Blogging,  Life & Family

My Struggles with PMDD

Have you ever heard of PMDD? It’s basically severe PMS. (Find more out here.) I hadn’t heard of it until about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with it.

Let’s go back in time for a minute: In late 2012, I went nuts. Literally, crazy. My emotions were all over the place. I couldn’t control them at all. I possessed so much anxiety, anger, and sadness. Friendships were ruined and I hurt a lot of people I care about. Thoughts of suicide sat heavy on my brain. It all started in September of that year, I had just stopped breastfeeding my one year old and I had a very active 2 ½ year old. I thought, “Two kids, two and under. I am probably just sleep deprived. That’s got to be what is going on with me.” So, I just kept chugging along.

When my feelings weren’t getting any better, I decided to start seeing a therapist. After several months, I started to realize my therapist was getting annoyed with me because all of my “huge problems” were actually quite petty. Luckily, my awesome husband didn’t take kindly to my bullying either, but he also very much understood I was having a hard time.

In addition to everything going on in my own head, my husband and I were also realizing our youngest son had special needs (you may know my youngest son has autism spectrum disorder.) I wanted to connect some dots for you. 2012-2014 is the same time frame we were finding all of that out.

As the year passed, I started to recognize there was a monthly pattern to my emotions. My solution was to just start avoiding people during those times of rage. Insomnia was also very much a part of my life. I would sit up at night and worry that a friend of mine was saying something bad about me. I lost so much sleep thinking people were saying things they weren’t. (Who cares, right? Well, I certainty did.) I felt miserable.

In December of 2013, I finally called my GYN and made an appointment. I had been keeping a mood journal for several months and shared what I had been experiencing. That’s when I received the PMDD diagnosis. My doctor prescribed me a daily dose of 20mg of fluoxetine (Prozac) to help stabilize my mood.

The first several weeks of taking this medication my body did not react well, but the doctor told me to stick it out and make it to the six week point. So I did. That made all the difference in the world. I was myself again. All the worrying was gone. I could finally enjoy my family the way I had always wanted to.

Alright, now let fast forward to November and December 2015. I was beginning to recognize some changes in my mood again. This time I chalked it up to being stressed about the holidays.

One morning, I guess I was in a particularly bad mood and I was yelling at my five year old because he was running late for school. He looked up at me with big teary eyes and said “Mommy why are you being so mean to me? Can you stop yelling at me please? It hurts my feelings.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I hadn’t even realized I was yelling. That’s when it dawned on me; all of my PMDD symptoms were back. I called my doctor immediately. He said sometimes this can happen where your medication can “poop-out” or stop working. So, he recommended that I up my daily dosage.

Right now, I am in the middle of the adjustment period to the new dosage and I am not entirely sure it is working. I am awake during the nights and sleeping during the days. My dreams are so stressful that my rest doesn’t even feel like rest. I keep getting so worn down that I keep getting other sicknesses as well. So, with all of that being said, I am going to have to step back from the blog and focus on my health, personal struggles, and my family. This decision did not come easy to me, as I have loved meeting people, sharing ideas, and working with my sister on Elizabeth Joan Designs. I am sure Erin will have many great new things to share with you. And who knows, I may pop in every now and then to share the happenings around here.

Well, thanks again for all of your support and goodbye for now!


  • Jenny kimmel

    Emily thank you for sharing this very personal and very important issue. More women than we know struggle with emotional regulation. We all think it is something else. Thank you for letting us all see it is ok to ask for help!

  • Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

    Thank you for bringing light to your issue. By opening up you are educating the rest of us and possibly helping someone else in return. I pray that you get resolution to the problem so that you can pick back up and enjoy life again. Hugs!

  • Lindi

    It is so brave of you to write all of this down! Wishing you all the luck in the world as you work on finding balance again. Prayers to you and your family! xo

  • Susan the Farm Quilter

    Sounds like me when I had a hysterectomy – flat sucks to be screaming at your child, knowing you are so wrong but being completely unable to stop. Prayers for you and your family as you find your way out of this hole!!! We’ll be waiting for you when you get back, however long it takes. You are so right to take this time for yourself and your family…even with everything topsy-turvy, you have your priorities straight.

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