Mondays are rarely pleasant for those of us who work your basic 9 to 5. Today however I find myself in the pleasantest of moods. I am not entirely sure why.
Let me take this moment to tell you that I am about to start talking about my period. If you don’t want to hear about that, please skip the next paragraph, the image and the paragraph right after the image….and the paragraph after that—you know what? Just skip this blog entirely to be safe. 🙂
I started this months torture session yesterday afternoon. As is always the case, it didn’t become “heavy” until today. I never bother tracking my periods, but I tend to know when they are coming. Firstly I tend to get rather emotional the 2-3 days leading up to it. Friday Gandalf and I got into a explosive argument over something so stupid I can’t imagine why I was so pissed. Literally, thinking about it right now I just can’t figure out why I was so angry. I cried the way home, pounding on the steering wheel and screaming in anger at something he had said that now after a distance of time seems petty and really not worth that severe level of emotion. Next I get cramps, before any appearance of red I begin to get that lovely sensation of knives stabbing into my overies. Finally comes the deluge, and for the first 2 days I am in constant pain even with midol. Not just cramps, but lower back pain, fatigue, and super tender breasts. It is not a pleasant experience. And the first 2-3 days and those first 2 nights as well are filled with a constant fear of ruining my underwear.
The strange thing however is that on the second day of the actual period part, I tend to be in a happy mood to rival the bad mood of the previous days. Despite the cramps, despite the pain, despite the discomfort, I tend to be happy, silly, even outgoing. It then levels/mellows out after that.
Like today, I find myself in a happy almost silly mood. It is a rare time when I actually seek out people to talk to. Most days at work I tend to keep to myself in my office and only talk to people if they venture into my office for some purpose, or I need to speak to them in relation to work. Today, I will actually start up conversations whereas normally I’d keep quiet. For example getting my morning hot cocoa in the break room I started up a conversation with one of the fabricators from the shop. I initiated it. I wasn’t just responded to someone talking to me, I started talking. And it wasn’t just a “hey, what’s up?” or “hey how are ya” polite question.
Bi Polar runs in the family. Because this kind of stuff happens at the same general timetable around that time of the month I am pretty sure it is PMS. Everyday Health had this to say:
“PMS can cause wild, uncontrollable mood swings in some women, who may go from crying spells to angry outbursts and anxiety attacks, then back to a stable emotional state — all in one day.”
Now a lot of people refer to that time of the month as “PMS” and it is a running joke among most people to say something like “must be PMS” when a woman (or a man sometimes) is being moody. But PMS actually stands for Premenstrual Syndrome—”pre” as in “before.” All women tend to have a bit of moodiness, who wouldn’t when they know the floodgates are about to open. But on some PMS is major drastic mood swings far beyond the norm, and I am beginning to wonder if I may suffer from the more severe forms of PMS than the average Jane.
The most common emotional PMS symptoms are:
- Feeling nervous and anxious
- Alternating sadness and rage
Irritability? Anger? Oversensitivity? Crying? All checked off on Friday for sure, when I got extremely angry over something that just wasn’t a big deal, and came close to almost ending a decade-long friendship over it. Yup. But wait… that is just normal PMS!
“Between 3 and 8 percent of menstruating women have an even more severe condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). These women become seriously depressed a week or two before their periods.” (my emphasis).
Seriously depressed a week or two before their periods.
Last weekend I spent the entire weekend in bed. I didn’t want to do anything. Didn’t get dressed, didn’t go out, barely ate, slept almost the entire time. Now I don’t know if my depression counts as severe, but I am thinking it does not. I didn’t cry or get angry, I did get easily annoyed at my mother a couple of times, but just feeling empty was the extent of my symptoms.
Today, the first full day of my period, I feel good. I spent this last weekend actually cleaning my room, I even went out when my dad invited me to go to Tractor Supply with him yesterday. Today I feel happy despite the prospect of taking my car in to the dealers to get a potentially expensive (read: $600+) fix (doesn’t include the cost of the oil change and emissions test I also need, and the cost of renewing my vehicle registration) and spending 2+ hours sitting in a garage waiting room without my precious iPad.
I’ve been quipping back and forth via email with a coworker, I engaged another coworker in conversation, I made a witty and sarcastic remark to another, and was generally happy and outgoing, and I look forward to my trip to the dealership and those 2 hours because I brought a sketch pad and pencils. I’m looking forward to drawing. (Though that could be anticipation of getting my new iPad that hasn’t shipped yet aaaarrrgghh!).
At any rate, the point of this rambling blog is… I think I have some kind of more severe form of PMS, and if it is truly a week or two before their periods, that means I am being depressed pretty much 2 out of 4 weeks a month.
My therapist isn’t a medical professional, she’s a counselor, I’m not even sure she has a PHD. But I may bring this up to her next week when we meet, and see what she thinks.
As a final note I will say that my periods have always been more painful than the average (either that or I have a low pain tolerance, but I don’t think that is the case). When I was in high school I passed out once from the pain and was sent home. After a visit with the doctor I was told to try Aleve and if that didn’t work to return for prescription pain meds. I took the Aleve and it worked a little, but I’ve always disliked the idea of taking medication, perhaps due to a fear of dependency or addiction, so I’ve made do with that or Midol and just suffer through it. I don’t know if these very painful periods have any correlation with the severe mental symptoms. Or even if PMS could be the culprit for my mood.