I'm talking about PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
The best description of it (in my opinion) that I've found so far can be found here, but if you want the shortened version, think "PMS on steroids"...that's about the only way that I can describe it. I mean seriously, look at the list of symptoms on that website - and imagine going through all of them in a matter of a couple of days (out of that entire list, the only ones that I have not experienced have been panic attacks and suicidal thoughts).
Sometimes, during this time, my moods change almost by the minute - sometimes not quite to that extreme. Sometimes it's gradual and I don't notice it right away. But usually it's pretty significant mood swings - and I've always had a temper, but it's definitely magnified by the PMDD. I find myself getting so incredibly angry, and I'm not a nice person to be around. If I'm lucky (not to mention the people around me) I recognize what is going on and I can make the conscious effort to walk away from the situation - but that doesn't always happen and someone or something takes the brunt of my anger and frustration. I eat everything in sight. I don't feel like doing anything. My body hurts. I cry - a lot.
I'm just plain miserable.
I was officially diagnosed with PMDD years ago - and at that time, my doctor put me on antidepressants. They helped - if you consider walking around like a zombie and falling asleep standing up "helping". I wasn't moody - but then again, I didn't have any moods at all, except for the one that was described as "blah".
Anyway, over the past few months, I've been noticing that it's been getting worse. This month especially. So I started doing some research - lots of it. And I found that there are all sorts of changes that I can make to my diet to help alleviate the symptoms.
Every website that I found said the same thing - eliminate caffeine, sugar, salt, and alcohol.
Salt and alcohol? Not really an issue. I don't use salt on anything, I generally don't cook with it, and I can do without it. Alcohol? I drink on occasion, but not enough to really worry about that.
Sugar? Yeah, that one could be hard. I have a sweet tooth - always have. But, I can work around that and I've been working on that as I've been trying to get in better shape anyway. This just gives me more initiative.
But caffeine? Really? Eliminate caffeine???? Do the PMDD experts want me to die? Or kill someone else? It's no secret that I'm a Diet Pepsi addict. I've tried to cut down numerous times and have always failed miserably. In fact, I just bought a case the other day - and it was gone the next day. That's right - 24 cans in 2 days. That one is going to be tough.
The rest of it is easy. Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Get more B6, calcium, and magnesium. No-brainer stuff. So I've been looking up recipes and making grocery lists and figuring out exactly how I'm going to do this. And smart idea or not, I'm going to go off of the caffeine cold turkey. I don't have the willpower to "cut down" - it's all or nothing with me. I've already gone one day without, and I haven't killed anyone......yet......
Oh and I have to get regular aerobic exercise - so more initiative to get out there and run as much as possible. I think I can handle that, since the half-marathon is in just over a month...
No doubt about it - it's going to be hard. I'm not going to be the most pleasant person in the world for the next few
And realistically, even if it doesn't help with the symptoms (which it had better, or I'm going to be ticked) it'll help with my overall health - both mentally and physically.
So please bear with me as I go through this. If I'm crankier than usual or if I snap at someone, please understand that it's not intentional. Eliminating the caffeine is going to be the hardest part - but if it does help, it'll be worth it in the end.
This evening, Daniel was sitting on my lap at the computer as I was researching some more stuff. He was tired and irritable but didn't want to go to sleep, so we started watching some videos. Sure enough, he crashed....using my wallet as his pillow. Silly kid.