Let's talk PMS/PMDD - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-05-2005, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never had PMS symptoms, until about 3-4 years ago (my mid-thirties)...then suddenly I was just absolutely raging during the two weeks pre-AF. I was half crazed without knowing why and just mean, mean, mean.

I finally talked to my OB about it. She diagnosed me with Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and gave me samples of Sarafem, which is basically a low-dose SSRI. I was hesitant, b/c I've taken Paxil in the past and really didn't want to have to be med-dependent again. But I knew that I had to do SOMETHING, b/c my family has suffered because of my monthly rages.

Basically, I only take the stuff for the two weeks before my period. I started it 4/26...I had a couple of days of intense dizziness but I have noticed that I'm MUCH mellower than I usually am at this time of the month...not such a beyatch and not in a constant state of being pissed off at the world.

My concern is the on again, off again nature of the dosing; Sarafem being an SSRI. Will my body become accustomed to it, or will I have to deal with the side effects (so far, just dizziness) every month when I start it?

Anyone have any experience with this? Have you tried alternative therapies? I'd love to know that I'm not the only one....

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#2 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm the only one?

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#3 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 12:25 PM
 
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My PMS has been getting worse over the last couple of years...but it hasn't gotten to the point where I've actively tried any remedies for it myself.

That being said I do know some women who swear by using evening primrose oil as a supplement. Essential Fatty Acids also have been clinically shown to help with this and any other ailment that is caused by hormonal imbalance.
Another thing that helps and is very healthy is raspberry nettle tea.
I also have heard reports that if you drink milk, switching to organic can help quite a bit.

Good luck!
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#4 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 12:55 PM
 
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I have never been diagnosed wit PMS or the like, but I have suffered from major depressive episodes on and off since puberty. I am not currently on meds, but my mom did mention the antidepression drugs two weeks on/off. She was working at a research complany at the time and they were showing good results. I know that in my past experience with SSRI's, there seems to be a lead time for them to build up in your system, so I never understood the on/off thing.

I did buy a bottle of Rescue Remedy. I bought it for my nephews rage episodes, but have ended up using it myself. Maybe it is all psychosomatic, but it does seem to keep my PMS rages in check.
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#5 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusionFusion
...I do know some women who swear by using evening primrose oil as a supplement.
I've used EPO for months and it only helped a little; but it did help.

I also use RR, but mostly for anxiety attacks...it doesn't seem to help a whole lot with the rages.

I just stopped the Sarafem and AF is here. We shall see what happens when I start it again in two weeks. I'll report back about the side effects.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#6 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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My PMS got worse after my child at 28. It can be pretty bad but it’s not usually 2 weeks long. Also, the mood change isn’t consistent. Sometimes I’m sad, sometimes impatient, sometimes pissy. I haven’t gotten to the point of considering any medications though.

What I’ve found is that dwelling on the changes of my cycle helps. My cycle seems to impact my life almost the entire cycle. First I’m horney and/or tired. Then I feel “normal” for a couple of weeks. The PMS comes and there’s some insomnia and antisocial stuff mixed in. Bleeding has its own issues like cramping and feeling heavy. If I go with the flow (no pun intended :LOL) and really indulge my urges it seems to help.

What I hate is how I can treat my family if I’m impatient or aggressive during the worst day(s) of the PMS. I hate that I can’t tell if it’s me or them, yk? I really hate that I don’t fully realize that I’ve just lived through the worst day until my period comes.

It’s interesting to me that you can take one of those meds just on the days that you need them. Is it possible to just take them 2 days out of the month? I would seriously consider that if they’re not habit forming. I got nothin’ against a little chemistry to make life better so long as it’s relatively safe, not addictive and not too corrupt.

Let us know how it goes for you, H.

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#7 of 17 Old 05-10-2005, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think that SSRIs are habit forming, ICM.

Here's the list of ingredients.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#8 of 17 Old 05-14-2005, 04:07 AM
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My PMS was nonexistent until I turned 20 - suddenly I became a raging b**** for 7-10 days every cycle. To the point that I cannot stand myself, and I give myself time outs - my fiance knows when I get that 'look' and go into the other room, to not follow me. :LOL Seriously, I scare myself sometimes. We use FAM, so usually we know when to expect it, but in the past few months I have had to take Lupron for surgeries. In between though, the PMS is rampant. I've just started some herbs (I'm already on Effexor for depression and have been for several years); so far I'm taking Vitex, wild yam, evening primrose oil, calcium-magnesium, B Complex and vitamin E. I'm taking a few other things but these are the ones I'm taking mainly for PMS. I also made an appointment to see a herbalist next month (I live in a small town that he has to travel out to, and he's booked solid most months). So I'm going to have him do a complete history of my gynecological health and have him prescribe exact doses of whatever he thinks will work. I'm hoping it helps! I won't know for a bit - I get another shot of Lupron in about 10 days - but it seems to get out of my system quickly, so I'm actually looking forward to the next round of PMS, to see if there's a change. I tried going back on BCP - took them as a teen and never had PMS - but it just made it worse this time. Oh, and I started a special pampering ritual this cycle - I'm on day 4 of a hellish period - of a hot bath at night, with chammomile and rosemary essential oils, lavendar instead of rosemary sometimes, and evening primrose oil soap I got at the health food store. I take in a big mug of red raspberry leaf or chammomile tea and sip it while I soak. It helps me chill out, if nothing else.

