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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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Voices of PMDD, Bearing our Crosses

My marriage of 15 years is one in which my wife has only in the last five years realized that this "might be PMS," and only discovered the identity of PMDD in the last two years.  In hindsight, I can see elements of PMS or PMDD even in our dating relationship but over the years we both attributed those elements to something more akin to an assertive personality.

After the birth of our last child, a time that coincided with some family financial distress, she began losing her ability to hold on to reality.  Whatever the first cause, I am losing my ability to hang on too.

Her statements speak of great, deep darkness.  She can see no hope.  She speaks of a switch that goes off and on but she is often unable to identify that it is on PMDD for several days.  By then much damage has been done.

As honestly as I can assess the situation, I am not an "unsupportive" husband.  I have learned, however, that support is not usually offering solutions.  She mostly needs someone to listen and be present with her.  Being present, though, means reminding her by my mere presence of the multiplicity of faults and results in my being berated and hearing about how I have made everything hopeless. 

I try to serve but in these times everything is wrong including what I might choose to do to help.  I have gotten to the point where my mind is swimming and I cannot focus on anything much at all in or out of PMDD time.  She has a switch, I do not.  She goes back to normal and wonders why I am so moody.  In her better times, she is sympathetic and apologetic.

We are both working on it.  She is trying to find solutions; I am trying to stay close as long as possible and take as many blows as I can without crumbling.  We are both bearing our crosses.


  1. I"ve tried everything....and been to 4 different gyn's. If your wife wants it to go away, try the progesterone only pill. If she doesn't want to do the pill, the best thing is to avoid all caffeine.

    1. I'm concerned that progesterone would make my symptoms worse.
      I have oestrogen patches. It's not working anymore.

    2. Hi, Lisa, Have you considered biodentical progesterone capsules? Or natural progesterone cream? I'm thinking you should be using one or the other with your estrogen patch anyway, just in the 7-10 days before your period. At any rate, with the capsules or cream you would be able to control the amount that goes into your system, and so you might feel more comfortable using it. I have a patch, too, and I have both capsules and cream, and, oddly enough, I find too little progesterone worsens my symptoms, as does too much, so I work with the combination of capsules and cream to find the right dose at the right time. It's a daily process, and each day is different. But that, to me, is better than taking the same dose daily and hoping it works. Talk to the doctor who prescribed your estrogen patch. Maybe that needs to be adjusted as well or instead. Up or down. It could go either way. Our hormonal balance is that delicate. Work with the two and see if that helps.

    3. I have mirena coil with progesterone in and the patch.

      I've just been given a shot of GnRH to see if that helps.
      I want hysterectomy.

      I've heard a good and bad things.

      It can shorten my life but I can't live with PMDD anymore it is destroying my life.

  2. I want to know more about the progesterone pill. I have severe PMDD and it's killing my relationship with my husband. My heart goes out to the gal whose husband wrote above. I understand because I know how damaging it is. You become a monster, a person even you don't recognize but you have no idea why. Every month it's the same old thing until the period hits and the fog lifts. It's like being drunk then sobering up to realize all the damage you did while you weren't coherent of it. It's awful!!! Last month my husband threatened to leave me so I know it's time for a drastic change. I gave up caffeine, I've tried all kinds of diets, exercise .... You name it. Problem with pmdd is that this dark depression creeps in and all you want to do is eat your feelings and sleep. So it's almost impossible to motivate yourself in times like these. The flip side of depression is anger. Anger that comes from nowhere, you just feel it. You look at your partner and you just feel annoyed by everything-- and it's not their fault. In most cases they aren't doing anything wrong. It's the person with pmdd who is feeling out of control UNWANTED feelings. Explaining pmdd isn't easy because you never know (from day to day) what symptoms will surface. I believe it's based on the minor stresses of life in that period of time. The minor stress that normally would roll off becomes giant mountains to face an everything else feels hopeless. My husband tries to limit the stress factors two weeks prior to my period actually hitting (when the fog lifts) but it's really not his "cross to bare" it's mine! I have to change and I want to except I have no idea how. It's scary to have this disorder and it's scary to see how it affects those around you. I feel like I'm always doing damage control- every month!

    More research and help would be appreciated to help us women cope with this problem. It's not just PMS, it's bigger than that and we don't like it anymore than those around us.

  3. I have copied this for my partner to read.
    At least he may be able to try and see that it's not me. And I can't help it.
    I'm trying to but mostly, it's out of my control.