Thursday, 31 May 2012

Support group downtime

I woke this morning unable to access my Family and Friends of PMDD group.

This is a little note to try and reach members who I have no other way of contacting.

I have not done a thing!  It must be a Facebook glitch as I have touched nothing.  The group is not available.  I am hoping it will reappear at some point.  I am really sorry for the inconvenience and in all my time running the support groups this has NEVER happened before which is why I am really concerned.

Day 29 today... I can't really deal with this today..  If the group has gone, I don't know if I have enough energy to set up another.   :(

Really don't need this....

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

PMDD - Advice for Men by Liana

The lovely Liana over at http://livingonaprayerwithpmdd.blogspot.co.uk/ has agreed for me to re blog a couple of her awesome posts on Men and PMDD.  I have never managed to write about this particular topic, mainly because my focus has always been to help women understand what is happening to them, so there is a bit of a gap in my blog about PMDD, men and relationships.  I want to rectify this, so to begin with, Liana's articles will help start off some more posts about Men and PMDD.  Obviously, if in a same sex relationship, this advice will still help partners of women with PMDD.

Dealing with PMDD - Advice for Men by Liana

I’ve spent quite a bit of time searching the internet for Resources and Advice for men dealing with a woman who suffers from PMDD. Unfortunately, most articles lump PMS and PMDD together, which does a great disservice to women with PMDD. In the comment sections of these articles both men and women express anger and resentment toward the women who experience true PMDD: the men claiming the articles give women a license to behave badly two weeks out of the month, and the women claiming the women with extreme mood swings give all women a bad name.

So, to clear a few things up…

20% of women suffer no pre-menstrual symptoms at all
80% of women suffer from some combination of pre-menstrual symptoms
20-40% experience moderate discomfort pre-menstrually
Up to 10% of women suffer from PMDD

This post is written for the men who have partners in the last category.

But before we get started, a quick primer on the differences between PMS and PMDD.

PMS deals primarily with physical symptoms. Bloating, aching, cramping, tenderness, fatigue, headaches, food cravings, and mild mood swings are the most well-known of the more than 150 symptoms possible. A little irritability, tension, sadness, weepiness, or any combination thereof is par for the course.

The major component of PMDD is mood swings in the extreme. PMDD actually affects your brain’s capability to regulate itself, and therefore affects just about every other hormone in your body. That’s not to say a woman can’t have the bloating, aching, cramping, fatigue, cravings, and other physical symptoms. If she does, it may well be that she suffers from both PMDD and PMS, and once she gets her PMDD under control, all she’ll be left with is some PMS.

Frankly, I think most women with PMDD would be happy to simply suffer some form of PMS. Because PMS is to PMDD what a headache is to a migraine. There is a distinct difference, and that difference is biological—not mental. The biology of PMS and PMDD share many similarities, but at some point they split into completely different paths. An explanation of that is beyond the scope of this post, but I’ll be happy to write about it some other time.

For now, it’s enough to know that PMS and PMDD are two completely different things.

That’s not to say your relationship won’t benefit from the advice in this post if your partner simply has PMS. But we’re not talking about PMS here today, we’re talking full-blown PMDD.

1. Both you and your partner should mark the time on a calendar when you expect her to be pre-menstrual. This can be hard if her cycle is not regular, but do the best you can to identify patterns. An explanation of my pattern is here, and can give you an idea of what symptoms to look for.

If your partner is in denial, and claims there’s nothing wrong with her—mark your own calendar separately. In many cases, the man can tell before the woman that she’s entering into her pre-menstrual phase, because he’s watching from the outside, while she’s busy trying to cope—either consciously or sub-consciously--with the unwanted changes going on in her brain and body.

Please note: There are women who are in complete denial that anything different is happening to them, and then there are women who know what’s happening, but “really don’t want to deal with this right now” because they are too busy to, and so they pretend nothing is happening, and they really aren’t feeling any differently, until it’s too late to do anything about it, and the episode erupts full force.

Determine which type of woman you are living with, and keep track accordingly. Apparently there are several applications available on the iPhone and Android phones to help you track her cycle, but an old-fashioned calendar will do just as well.