So yeah, there are other people like you out there.
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#9 of 17 Old 05-24-2005, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Back on the meds as of today...I'll keep y'all updated.

I actually checked the calendar yesterday b/c I could feel myself getting to that familiar, spinning-out-of-control-anger phase yesterday afternoon.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#10 of 17 Old 05-24-2005, 01:46 PM
 
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mine also lasts about 2 weeks. Im medicated for bipolar and for the week before Im basically as bad as my most aggrivated bipolar moments (no mania or depression - just aggro) The 1st week is like pms and the 2nd week is like pms on steroids. PMDD was talked about by pdoc, but the bipolar seems to get the blame for allot of it.
mine was late onset as weel, like when I had my 2nd dd at 25, thats when all my hormonal shit when screwy - I also had a tubal, Im sure that didnt help!
ps Im in the midst of it right now. every time the kids talk I want to scream.
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#11 of 17 Old 05-25-2005, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Day 2 - No dizziness or side effects so far...and I'm definitely much mellower than I was on Monday.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#12 of 17 Old 06-04-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Hey ladies-
I've got major PMDD myself
About 1 week before my period I get overwhelmed, angry, exhausted and depressed. I was dxed about 6-8months ago. I'm 34yrs old and I didn't get extreme symptoms til after my DS was born. I'm on Zoloft for general depression but I also use Calms Forte or RR when I need it to help with PMDD. I have a big list of things that help me through PMDD. I track my cycle and a week before my period's due, I post the list on the fridge. That way, I can see what I need to do and my DH is aware of what I'm going thru as well. That week he does more of the cooking, etc. And if I'm a royal bi&*^tch then he knows why. I really am learning to lower my expections for that week. I'm trying to actually celebrate that week as my week to slow down. I'm careful about what I schedule. I try to weave in more fun stuff for me and my DS. I make sure I have a babysitter at least 1x that week. I don't worry about the house. Being gentler with myself and my schedule is definately helping.
I hope this helps you. I'm glad you put this thead out there

Spiral Chrissy, loving my life treehugger.gifread.gifhippie.gif, Mama to DS bouncy.gif (8/6/03), wife to DH guitar.gif, and hoping for another little bean dust.gifnamaste.gif
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#13 of 17 Old 06-06-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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SpiralChrissy, that sounds like a good idea. I was reading this thread and thinking to myself, "omg, that's me!" And I really don't want to be on meds. (still staring at the bottle of lexipro) I was thinking how much is put on us and how much we place on ourselves as mothers/wives and we expect ourselves to do it all in record time. I was thinking about trying Yoga again, especially during "the week before." And making my to do list for that week a lot less intense sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately dh is at work 16/5, so he can only do so much. But it's worth a try. See skellbelle, you're not alone...not at mdc! :-)
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#14 of 17 Old 06-13-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Not PMDD but I have had nasty PMS forever. I have been on an SSRI for several years for depression so it probably helps the PMS a bit. I don't know if the SSRI is habit forming but I've never heard that they are. Maybe if you try the SSRI for a while and maybe work on your diet/exercise...you can get the PMDD under control and not feel like you need the med anymore.

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#15 of 17 Old 07-02-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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I haven't been diagnosed with PMDD, but I think if I got out to my OB I would be. After Abby, I got on Sarafem, not for PMDD, but for PPD. I've since stopped taking them about a couple of months ago, so now, you don't become dependant on it. I really do need to start tracking when I go into my rages, 2 weeks sounds about right. I may start taking them again just for the time I'm in raving bitch mode, it gets so bad for me I get worried I'll rage at DD. Then after the rage, I get depressed for a day or so, then I feel normal again. According to my doctor it is possible to take it just when you need it. Oh, also I never had any PMS symptoms untill I got off the Sarafem, after dd was born.
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#16 of 17 Old 07-11-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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High doses of B vitamins, especially b-6, help PMS. Calcium and magnesium are also great. Instead of taking an SSRI, you can raise you serotonin naturally with an amino acid, like l-tryptophan.
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#17 of 17 Old 07-13-2005, 02:10 PM
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Wow, I'm glad I found this thread!

I was diagnosed bipolar at 15. I assumed the diagnosis was correct and took medication for it. After years of hopping from one med to the other, I finally gave up taking all meds, went to therapy, took supplements and lead a healtheir lifestyle. Then, while TTC our baby, I took Clomid. All of a sudden, right before my period, my bipolar symptoms came back. I was irrational, emotional, unable to sleep, and angry. It went away right after my period came. I thought about it and realised every single "manic" episode had been during the days right before my period. I looked up some of the symptoms of PMDD and realized that was me!

I don't have major problems with every cycle, for the most part I'm symptom free. I think it tends to happen when my hormones get off balance and I'm very stressed. The thing that helps me the most is that I know it will be OVER in a few days. And, eating well is a huge help. I find that I feel a lot better when I say away from refined sugar/caffine during my PMS time. Which is hard, because usually that's all I want!
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