I've been anxious all my life, but it was definitely exacerbated by having babies. A lot of babies. And not just because I had more to worry about. But because I was a big gigantic hormonal cocktail.
Then I noticed I started to get extra moody from ovulation to my period, which was really affecting my interactions with family members. I was short, irritable, and on the day before my period, downright angry.
And while I tried everything they recommend, from cutting caffeine to getting more sleep (yeah, right), even exercising regularly and cutting out foods from my diet, nothing really helped until I tried medication.
I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to try medication. As a former therapist, I was quite aware of the benefits and many of my dear friends and colleagues had seen amazing results.
I suppose there was a huge part of me that really felt like I should be able to figure things out on my own. That I didn't need the meds because I could x, y, z and a, b, c, and somehow I would find the magical solution to my problem. A problem, as it turns out, that a lot of women have.
Now I'm not saying that all the things I tried didn't help. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of them did, even in a very small way. Exercise was a huge mood lifter. And I saw really great results from getting rid of sugar and wheat.
But it wasn't until after I found the right medication for what was diagnosed as Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) that I really saw amazing results. Of course, this was after trying a couple of different medications that did not work at all. And finally seeing a psychiatrist who specialized in these types of medications, as opposed to my general practitioner and midwife who were wonderful people and clinicians, but just didn't have as much experience.
I cannot tell you the difference the medication made in my life. I wasn't necessarily giddy and happy all the time, but I found myself to be much more in control of my anxious thoughts, as well as my heavy feelings and emotions during my period. It was seriously life-changing.
Whether you're feeling mild or major symptoms, if they're affecting your ability to function as a person and a parent, however that might be, talk to someone. It might take a little time and experimentation to find what works for you, but when you do, you'll wonder, like me, why you waited so long.
Do you take anti-depressants?
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