy salt, sugar, and fat-laden meal that will only make you feel worse.

8. This one is important: Lower your alcohol intake. Again if you're anything like me you'll start guzzling the wine in hopes that it will relieve your anxiety. I don't usually get drunk, just a glass or two at a time. But doing this every night for weeks is not a good thing and the alcohol can actually make our anxiety and depression worse. It can lead to alcohol dependency among other serious health problems. It also is dangerous to mix with many medications that a lot of us are on. I personally recommend that you stay away from alcohol altogether during your luteal phase. It's just not worth it and its effects are deceiving.

She's right, ladies.  Alcohol is a depressant, and when you're already depressed....sure, it makes you feel good and alive and dare I say "normal" for a couple of hours—maybe—but after that, our bodies pay in ways we can't even imagine.  Renell has addressed the obvious, the possibility of alcohol dependency and the danger of mixing your meds with alcohol.  But alcohol can also mess up your blood glucose situation and don't forget....when we're having a PMDD episode every negative thought is magnified many times over, plus...our brain isn't processing information correctly to start with. 
So why add alcohol into that mix?

Just think about it the next time you reach for that attempt at self-medication.  Try doing something good for your body instead.  Something you've prepared for ahead of time.

Okay, now it's your turn. What are some DO AHEAD ideas that have helped you plan for your PMDD?