I remember being told over and over again that SSRIs could be the answer BUT they came with side effects. While these side effects affect some, they do not affect all*. Side effects like:
- I would become a zombie and lose my entire personality.
- I would lose my libido or my desire to have sex.
- I wouldn’t be able to feel the full spectrum of emotions.
- The medicine would make me want to commit suicide.
- I would become extremely tired all the time
- I’d gain a bunch of weight and have a hard time getting it to stay off.
- Any happiness I may be feeling was due to my “happy pill.”
While some of these things are true for some people sometimes, all of these things aren’t true all the time for everyone. I was afraid before I went down the psychiatric route that I would end up a sex deprived zombie who wanted to kill herself. That couldn’t be further from my truth.
To be honest, I did experience some of these symptoms. I experienced all of them at one time or another on my journey to the perfect combination of medication to battle PMDD. I still struggle with some of these side effects like weight retention for example. I realized that, for me, SSRIs helped me open my eyes. They helped give me a space to stand that was sturdy and safe and allowed me a chance to stand up for myself. They allowed me a chance to see through the fog that was PMDD.
There is such a stigma around depression, anxiety, and anything related to hormones. It’s like admitting you have hormones is somehow a bad thing despite the fact we all have hormones. We all get anxious and we all get sad. It’s a fact of life. With all that said, we know that PMDD amplifies these feelings. PMDD is in charge sometimes and we’re just being dragged along for the ride.
I know some people are afraid of trying antidepressants (like I was) and that’s a fair stance to have. But to be afraid to try something because of the perceived negative side effects is just reckless. I know on my PMDD journey I exhausted all options before landing on SSRIs.
My belief is this: try a new approach. Give it your all. If it doesn’t work after a certain amount of time, move on to another option but never give up. Keep fighting the good fight.
* I am not a medical professional in any way. This is a personal blog established as a place for support for those afflicted with PMDD. If you or someone you know needs information related to PMDD or SSRIs, please contact a trained health professional. Please call 911 or your doctor immediately if you are considering suicide. ❤️