2. If she’s indicated that this is what she would prefer, try to stay clear of her until the episode passes. This has nothing to do with you, or her love for you. It’s simply due to her heightened sensitivity to any combination of the five senses. She literally can’t handle any more sensory input—be it bright lights, loud noises, touch of any kind, strong smells, or even certain foods. If a PMDD woman has allergies of any kind, they can be exacerbated pre-menstrually. If she has any another condition, such as arthritis, diabetes, or fibromyalgia, they can be exacerbated as well.

Even if she’s otherwise healthy, during an episode of PMDD a woman is literally is a walking bundle of nerves. Unfortunately for both of you, this heightened sensitivity and discomfort can be so distracting that it causes her an inability to focus on things like questions, requests, conversations, or simple instructions. (Now you know why she forgot to pick up your suit at the cleaners.)

Take the first one, for example: You have a question that requires more than minimal thought and consideration.
Examples would be:
Major purchases—car, appliances, maybe that boat/motorcycle/sportscar you’ve always wanted (not a good time to bring it up)
Health decisions
Financial decisions
Employment decisions
Decisions involving having or raising children
Vacation plans
Any change of routine or structure in your life

Why? Because during a PMDD episode a woman’s brain is not functioning properly. This has nothing to do with how smart or intelligent she is. This is her brain chemistry being disrupted due to the hormonal shifts taking place in her body. During a PMDD episode it can take all of her concentration simply to focus on the basics of getting through each day. If you come at her with anything resembling a major decision, it could overload her brain and cause a meltdown.

So if she asks for space during that time, please give it to her.

3. Be patient. Dealing with anybody on a short fuse can be challenging. If she snaps at you, or does something that irritates you, don't lose your temper and fight back. It won't do any good, and in most cases will only make things worse. Just (discreetly) take a deep breath, maybe say a prayer, and ignore whatever she just did that bothered you. Remember that she's not normally like this and she’ll be herself again soon.

4. Do not enable immature behavior. I’ve said all along, PMDD is an explanation, not an excuse. Being emotional does not excuse inappropriate behavior, any more than being drunk excuses offensive behavior. If she’s being immature, yelling, shouting, stomping, snapping, cursing, slamming or throwing things, don’t respond with your own immature behavior. She at least has an explanation for it—a biological explanation. What’s your excuse?

Stay calm and leave the room if you have to, until she settles down. Let her know you love her and you’ll be nearby, but you can’t have a conversation with her when she’s being irrational. Believe me, she knows she’s being irrational. But without conscious effort at awareness, she can’t stop herself any more than she could stop an allergic reaction. If you calmly point out that she’s being immature or irrational and say you’ll be happy to continue this conversation another time, things will settle down a lot more quickly than if you respond with your own emotional outburst.

5. Listen to her, even if she’s not making any sense. Try to figure out what the REAL problem is. If she’s complaining about something that’s never bothered her before, or doesn’t usually bother her, most likely what she’s saying is “I feel miserable, and there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’m looking for something else to change and hoping that will make me feel better.” This is a time of true desperation for her. She’s looking for anything, rational or irrational, that will make her feel better. This is a good time to suggest she take some time out for herself, maybe a hot bath, or a cup of tea and a good book, or whatever soothes her soul. Let her know you support her need to have a little time to pamper herself in whatever way makes her the happiest.

But beware of sending her out on a shopping spree. Retail therapy will only make things worse when the mood has passed and the bills come in.

6. Don't take it personally. During an episode of PMDD, you can count on her emotions getting the best of her, and she'll probably question your relationship. She might question you. Might question her whole life and everything she believes or stands for. This is normal and natural for a woman during an episode of PMDD. As mentioned in Number 5 above, she's feeling helpless, and sometimes when people feel helpless they look for other things they can control, and that might mean bringing up topics or suggesting changes that trigger your emotions. Your best defense against this is to stay level-headed and calmly say, "Ok, I understand." What you really understand is that you're still the same person she loved before her PMDD episode kicked in, and her change in perception of you and her life overall is the PMDD talking, not her. For more information on this, see my post It’s Not Personal – It’s Just My PMDD.

