Ruth s Story

 United Kingdom

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"I suffer with Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), but until 6 months ago, was only seen as depressed. Since the age of 13, I have been through 'mental hell'. I’ve had four serious depression crashes, but until November last year, no one had linked my periods to my mental health.

 

I had lots of visits to the doctor and gynaecologists and tried every contraceptive pill and medication. I’ve had the Mirena Coil (IUD), tablets for limiting blood flow, extra iron, extra vitamins – the list goes on-and-on. I had numerous investigations to see if I had cysts or fibroids or endometriosis, but nothing was ever found. All my blood tests came back normal.

 

This went on for eight years – going round-and-round in circles – but no one ever connected the two. They were seen as two distinct ‘problems’. I was then put on a progestogen-only pill in July of last year to help with the clotting. And then, I broke. Literally.

During our summer holiday, I became a different person – angry, aggressive, resentful, paranoid, and both severely and life-threateningly depressed. On returning to the UK, I was immediately taken off progesterone (I have since learned that progesterone can often have this impact on sufferers of PMDD).

My general practitioner referred me to a psychiatrist, who, after adjusting all my medications for depression, asked me to start tracking both my periods and moods. After doing this for about 6 weeks, he mentioned this thing called PMDD. I’d never heard of it, so I went home, started Googling, and just felt this enormous sense of relief. Suddenly, I was reading stories of women who sounded just like me. Symptoms that fit exactly with the last 20 years of my life. It all made sense.

Armed with a letter from the psychiatrist, I went back to my general practitioner, expecting nothing, but she was amazing and fully supportive. She referred me again to a gynecologist  and I asked for a hysterectomy. Thankfully, they agreed and I have now been in a chemically-induced menopause for three months. My hysterectomy is booked for June of this year, and I am counting down the days.

I still have both good and bad days, and when the injections wear off it can set-off my mood, but overall, I feel amazing."

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