It’s really hard for me to ask this, even on a fairly anonymous board… Okay, obviously I have some issues here, but that’s for my therapist and I to work on. Anyway, I just absolutely have to know the answer to this question. Sometimes-- not always, but this month it was especially bad-- I’ll have horrible, all-consuming anxiety before my period. The minute, and I mean the SECOND, that it actually starts, the anxiety will completely vanish. What EXACTLY is it that causes this???
The only thing I can say it that it is a hormonal thing. Before I started Depo shots (and stopped having menstrual cycles) I was the PMS bitch from hell - I even disliked myself. I would burst into tears for no reason at all, and the entire time I was crying I knew there was no reason to be crying, but I couldn’t stop it. Once my period started, I was back to my good natured self for another three weeks or so, then it all started over.
I don’t have any answers for you, but I can commiserate. Hubby tells me he can usually tell when I’m due to menstruate, because I start fixating and having panic attacks over the most inane things. I’d be interested in finding out if anyone else has this, and what it’s related to (besides the obvious, hormones).
Yeah… I was sort of hoping somebody knew more specifically EXACTLY what was going on… but thanks for the thoughts.
Problem is, nobody is really sure what causes it:
I hate making “me too” posts but yeah, me too. Don’t know what causes it, but I’m guessing it’s 'mones. Just wait it out or, if it gets really bad, take something for it. We just have to suffer until they figure out the cure for being female.
Just in case it wasn’t clear from Gfactor’s post, the name given to this (assuming it’s not something else–which it may be–IANAD etc.) is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD (as opposed to PMS).
Now those links are interesting. I hate to self-diagnose using internet resources, but it’s interesting to see that there might be something beyond “It’s just PMS” (as one doctor told me) to this whole thing.
Might have to see another doctor about it, because the one constant for me is that it’s been getting worse over the last few years.
I don’t know what causes it, but I experience the same thing. It’s one part of the whole PMS package for me, which also includes inordinate clumsiness. (I drop things, break things, and have literally walked into walls and doors.)
And don’t get me started on the MUST EAT POTATO CHIPS rage that descends.
I have had PMDD for years. Many women with the condition take antidepressants/antianxiety meds for 2 weeks out of the month for relief. Some of my symptoms include insomnia, forgetfulness, clumsiness, and of course moodiness.
I hate PMS and it’s variants, I really do. Such a nasty stereotype that a woman would be under the control of her hormones, prone to rages and weeping at random. Ugh. :rolleyes: So maybe that’s one good thing about menopause, anyway. Only 10 more years of this crap.
It sounds like your concern is greater than this, but I’ll share it anyway just in case it can take the edge off or minimize some symptoms; I find that Evening Primrose Oil and avoiding the usual food triggers plus a little more sleep keep me from being unmanageable, but that only goes so far. I’m still clumsy, misspeaking and somewhat dazed and giggly. Not to mention a week of low-grade fever which gets worse as the years go by, ticking toward menopause.
I also find that far too many employers downplay any difficulties associated w/ a woman’s cycle, especially female HR people.
I hope you all will consider this question somewhat related to the OP - I gather that taking birth-control pills non-stop (avoiding the 1-week skip in the normal 28-day regimen) causes a cessation of the menstrual cycle, with from what I understand no proven additional complications (this from listening to a recent NPR segment). Is there a reason, besides the obvious ones of trying to get pregnant or being philosophically opposed to the Pill, that this wouldn’t be the chosen course to take to avoid PMDD altogether (or the milder PMS)?
The short answer is - it doesn’t work that way for all women. When I was on the pill, even when I skipped the sugar pills and just kept on going with the hormones, I still ended up menstruating every few months. The same thing happens now that I’m on the (semi)permanent form of BC known as the implanon birth control implant. One of the effects of that form of BC is that it may cause the menstrual cycle to cease. For me, it doesn’t. So I end up with a pretty random cycle, with all of the associated peaks and troughs but none of the handy regularity to allow for planning.
For some women, it works and I’m sure they use it as their own method of controlling their hormones. But unfortunately it’s pretty much a case of “try it and it might help, if not see me in the morning”
And some women just don’t want to or can’t take oral contraceptives. Women over 35 who smoke, for example. Some women have weight gain or other undesirable side effects. They’re not for everyone.
I agree with the poster who said diet (specifically less caffeine and salt) and extra sleep can help- I’ve found they help me quite a lot.