7. Be compassionate. Think about a time when stress or physical changes made you hard to get along with. Have you ever been sleep-deprived? Maybe you had an accident or were the hospital, and the chronic pain made you want to lash out at everybody. Put yourself in her shoes. Not only is she experiencing uncomfortable physical symptoms, but her hormones also ebbing and flowing, making it almost impossible for her to know how she feels or what she wants. Think of the effect testosterone has had on you, like when you get sexually aroused, or on any occasion when you felt aggression or rage. You remember how you felt caught up in the emotion, how it made you want to say and do things you ordinarily wouldn’t say or do. That’s what’s happening to her.

8. Be forgiving and reassuring. Her insecurities will definitely come up during an episode of PMDD, and with her heightened sensitivity, every negative thought she has will be magnified ten times over. If she doesn’t consciously stop the negative thoughts, they will flow through her mind in an endless loop. If you can get her to talk about them, fine. Some women won’t want to, because they know the thoughts are irrational, even while they are having them, they just don’t know how to stop them. Nobody wants to share irrational thoughts, and then remember they did so when the episode is over—even if the only one remembering them is her.

If she feels unloved and insecure, she’ll probably act out, which will make you not want to be around her, which will "confirm" her negative thoughts. Most women feel insecure about their bodies to start with, maybe even their lovemaking, child-rearing, housekeeping, or professional skills, and if they’re in any way insecure about your feelings for them, this is when that insecurity will come out. So try to give her a few extra compliments (and don’t be offended if she doesn’t believe you, or snaps at you for it), and—if she’ll let you (remember those heightened sensory sensitivities)--be more affectionate. If she won’t let you near her, don’t make her feel badly by taking it personally. Guilt is the last thing she needs when she’s feeling unlovable. Tell her you understand and you’ll be around if she changes her mind. That could well be all it takes to melt her defenses.

Take care, and good luck!

By Liana

Check out other PMDD posts by Liana at http://livingonaprayerwithpmdd.blogspot.co.uk/ 

If you would like tp join a Facebook support group for Family and Friends of PMDD, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/406176079407609/  and request membership.
 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Safer sunscreens for women and children.

As promised, here is the follow up to my article about the chemicals in sunscreen and what they can do to your body.  If you missed it, you can find it here http://meetmypmdd.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/what-women-should-know-about-sunscreen.html

The alternatives to wearing a commercial oxybenzone based sunscreen are mineral based lotions.

The safest mineral used in these products is Zinc Oxide.
Zinc oxide is a mineral that provides complete UVB/UVA protection, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered a safe sunscreen ingredient. Zinc oxide is the only FDA approved sunscreen for use on children under 6 months of age. However, the regular form of zinc oxide leaves a strong white residue on the skin. To create a clear skin product rather than one that leaves a white residue, zinc oxide is now made in the form of nano-size particles. (taken from an excellent article you should read HERE)
There is still some safety concerns around this new nano-particle, including the fact it can still penetrate through the placenta in pregnancy and is readily absorbed by the skin.  The effects of these nano particles are still being researched, but one to consider if you are trying to be extra careful.  It is however possible to get a micronized type of zinc oxide, that is clear and does not bring with it the same worries.

Check labels, read the ingredients and be sure of what you are applying.  Email the manufacturers if need be, or just don't buy anything that isn't clearly labelled.  Titanium oxide is also used in some products.  There is concern around the safety of this mineral, so I would advise you do some more research on this is you are going to buy anything containing titanium oxide.

Badger Sunscreens have a really useful information page on natural sunscreens.  I would recommend it.. their page on Zinc oxide and nano-particles is very interesting. http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-28-sunscreen-information.aspx.

Badger also sell a good range of products, all nano-free, biodegradable, UVA and UVB, and water resistant.  The range includes, SPF 16 aloe vera lotion, SPF 30+ scented and unscented lotion and anti bug, SPF 30+ Chamomile baby lotion, SPF35 Sport lotion, a lip balm and face stick.  You can find them all HERE.

