This week I thought about hanging myself. There. I said it. Actually I thought about lots of different ways to end it all. Driving myself out to a remote part of the woods and taking an over-dose. Taking an overdose in my bedroom, but first dropping my daughter off with a neighbor, ala Juliana Moore in The Hours. That is where my brain went this week. I am not proud of it.
The thing that stopped me was my daughter. My sweet, beautiful, sensitive 9 yr old daughter, who kept coming in my dark room to ask me what was wrong or where did I hurt or could she get me a glass of wine... so many "I love you's" and hugs from my darling, perceptive girl... One night she broke down crying, and we talked about her anxiety - in third grade! All because she thinks she cannot finish her projects on time in art (she is an advanced level student, taking two languages and excels in Math and Reading Comprehension. She is a wonderful artist too).
I was shocked that my sweet happy girl had anxiety. She told me that she often pulls her hair and wrings her wrists under the table when she sees others finish a quiz and jump from the table to do a "special activity" before she is done. (Later when speaking with her teacher about this she told me that my girl usually has the right answers after thoughtful consideration, whereas many others finish quick with wrong answers just so they can get extra play time. She is now reconsidering this approach. Smart teacher.)
The more I sat in the black mucky water of my well listening to my daughter, the more I quickly realized there is no way in hell I was leaving this girl without her mother to hold her hand. And somewhere in my brain I was able to ask myself: Why now? Why the drowning now? My depression had come out of nowhere...or had it? I did research. And I was shocked to realize that between my Moodscope scores and my menstruation cycles I was able to connect the dots and discover that I have PMDD - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
It has been there, for years. (Sorry men for the female bluntness, but if I can help save another woman - mother, wife, daughter, friend - from suicide due to the severe depression brought on by PMDD I'm gonna try). It's a hormonal imbalance causing extreme thoughts of suicide, anxiety and anger.
My therapist had prescribed me Lexapro years ago after a recent suicidal episode and I stupidly stopped taking it two months ago, thinking that I was fine. I'm back on it now, and will probably remain so. I am not saying that all of my depression and anxiety is caused by this one thing. But for women who are already susceptible to anxiety and depression, PMDD can be deadly. And it's hereditary. My mother was abusive and her anger was definitely cyclical. Looking back on her life, I realize she probably had it too. My sister shows signs of it as well.
No therapist or doctor has ever talked to me about it. When the time comes, I will watch for signs of it in my daughter. Three million women a year suffer from it. If you'd like more information on the condition I recommend that you look up the Gia Allemand Foundation https://giaallemandfoundation.org. Lots of great information and resources on there.
A Moodscope member.
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