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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
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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, Rest in Peace

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.