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~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, March 8, 2015

PMDD Tales from the Front: Hitting Rock Bottom

I have a favor to ask… a gentleman has written to me asking What does rock bottom look like?
His story is in the comments section of my post Dealing with PMDD - Advice for Men.  His wife is in denial about her PMDD, and in other posts I have written that the denial is part of the PMDD, while guest poster Cat Stone added that often you have to hit rock bottom before you seek help.
My rock bottom was in early 2009, when (due to the onset of perimenopause) I realized I was spending more days in PMDD mode than not.  I didn’t like myself, didn’t like who or what I had become (basically a sad, unmotivated recluse) didn’t like feeling so freaking sad for what seemed like all of the time.  I knew I had PMDD, but I was convinced I could beat it with positive thinking and mind over matter alone.
So I went to my doctor in tears, and asked for anti-depressants.  She obliged, but a few days later the PMDD cloud passed, and I put the anti-depressants away (for good), and started my PMDD research in earnest.  The result was this blog, which I started in 2010.
Others, though, have reached a much worse low point before seeking help.
I hadn't alienated friends, family, or co-workers, because I tend to withdraw when an episode hits.  I am also a writer who works at home, so people are used to me disappearing for weeks and months at a time while I work on projects.  So I hit my personal low when I was alone in the house, and it didn't involve any sort of public meltdown.  My tears that day were because I felt like I was admitting to failure...admitting I couldn't handle my PMDD all on my own.
Admitting I had PMDD was never a problem for me.  I was grateful and relieved to learn the nonsense in my head had a name.  It was admitting I couldn't handle it without help that was my personal low.  I wanted to think I was stronger than that.
It turns out that I am.  But I wasn't on that day.
If you would share here when you reached your personal rock bottom, perhaps we can be of some help to this man asking for insight, and, I suspect, for hope …  at least enough hope to allow him to continue to stay in the relationship until his wife accepts that she has PMDD. 


  1. My rock bottom happened at the age of 24. I had dealt with PMDD for ten years prior, but never really understanding what it was or how to track it. It was the day that I looked around me and everything was a wreck. That day I ended up on the bathroom floor in a ball crying my eyes out. My husband at the time didn't understand. I was alone. It took awhile after that moment, but I started to find ways to help myself: counseling, hanging with friends, staying busy with things I loved to do. Now it's 10 years after my rock bottom and I still have to constantly remind myself to deal with it in constructive ways each month. It doesn't get any easier, but with what I've learned about myself and PMDD I have clarity on how to deal with it in the best possible way. I hope that this helps and that your wife finally comes to terms with what's going on with her because it really does make a person feel 10 times lighter.

  2. Stacey Elliott rock bottom equals losing interest in everything, things you even loved to do, even simple things as getting up out of bed. Rock bottom equals hopelessness. You can have people around you all day, yet feel no one is there for you or cares about you. Rock bottom means you want it all to end, just to stop the bad thoughts that keep going through you mind, yes, sometimes suicidal. Rock bottom can sometimes mean you don't even care enough to get up to go to work, since you feel worthless, it doesn't matter anymore, to keep up necessities. Sometimes with PMDD, you can have people there for you, trying to give you support, telling you they love you, but your PMDD self tells your mind it's all lies.....that no one cares and you aren't good enough. Those are my rock bottoms.

  3. Rock bottom for me was the ending of my love relationship. Our therapist has said to us six months earlier that if I didn't get help for my PMDD it would mean the end for us. Hearing that was not enough to galvanize me, but in July of last year my partner moved out while I was at work because she had reached the end of her line. Within two weeks I was getting help, but the relationship did not recover.

    Don't wait until it's too late. :(

  4. Banging my head against the tile in the shower and biting myself until I bled. Kicking a hole in the door and punching one in the wall. Attaching a washing machine. Throwing glass dishes out the second story window. Crying and shaking in bed for 3 days without showering.

  5. Rock bottom was deciding to take my own life! Rock bottom was not recognizing the person in the mirror. Surrounded by family & friends & nothing make sense. Rock bottom was my life disappearing.

    1. Rock bottom? huh? there are many and they vary in intensity as the hormones ebb and flow and the body is trying to find its new normal. Kudos to the husband for being to involved, thoughtful and resourceful, you sound like a great guy and I'm sure your wife is a good person also;however PMDD understands no rhyme or reason, so that is why you're so dumbfounded...this PMDD thing is ILLOGICAL and it will get better once her ovaries die (when she reaches menopause) there are a ton of things she can do to alleviate this hell and it might be PMDD itself blocking her to see where she's at. Like I said rock bottoms vary even with the same person, because hormonal fluctuations messing with brain chemestry is like that. My biggest rock bottom and the one that landed me on a therapist couch was when I looked at the person I love most in the universe and wanted to destroy him...I got scared shitless and thought I had gone crazy.
      There is help and hope, and it might not be your job (husband) to fix it, but just support while a solution is found...in the mean time keep on working on you and take care of your kids.
      hope it helps
      ps:( maybe gently suggest to her to read this blog, the light might go on once she sees herself in the stories here)

  6. I hit rock bottom last week when the day before my cycle began, a long walk on the beach with my fiance and too much alcohol at a nearby bar turned into a complete melt down over dinner. My depression and anxiety was washing over me like a wave, and when he changed the subject during dinner because I was becoming emotional, I exploded. I threw a letter and his reading glasses at him, yelling that he was a selfish man-child, when in reality, he is a very sensitive, sweet, and caring partner who has weathered many storms with me. He left our apartment in tears, and called my best friend, begging her to drive up to San Francisco from Southern California because he didn't know how to deal with or help me. I went to my therapist the next day, and she placed me on disability to deal with my PMDD...the depression, and anxiety, and to get some time off from my very stressful job. I don't know if I can return to my job, or if I will be able to pay my bills. I don't know when we will be able to afford the couples counseling we plan to go to. All I know is that he is still here by my side, my family supports me, and we have a plan...and I hope when my next cycle comes I can handle the intensity of my emotions in a healthier way...