Caribbean Blue Suncreen is made in St Lucia.  They are micronized and contain oils of coconut, sweet almond and botanical extracts of ginko.  It comes in SPF factors of 8, 15 and 25, for babies, sensitive skin and sport.  They also sell an exotic oil for those that don't tend to burn in the sun, aftersun and insect repellant.  They are stocked by The Natural Skin Company http://www.thenaturalskincarecompany.co.uk/brands-products/brand-1/caribbean-blue.

Other brands available include Lavera, Loving Naturals, and Jason.  All of which are pretty easy to get in the UK.

If in the USA, I found this excellent little article that gives you 21 brands to choose from.  It's well worth a look!  http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/natural-sunscreens-460608#fbIndex1.

Other ways to keep your skin safe is to remember to wear sunscreen or protective clothing if out in the sun between 11am and 3pm when the Sun is at it's strongest.  Clothes will not fully protect you from all the rays as they can penetrate through the material.
Staying the shade is always a good move, but don't forget about the rays bouncing off white sands, walls, glass and anything reflective around you.

I would advise you to have a little google and read through other articles.  I would also suggest you give the net a good search for deals or sales on these sunscreens.  Although not extortionately expensive they are still a bit pricer than the high street stuff, and you are unlikely to find them on 2 for 1 deals.  You may find other brands that are easier to get hold of where you live.

If you want to have a go at making your own sunscreen, here's a couple of links to recipes and suggestions:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278326-how-to-use-coconut-oil-as-a-sunscreen-deodorant/

http://coconutoilinformation.com/coconut-oil-homemade-sunscreen-recipe/#.T71CvFJqTw0

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/8-natural-ways-to-prevent-a-sunburn-and-sunscreens-not-one-of-them/#axzz1vj0w6orn

What women should know about sunscreen.

'Everybody's free to wear sunscreen'... Sorry Baz,... I love that song and although it's full of good advice, the one thing you are wrong about is the sunscreen!

It's funny when I have loads of blog ideas lined up, then one thought will lead me on a trail of research and reading and I end up blogging about something completely different.  I was sat in the garden this morning.  The UK is FINALLY seeing some nice weather.  The Sun is out, the air is warm, and everyone is feeling more cheery.

I found myself wondering about coconut oil, as I had read that it can be used as a natural sunscreen.  I'm at that point in the year when I will be looking for good deals on sun lotions to prepare us for the coming summer.  As I searched for recipes and information, I come across information about sunscreens containing oxybenzones.  All this info hit the UK news a few years ago, but I had obviously missed the info being released, or was just too busy with everyday life to pay attention.  The headlines were 'Sunscreens cause cancer' and everyone got all fired up about being one minute told to protect themselves and children in the Sun, and then being told that the very product they were using could have cancer causing effects.  Here is an article from the Daily Mail explaining what sun screens can do to the skin http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-134252/What-ingredients-sun-cream-health.html

Most sun screens available on the high street contain oxybenzones.  It is this product that soaks up the UV rays and allows us to stay in the sun longer.  Oxbenzone is an organic product that is traded under the names of Eusolex 4360 and Escalol 567.

This quote from Wikipedia highlights the controversy surrounding this as an ingredient in cosmetic products..
In the EU products intended for skin protection with 0.5% or more oxybenzone must be labeled "contains oxybenzone". This organic compound has been shown to penetrate into the skin where it acts as a photosensitizer. This results in an increased production of free radicals under illumination, possibly making this substance a photocarcinogen.[citation needed] This study concludes that "determining what, if any, type of damage is done by ROS generated by UV filters needs to be explored." This study is of oxybenzone and two other sunscreen active ingredients. Two years after the study this information is now reaching consumers,. Oxybenzone is a derivative of benzophenone, which can attack DNA when illuminated. It generates strand breaks and various photoproducts. Already in 1993 the use of oxybenzone had been strongly criticized, based on its similarity to benzophenone.
Oxybenzone can be found in a number of products, including lip balm, make up and moisturisers, especially if they have an SPF (Sun protection factor).  When doing a search for oxbenzone on EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, it returns 1171 products.  Environmental Working Group is a USA based site, but a quick scroll down, and I saw lots of brands I recognised.. Hawaiian Tropic, Avon, LaRoche, Vichy, L'Oreal, Blistex and Neutrogena to name a few.

