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Anger, rage, frustration... and chemical imbalance. (long) Please help.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm at my wits end today... This is a first, for me... I just feel like I need a shoulder to lean on for a minute, and some wise words.

Some stats: Dd's 6 weeks from her 3rd b-day. She co-slept the first 18 mo and decided she liked her bed better (a crib I painted to look like an abacus) tho she still gets in bed with us for snuggling, cartoons, and nursing every morning. We gd, practice cl, we're CLWing.

I've been diagnosed with PMDD.

Ugh... it's my week. It's been an especially bad one, chemically. I can usually tell the difference between myself and my chemically-driven responses. I do my best to walk away when I am hitting critical mass. I was on low-dose prozac for about a minute, some months back, when I was first diagnosed... (PMDD sufferers take it for the 5-10 days before their period to control the behavioral/mood-based symptoms, which really can have severe effects on relationships, etc)...too expensive and didn't feel like it was necessary enough to warrant the expense. This week, I'm questioning that decision.

Dd's had another developmental surge... complete with sleeplessness, frenetic activity (dh and I both also have been diagnosed with ADHD, we manage it very differently, and I can't help but to watch dd for ticks), explosive outbursts, 'personality-play' (this is what I call the donning-of-someone-else's-personality-to-see-what-it-feels-like, which dd has been doing a lot lately, details to follow...), and some serious (for her) acting out.
  1. She just, 48 hours ago, figured out how to scale and jump from the top of her crib rail... (I tried taking off the rails and letting her have a 'big girl' bed for her 2nd b-day, but she fell out so much, dh insisted we put 'em back on for awhile...)
  2. After a trip to the potty, she was very quiet (too quiet!) for about 3 minutes and when I peeked into her room, she had swiped dh's lotion off the counter and covered her whole naked body in thick yucky lotion that I'm allergic to and makes her get a rash... ugh... bath-time!
  3. She dropped a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet and flushed it, coming to get me with a "Mom, the toilet paper is wet, now..." That was a clean-up...
  4. After we had a friend over for the morning, on Monday, she donned this friend's very frightening behavior and has been trying out for days... This friend is 5 and her parents are out to lunch; this kid is a textbook snap-shot of RAD, she's developmentally not even close to where a typical 5yo would be (I have provided care for her a few times, she's crazy every time, her parents have never mentioned any behavioral or chemical imbalances...) and I'm sure her experience of how WE do things is something! But I can't bear the sight of Prenna modeling this kid's facial expressions, no-boundary behavior, total lack of respect, rude, toxic baggage. She's not being asked back...

Dh is training on a new job, after closing his business, money is tight, and he's re-scheduling all kinds of things (that may or may not be pre-arranged things that were important to me) for job interviews to find something that he will like better than the job he's training in. So he's been pretty unavailable, and I'm feeling like single parent with a room mate I rarely see... Suffice to say he's not actively engaged inparenting right now, much less available to 'spell' me in a crisis (real or chemically-driven).

I've lost my composure this week, completely, a few times... The final straw was after a lengthy scene this morning when she climbed the rail (dh was too tired to take off the rail, last night, and I didn't know how, after the first couple of times the other day...). She agreed that it's not safe, the rail keeps her safe, and climbing up could result in big hurts.

I said we practice cl... we practice it, but still are working out the best ways to implement the environment in our home... that said, we still use a consequence/privaledge approach: certain accomplishments (like going to the bathroom on her own consistently) are celebrated with privaledges, for example by getting to chose a movie to buy, and when she wants to watch it; while certain behaviors (like throwing toys in anger) result in consequences, for example the toys are put up out of reach for the day or more, depending.

I asked her what privaledge she thought she would lose if she continued to be unsafe. She said the Diego movie. (her all-encompassing fave movie and fave privaledge...)

At nap, she climbed up and fell out, I heard the loud thump... and I ran in and found her looking sheepish, and I snapped. I was so scared she might've hurt herself, and so frustrated... and then this blinding red rage lit me up and I could feel my face burning... I yelled. I yelled loudly "We just talked about this! You could have really hurt yourself!! It really scared mommy!!" I ran down the stairs, grabbed the movie, showed it to her and threw it in the trash saying "Do you remember this morning, what privaledge you would lose if you continued to be unsafe? YOU made this choice, dd, you CHOSE to be unsafe, and now the movie goes!" She started to cry. I was so angry and hot, I was afraid of saying (yelling) anything more, or hurting her... I picked her up, plopped her into her bed, stomped out, and slammed the door... walked into the office to think, process, calm down... I realized how awful that whole scene was... and went into her room, turned on the light, took her out of bed, tore the bed apart til I could get the damned rail off myself (which was much easier than I had thought... took about 3 minutes), and hugged her for a long time, showing her that her bed is now a big girl bed, she might roll out, but she won't be falling form 4.5 feet up, and having her practice getting in and out a few times... she clapped her hands and said, "I won't get out of bed like that anymore, mama! I'm sorry! I like my bed!" She promptly went to sleep, and I came into the office again, to pour out my guilt and get some guidence... I am fully crying.

