Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A while back I wrote about how I had been feeling cranky - PMS'y nearly all the time. Nearly three weeks out of each month. Plus having these awful monthly migraines. Plus numerous other wonderful things happening to this growing (oh yes, growing - but that's another post!) body. I thought that maybe it was the dreaded perimenapause. It can start as early as your late thirties (oh, those lucky, lucky women!) I had gone to my doctor and she said that Prozac was the drug of choice for PMS. I was a bit unsure, but she put me on 10 mg. It made no discernible change, so I took myself off.

Flash forward to June of this year. I'm still feeling it. And J. He's asking me: "Why do you always seem so angry at me?" And it's true. It's like I look for things to yell at him for! "What! You didn't replace the cotton balls! You don't love me!" And I'm telling you, this doesn't just happen the day or two before I get my period -- it will happen two - three weeks before. And J? Hates confrontation. Hates anger. Hates yelling. While I will yell, get it out & move on... it impacts him more. So it was really having an impact (use that word much?) on our "quality of life." He mentions how he's worried that we fight so much. (Personally? I don't see what we do as "fight" more like "bicker" - and that doesn't concern me. But I guess it's subjective.)

I go to my GP again & tell her. This is horrible. I really feel like PMS so much of the month. Can't concentrate, have PMS brain, emotional, cranky (ok, bitchy). She again mentions the Prozac & says that 10 mg was not enough. "Let's try 20 she says." I said that I was thinking of talking to my OB & changing my birth control - maybe the hormones I'm getting are changing my moods... She said: "Let's try both. Start with the 20 mg & call me in a few weeks. If need be we'll raise you to 40."

Then I went to my OB/GYN & talked to her. She said "You're on hormonal birth control. You have an 'artificial period' you should not even be having PMS. You don't ovulate." Huh?!?! But... but... I feel it. I feel my body change. I feel my moods change. Really. Truly. It's concrete. I know my body. She looks baffled. She says: "Ok, let's try you on the Seasonique - you'll get your period once every three months. Lets see what happens."

So. Let me tell you what happens.

I feel great.

I don't know what's in this Prozac. This happy pill. But man. Last month? Just a touch of the PMS feeling, a week before. A bit of moodiness, but deal- able. Regular PMS. And perhaps I should give it another month before I start claiming The Great Cure... but damn. I've just been feeling so good.

And that makes me feel weird.

I mean. I know I wasn't "depressed" before. I'm a social worker. I know the symptoms. So it freaks me out, a bit, that I feel so good now.

And I know it's not just the magic pill. I know it's because it makes me calmer = happier = J happier = my kids happier = me happier. So it all kind of goes in a big circle.

And it feels good to feel good.

And I'm the first person to suggest to a client that it's ok to go on meds - that if it gives relief, improves your quality of life... why not?

But why do I feel so guilty? So illicit? So artificial? Like this isn't a "real" happy.. it's from the pill... and that's not good.


You'd think I could just relax & enjoy finally being a bit calmer & not so tense, irritable all the time... Butcha know. The thinking. The over thinking. The over over thinking.

I wonder if there's a pill that makes people Just Let Things Be.


Gwen said...

Aren't doctors usually the worst at taking care of themselves? Maybe the same principle is at work here.

Perhaps it would help if you thought about it this way: if you give antibiotics to a child who doesn't have a bacterial infection, they won't help. If they do, you know the kid was really sick. Soooo, if the Prozac is truly helping you, then you were truly sick. Brain chemistry is just like chemistry in the rest of the body. It's not related to your worth as a person or your internal strength.

Enjoy the benefits of modern science in re: PMS and try not to stress so much. :)

painted maypole said...

so glad you are feeling better. just enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

You know, you just wrote my story!!!! I hate to think a little pill could make other people like me if I take it and can't stand me if I don't, but it is true. Depression is so well, depressing! I take Lexapro 10mg and it changes my negativity to happiness. I hate taking anything because that shows a weekness but I have to admit, I need it. I still get sad, but it doesn't take over my life.