Reader, I have terrible menstrual cramps and I’ve suffered been told “oh, it’s normal!” when I knew it wasn’t. And now I thought–what if this is the cause behind my depression? This could be very true, and the things I learned about during my internet search that are all in blue.
From the research, there are a only couple things I want to actually write about. I came across this very important article from the American Psychological Association. It is not a long read but, nonetheless, I wrote a summary.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a condition where you emotions are uncontrollable during your period. It’s classified under the DSM but there is some debate as to whether this illness exists. Some psychologists think that it’s classification as a mental disorder stigmatizes women–to receive help, you must have a mental illness. Emotional issues in men that would be considered normal are seen as a “disorder” in women, and women should explore other issues in their life before blaming it on the hormones and getting on medication. Others believe it is a real biological problem that can be treated, and that disbelief of PMDD belittles women and increases the stigma on mental health. Psychologists say it is hard to separate PMDD and Major Depressive Disorder. Others say the difference is that PMDD is cyclical. There is research on both sides. It’s important not to jump to conclusions either way, and all agree that women shouldn’t feel discouraged from seeking help and that they need validation.
There is no real cure for PMS. However, I came across a blog here on WordPress about a woman who was writing about life after PMDD. She self diagnosed herself (I don’t really believe in this much) and found a professor who proposes a permanent solution, a hysterectomy. He said that women are discouraged from getting hysterectomy’s because they are ultimately seen as childrearing creatures only, or told the procedure was not really safe and should be avoided, when, from what he writes, the research proving this is not that strong. He is clearly a well-studied guy, and he promotes hyserectomys as a permanent solution. The woman from the blog sought him out and had an HRT. Many of the posts leading up to her HRT I related to, and now that she has had the operation, she believes her symptoms are not coming back.
That was a lot of information that I learned, and well, I didn’t know what to think. All I knew is that I am desperate to recover from this depression. For a long time, I have known antidepressants do not work well during my period but when I asked my doctor or told my mother it was just kind of shrugged off. I thought for a long time that contractions, vomiting, headaches, dry heaves, (and many other terrible things I’ve felt at times) during your period wasn’t that rare. Often my mom said that I should stop complaining because she had had to suffer through it, so I could too. This is really bad logic and I’m sure you can understand why Reader, so I won’t type out more. My eldest sister had intense pain once too–I remember her sitting on the couch screaming at the top of her lungs. If my dad inquired, it was “just her monthly thing coming.”
I have really sat complacently for too long. I went to see an OBGYN. My mother came along with me. This is where things became difficult.
Ultimately, I was prescribed birth control to balance hormones (Beyaz or Yaz–I don’t remember). But I had so many other questions that weren’t answered, and I was very uncomfortable. My mother helped me book the appointment and on the phone she would say “she really doesn’t want a male.” In reality, I don’t care either way, I just want a good doctor who is willing to problem solve. Also, I knew she would come inside, but when she did, she told the nurse “I’m her mom. She wants me to come with her.” No, I don’t really. But I never protested. It would seem fishy and I wanted her not to feel bad.
I’ve had sex within the last couple months more than twice with Boanerges. We had sex for the first time in November 2013, when we were actually together, but we had penetrative sex for the first time this summer. Every time we’d tried before, I couldn’t do it. I’m small in general. He’s large. We were both nervous. There is no way my hymen is intact because I’ve been an athlete since the 9th grade. Well, I did not enjoy fucking at all. I kind of told myself I was while it was happening, because a) I loved this person and b) I wanted him to enjoy himself. It was painful during, but not after. I would feel huge knots in my stomach. I thought I would pee. My vision got foggy.
And, well, is this shit normal? We were doing these things in secret–I had snuck out. Was it just that paranoia and guilt, or do I really have a problem and what can I do? Is it just because of size, did he do a bad job warming me up, or was it a bad position or does this always happen to other women during the first few times? Is it something I ate? I’ve really had no one to talk to about these concerns.
I said I wasn’t sexually active because my mother was in the room, and I felt bad about it.
During the appointment: Sometimes my mom did talk for me, and I usually did correct anything she said, but after I said “no” to that other question, I was just uncomfy with the whole thing. I wanted to know how the contraceptive worked in my body. I wanted to know if my thigh gap is normal. Will my hips widen anymore? How will the drug interact with my ADs? Another thing that made me uncomfortable was that the doctor wrote the prescription within 2 minutes of her entering the room and me explaining symptoms. She went on to talk about side effects and how often, and progesterone is (I didn’t really understand). I wasn’t asked if I wanted to take medication or said “this is what your options are.”
Reader, here is the most important thing worth noting that I have written today. I have never really felt like I had great support in my journey growing into a woman (which I am still in the process of). My mom condemned my use of tampons and threw them away because of some cultural belief. I will never be able to talk to her about my sexuality–and I was so confused and now I identify as bisexual. Anything womanly is such a taboo subject, and she has made it seem especially taboo around my dad, who is a doctor, to the point where we all run to change the channel with the Cialis commercial comes on and when he asks why we aren’t doing something, and the answer is because we’re on our period, we simply just don’t answer because it feels wrong.
So here I have today written about one of the factors that contributes to my depression.
Hey look, Virginia Woolf!
Direct link to APA article: http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/pmdd.aspx
Direct link to Blog I referenced: https://msjekyllhyde.wordpress.com/
Dr. John Studd’s Website: http://www.studd.co.uk/biography.php