I just called dh and told him... he said "You didn't do anything wrong, honey!" But I feel like I did... and I don't know if that's just the PMDD or if I really did drop the ball, and if I did, how do I adjust or compensate fo it?

Other suggestions for ways to deal with these overwhelming feelings of rage??

Other suggestions for CL ways to deal with my super-smart, extremely agile, articulate almost-3-yo??
post #2 of 11
I'm sorry you're struggling so much right now...

I don't have time to go into the details on much of what you wrote, right this sec, but about the climbing out of the crib - I think at 3 it's just simply, she's ready to be out of the crib. I know you tried taking off the rail but the bed is still high, right?
I think the answer is, get a twin-sized mattress, put it on the floor, and then de-clutter/child-proof the rest of the room, and then work with that. If it's a question of safety, it's not right at 3 to put that on her, she's not doing anything wrong --you just have to make sure she can't hurt herself while she's resting alone.

I hope you get good advice on other points. I like your term "personality-play", I see that in my 4.5 year old and I know, it can be so unpleasant to watch.
post #3 of 11
I don't think there is enough punishment or threat of punishment to make this safe for her because she's too young to have the maturity to understand the consequences of her actions and to be able to control her impulses sufficiently even if she can. The crib needs to be gone and right now. Put the mattress on the floor. I understand it means a lot more supervision and it is hard to have her loose but getting hurt in the fall from the crib is a more serious concern.

If you need to be on Prozac to get over this hump I would really not let cost stop you. There are now generic SSRIs available and you should be able to get it for around $20 for the whole month. I would really view this as the first step to getting in the place where you can deal with the rest.

Is there anyway you can get some time alone this weekend?
post #4 of 11

I am sure that it will get better. Your DH will get settled in a job and be more available...I wonder if your DD is missing him? Did she get to spend more time with him before?

My DH started working more hours a couple months ago and my DS started acting out. We are really trying to get him as much daddy time as possible and it really seems to help.

3 and 4 seem to be the tough years, also. My DS (4) pushed our cat out of a second story window a couple days ago. There is concrete below the window. DS comes and tells me about it like it is the FUNNIEST thing ever...I lost it!!! I couldn't find the cat for a while, and I was imagining the worst. I totally freaked out on DS. The cat is okay (down to 8 lives!!)

I can totally relate to what you are going through. Being a mom really is the toughest job ever!!
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
The thing about PMDD is that after the worst day (at least for me) it passes quickly and then I'm bleeding and I'm solidly back to my usual self... The way that prozac feels (even tho it's just for a week) makes me FEEL off, medicated, slow... I just don't now if we can justify spending even $20 for what only lasts a few days... if I could be a lone, it'd be better... to meditate, etc...

Definitely going to try to get some along time... any naturopathic or holistic ideas?

I think you hit on something, dubfam... dd has been resonating some serious angst at dh and being really sassy with him... no kisses, ignoring his requests, etc... Good insight.

As for her having a concept of safety... I guess maybe I've been expecting too much of her, in that respect... I taught preschool (18mo-4yr) for a number of years, and it's the dialogue I was/am used to using with this age... but conceptually she likely can't be counted on to really adhere to it...

Thanks you guys.
post #6 of 11
I would check the prices. It may be as low as $10 for an entire month's supply. And, it sounds like you only need to take it for a few days do it may be two or three dollars for what you need. I don't mean to sound harsh but you feeling a bit slowed down sounds far preferable to feeling rage to your child.

B complex helps many people with PMS. Regular exercise and lowering anxiety would be good too.
post #7 of 11
I would HIGHLY recommend the book "Women's Moods" - it talks about PMDD and other chemical based issues. It also talks rationally (IMO) about a good self-care program and options for when self-care doesn't work.

The NURSE program in the book might help you a lot:
N = Nutrition and Needs - attend to your nutrition, in particular, limit fats, sugars and caffeine; eat protein, complex carbs and fruits and veggies.

Try adding alpha-omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., fish oil or flaxseed supplements - just make sure to get them from a source that doesn't have mercury, such as Nordic Naturals). They recommend 3,000 to 6,000 mg.

Needs - it sounds like you haven't had the chance to attend to your own needs. When your dh is very busy, how can you incorporate time for your emotional needs? You need downtime to rejuvenate. I'm a lousy parent when I'm overtired and stressed.