So whats the deal?  Oxybenzone, although providing protection from sun burn, also effects other things in the body.  It absorbs easily, it also aids absorption, allowing other chemicals easy entrance through the skin into the body.  It can damage cells and can trigger allergies.  The worst thing about oxybenzone from a PMDD point of view is the fact it can upset the endocrine system, therefore cause or add to hormone problems.  It has been labelled as a 'hormone disruptor'.

Now, 'they' will have you believe that this is in these products in such a small amount that it will not cause any ill effects.. but what if you are re-applying this product repeatedly every day? As per government health recommendations.  Through the summer months, or if you live in a sunnier climate, you may plaster yourself in sun screen every day.  What if, on top of your sunscreen, your moisturiser, lip balm and make up also contain oxbenzone?  Is that still a small amount in the system?

As a hormone disruptor, oxybenzone mimics hormones, namely estrogen. It also effects the adrenal hormones.  It is claimed this is a weak effect, but what could that mean in someone whose hormones are already super sensitive?  As women with PMDD, we know that any upset to our delicate hormone system can cause massive impacts on our everyday life.  Some of us watch what we eat for this very same reason.. processed foods with unhealthy additives can also go towards making symptoms worse, so why not the chemicals we add through our skin.  Imagine someone who ate unhealthy foods regularly, used products that were full of these chemicals, maybe on the pill, or taking medications regularly... toxic overload to the body!

When they tested people in America, 97% had traces of oxybenzone in their system.  It has been linked to a low birth weight in baby girls, as it is easily absorbed into the mother's system and passes into the placenta.  I also need to mention that what isn't absorbed into our bodies, is washed into our water and absorbed into our earth.  This in turn causes hormone deficiencies in the fish that swim in our waters.. and who will be eating those fish?  The cycle continues.

There are also other ingredients you should try to avoid when buying sunscreen,  Retinyl Palminate is a source of vitamin A, and is sold as an anti aging product.  What they don't tell you is when in contact with the sun's rays, it heats up and breaks down, releasing free radicals which in turn INCREASES your risk of skin cancer.  Think of how many times your bottle of lotion is sat warming up in the sun, allowing chemicals to release from the plastic packaging and changing the chemicals in the cream.  Hence the 'Sunscreen causes cancer'  headlines.

Sunshine brings many benefits:

It helps to fight depression and SAD - sunlight is a natural mood enhancer.
It increases the body's production of melatonin and serotonin.  These are essential neurotransmitters which play distinct roles in regulating mood and health.  Sunshine also helps regulate sleep patterns by regulating the body clock, which in turn can help with a number of disorders.
Vitamin D helps to prevent cancer - When sunshine hits the skin, vitamin D is produced.  It also helps to prevent the development of various types of cancer such as prostate, ovarian, colon, lung and breast cancers.  Recent studies also show that vitamin D deficiency contributes to these types of cancer.  It also helps improve skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis.  Read more about vitamin D here, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php
It helps to improve sleep - Sunshine can help to regulate our body clocks, which then helps sleep patterns, depression and mood.

If you wear sunscreen, you effectively block all the goodness giving rays of the Sun.  Vitamin D will not be produced, as the Sun cannot penetrate the layer of sunscreen.  Add to that the chemical reaction that could be going on that is actually increasing free radicals into the skin and increasing the risk of cancer, and to top it off the fact that these lotions could actually make your PMDD worse, unsettle hormones and cause more stress on the body.

Look for these names on your bottle of sunscreen.  If they are there, your lotion contains oxybenzone:  BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOLMETHANE, OCTYL DIMETHYL PABA, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, RESORCINOL,BENZOPHENONE-3, 2-BENZOYL-5-METHOXYPHENOL; 2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYBENZOPHENONE; (2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYLMETHANONE; METHANONE, (2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYL-; (2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYL- METHANONE; OXYBENZONE(BENZOPHENONE-3) ; OXYBENZONE 6; METHANONE, (2HYDROXY4METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYL; B3; DURASCREEN; SOLAQUIN

If it contains any of the following names, it contains retinal palmitate: RETINYL PALMITATE, AXEROPHTHOL PALMITATE; RETINOL, HEXADECANOATE; RETINOL PALMITATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE;HEXADECANOATE RETINOL; AQUASOL A; AROVIT; OPTOVIT-A; RETINOL PALMITATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE

I decided to check the kids sunscreen I used on my 6 year old daughter today... yup.. it contains butyl methoxydibenzolmethane.  It actually contains 23 chemicals... some safer than others.