U = Understanding. Reading, understanding talking about your PMDD (which it sounds like you've got a good handle on).

R = Rest & Relaxation - how/when do you have time to recover?

S = Spirituality - again attending to something bigger than the moment

E = Exercise. Self explanatory.


I think you also need to have a serious conversation with your dh about co-parenting. Humans were not designed to be the sole care-givers for a child (or anyone). Yes, I realize a lot of stressful things are going on for him, but he may just need to put those on hold for a couple of hours and take your dd to the park so you can take a long bath.

If you're able to implement all of these things, they might well help you regulate your PMDD. If they don't and you're still getting these 'flashes' of anger, then I would reconsider meds. You can get a generic SSRI and have minimal cost. And it's better for your mental health and your dd's than volatility.

I have PMDD (and had PPD), and have chosen to be on a low dose of an SSRI all month. I found that just taking it the week-10 days before my period didn't do it for me, because there is a cost to starting an SSRI in terms of how you feel. I'm on meds partly because dh and I are not currently able to schedule our lives to give me as much down time as I actually need (I'm an introvert in a profession where I'm "on stage" a goodly portion of the day). I'm hoping that in a year or so, when things hopefully calm down at work and the kids are a bit older, I'll be OK off meds. But for now, that's the lesser of two evils.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I would check the prices. It may be as low as $10 for an entire month's supply. And, it sounds like you only need to take it for a few days do it may be two or three dollars for what you need. I don't mean to sound harsh but you feeling a bit slowed down sounds far preferable to feeling rage to your child.
B complex helps many people with PMS. Regular exercise and lowering anxiety would be good too.
It's not harsh at all... it's the truth. And you delivered the message with respect and empathy; thank you! You're totally right.

You and Lynn both hit on something else, too... theself-care/exercise piece. Conicidentally I just shopped the local (like 2 blocks walking distance) women's gym... and am planning to get a membership. That and the added cost of actually filling the prescription will cause me to have to wrok my business a bit more, which in turn will make a little more dough, and dh is amenable to making sure he's available to dd... even if he gets uppety sometimes.

Lynn, I loved the NURSE thing... poignant!
post #9 of 11
I totally understand why you don't want that drugged feeliing! I recommend "the Mood Cure" I swear just reading it helped me with my PMS!
post #10 of 11
(Heading to bed.) I agree, mattress on the floor. Essential fatty acids. Check out the Parenting and Rage thread,
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=394579

Bach flower remedies, and the

Natural Cure for Depression threads in Health and Healing. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=195601

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=394579

Here are several links about Bach Flower remedies. They are all natural, safe remedies for stress, upset, fear, depression, etc. You can select those that are best for you based upon reading about each one or taking the quiz as the remedy finder. You can choose up to 5 or so and mix a few drops of each in water and sip as needed, or take straight in the midst of a situation. These do not replace other alternative therapies, but they can help address acute situations. We use classical homeopathy and it is a holistic health alternative that addresses depression or anxiety also.

http://www.ainsworths.com/remedy/default.aspx

http://www.transformationaltools.com...nder/index.php

http://www.naturallythinking.co.uk/p...dyfinder.shtml

http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/remedies.htm

http://www.bachflower.com/38_Essences.htm




Red raspberry leaf tea, Chamomilla tea, Kava Kava, Peppermint tea all are useful calming herbs.

Cod liver oil, flax seed oil, Acidophilus, Calcium, Vitamin A (natural not synthetic) and Magnesium all help the body utilize the sex hormones more effectively. Magnesium is low in most Americans, during menstruation and postnatally. It is hard to get enough Magnesium from food. Chocolate is high in Magnesium.

"Peace & Calming" is an aromatherapy for a relaxed mind and restful sleep. Lavender for calming effects.

I don't know about acute homeopathics but I have seen Pulsatilla and Kali Phos mentioned for female hormonal changes: PMS, PPD.

Exercise, even 15 minutes of walking relieves depression temporarily.

Epsom Salt baths, but not late in the evening as it has a rejuvenating effect.

Evening Primrose has helped me too. Progesterone supplementation is important to consider after age 35.

Increased protein and fluid consumption is important to my mood stability too.

Counseling has also helped me to put the past into perspective. Kids have a way of not knowing that they are pushing your hot buttons and childhood issues can rear up strongly.



HTH, Pat
post #11 of 11


I've been on Prozac in the past, for depression, and I found that I needed to be on it for several weeks, and deal with lots of side effects, before I had any benefits from it. Is it really effective if you only take it for half the month, or would you need it all month long to have any benefits?

I'd try taking 5-HTP instead- it has far fewer side effects, and works MUCH faster than Prozac. I found that it started helping within a few hours, vs Prozac that took weeks to help.
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