I for one will be looking into natural products and ways to stay safe in the sunshine.  I am lucky enough to have Anglo Indian skin, which tans but rarely burns.  I have used sunscreen in the past, but tend to prefer sitting in the shade or covering up with a scarf.  After discovering this, there is no way I will happily smother myself or my kids in this stuff again.  When there are alternatives out there, I think it easy enough to switch and not take the risk to my health, and to feel like I'm doing my bit for Mother Earth too.

Look out for my next post about sun safety and chemical free sunscreen alternatives!

More reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxybenzone
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/oxybenzone-sunscreen-ingredient
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/retinyl-palmitate-vitamin-a
http://blog.canceractive.com/tag/oxybenzone/
http://fishcreek.ca/blog/?p=109
http://www.ewg.org/analysis/toxicsunscreen

Sunday, 20 May 2012

10 days left!

.....to see my online exhibition!  Get on over there!

http://beingagoddessisanaturalbornright.com/the-awakened.html

and my article...
http://beingagoddessisanaturalbornright.com/a-little-of-this.html

Follow 'The Path' link to read all the other lovely articles and ideas included on the site. ♥

Much love to Being a Goddess is a Natural Born Right.

Friday, 18 May 2012

PMDD and accountability

What is accountability?

In a nutshell it is about being responsible for your actions.

I recently had a friend of mine email me for support because she was getting a hard time from other PMDD sufferers about a video she made for you tube about PMDD and accountability.
This lady was the first person I had found who offered a group for PMDD, a site of valuable information and support.  If it weren't for her, I would probably still be out on a limb, not knowing where to turn, along with many other women who found her site all those years ago.  She has spent years helping other women with PMDD, and stuck her neck on the line to talk about accountability.  A subject that is hard to discuss within the realms of PMDD, and one that raises hackles and gets everyone all jumpy.

PMDD can seem to control you and your actions... verbally and physically.  It can turn you into a 'monster', wreck relationships and alienate you from those around you.

The one thing that sets PMDD apart from other illnesses, especially on the mental health front, is the fact that we always return to 'normal'.  We realise that we acted out of order or said terrible things.  This is one thing that is the most difficult to deal with when in a loving relationship.  I recently described it as being whipped up into a tornado and then being dumped out the other side.

So, being accountable for you actions is one step further towards healing.  You cannot blame everything on the PMDD.  You cannot be a complete bitch to everyone who loves you and expect no one to get hurt, or to end up walking away because of things you've said and done.  Normal people without PMDD can get hurt too.

Yes, it's sometimes hard to control an outburst, or to stop yourself from doing something stupid, but ultimately, it is YOU who are doing these things.  You are not possessed by the devil, you are not schizophrenic.  It may feel like this, but you aren't.  You ARE responsible for your actions and what you say.

I remember watching this you tube video years ago, and feeling a whole load of mixed feelings.  On one hand I could agree that I should be held accountable for the things I did, but on the other hand, I was thinking... but I can't control it, it's not ME doing these things or saying nasty stuff, it's the PMDD me.... COP OUT!  It is me that allows myself to say these things.. it is me that regularly made every ones lives hell.. no one else... ME.

Realising that I have to be accountable, meant I began to try to curb my outbursts.  I began to realise that the innocent person in front of me who was only trying to help didn't deserve to have their heads ripped off cos I was having a bad day.  Sometimes, an episode was so severe, that I couldn't control it, but over time, I have learned that to heal PMDD and to allow others to love and help me, I absolutely had to find ways of dealing with my bad feelings.

We often take our stuff out on others, and sometimes this isn't even because of something they have done.. it's a past issue that is rearing it's ugly head, and is being channeled into rage for someone else... Often women with PMDD will experience people around them leaving due to the fact they can't deal with the abuse.  This then feeds the negative thoughts that you are not worthy of love, that everyone hates you or you are a bad person.  YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE, YOU DO DESERVE FRIENDS AND RELATIONSHIPS!!  but how do you expect loved ones to cope with abuse every month without ending up at breaking point themselves?

Being accountable means you must deal with the consequences of what you say and do.  It is a hard topic to get your head around.  It is even harder to fight the urge to destroy everything around you, but fight you must, if you want those people to stay in your life.  No one owes you anything, and in my experience, those that love you and understand, just want to help and see you happy.  They don't then deserve to have strips teared off them.  You can sit in guilt and regret, you can feel bad and beat yourself up and then do the same thing every month, OR you can do something about it.

Learning self control and self restraint is key.  Learning how to channel that aggressive energy into something other than an offensive outburst is key.  After months of damaging my relationship every month via text messages to my partner, that were abusive, nasty, negative, self defeating and unreasonable, we came to the point when we split.  That was the consequences of my actions.  Luckily, there was enough love and strength there to come back together after a break, but not without big discussions regarding what we both needed.  I needed more support.. how the hell I thought I was going to get more support by freezing him out and sending him nasty messages I do not know....  He needed the messages to stop, and for me to allow him to help rather than target him as an enemy.  That was a year ago, and thankfully we are still together and very happy.

Nowadays, I stay away from my phone on bad days.  I sleep it off, or find something to occupy my mind.  Occasionally.. and it is very occasionally, I slip up and a nasty text will wing its way to him at work...  I'm hurting for whatever reason, usually during a wobbly time of the month and I will want him to hurt.. except, I don't want him to hurt, I want him with me, helping, consoling me, but because he's not, I get angry and I may lose control for a second.  I always regret it and end up apologising straight away, but I run the risk of that text being the text that makes him walk away...

STOP and THINK before you allow yourself to run at the mouth.  Take a minute to think about how that text, status update or answerphone message will be recieved.  Does that person really deserve it?  Is there a better way to express the anger and rage?  Would it be better to go to bed, take a bath or go for a walk?  When you start helping yourself and controlling your PMDD, you will find others are more willing to help and try and understand.

If you still believe that you are not in control and that when a PMDD episode takes over you should not be held accountable for your actions then ponder this...

We often relate to feeling like another person, an evil twin, Jekyll and Hyde...  when we are in the 'other' state we may feel like we have schizophrenia... yet we do not have schizophrenia...
We are both blessed and cursed in that we do still have our right mind somewhere in there.  It may be clouded with emotions and negativity, but it is still there.  Unlike schizophrenic people who lose all concept of the real person they are and end up with a complete different personality for days or weeks, we always return to ourselves, often stronger than we were before.
If a schizophrenic person committed a crime, say, a murder.. does that mean we should let them off because they were not in their right mind?  If a women with PMDD did something terrible during an outburst, should they not be held accountable?  I'm pretty sure, in one way or another, that person would need to be sectioned or imprisoned,  they are a danger to society because they do not know what they have done....  Obviously this is a hypothetical example, but if the negative reactions, aggressive and abusive outbursts are not controlled then who knows what you could be capable of.
I'm not going to get into here about diminished responsibility and the times that PMDD has been used in court, but it has, and on those occasions, it is accepted that the PMDD caused the person to be acting out of character.  Those are extreme cases, and each would be looked into individually.  I'm sure no one would want to end up in a situation like this, so being responsible for your actions on a basic daily level is important.

You ARE accountable for your actions.  If you really feel you aren't, then the problem may be more serious than PMDD or your PMDD may have got so severe you really need to seek more help.  PMDD is not an excuse or get out clause for being a total cow to everyone.

And as a PS to the ladies that are leaving nasty, negative comments to my friend who has done SO much to help others with PMDD, check yourselves...  You talk of sisterhood yet leave messages that are offensive and nasty to someone who has been brave enough to make a video to try and help, about something that is difficult to talk about... where is the sisterhood there?

You can find the original video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp1H2eAxDSU





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