Monday, 12 May 2014

PMDD: one of evolution's unfortunate developments by E M

I was furious, upset, and most of all confused, stuffing random objects into an overnight bag while my partner sat staring at me, amazed. Why doesn’t he care? I thought, why does he just sit there, while I suffer this way. Because of him. With all of my being I hated him; I despised him. All of the love I usually felt toward him was gone, and I was terrified. I am no longer in love, I thought; I am devoid of love. Hatred, anger and fear were my primary emotions, and confusion fuzzed them all up in a most disconcerting manner. Strangely, I also wanted to laugh. (Women: hysterical, hormonal lunatics? Never! How I hate being controlled by my own body.) My partner was sighing with frustration and saying things like Don’t go, where are you going? I told him that it didn’t matter, since he didn’t care anyway. About an hour later, I was lying on the sofa, crying, while he went back to sleep in the bedroom. He didn’t care about me; he’d rather sleep than comfort me. Everything I thought made me cry harder. I didn’t leave, in the end. Instead I took some painkillers to numb my mind and rather ashamedly unpacked my bag.

The above paragraph is a true representation of the sort of situation that occurs monthly for me. I have PMDD, and it attempts to destroy my relationship every moth. Sometimes I think that it’s an evolutionary thing; that, because my partner has failed to impregnate me, my body’s response is to try to push him away in order to make way for a new, fertile mate for when I next ovulate. Now, I do think that theory makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t really help me. The fact is, I can’t have a child at this point in my life; and even if I could, doing it to avoid PMDD is surely not the best reason to have children. Do I feel resentment toward my partner when I experience PMDD? Always. Usually – and this began long before I even thought about or heard about the theory above – I start to doubt his long-term commitment to me, and feel that he doesn’t earn enough, save enough or do enough. I think that he doesn’t love me and is only in this for the sex. I worry that he is cheating on me, that he isn’t interested in me. I have all sorts of conflicting and disturbing thoughts. Now, it’s not that I never have these thoughts unless I’m in the PMDD phase, but usually I can keep a handle on these thoughts and if they do arise, they aren’t serious concerns, they don’t bother me much and I don’t act on them. But that couple of weeks before my period arrives, I am often simply unable to ignore any little thing that happens or keep a sense of perspective. PMDD takes away that control, that perspective. Like many PMDD sufferers, I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. I fear, as King Lear said, I am not in my perfect mind. I believe that PMDD heightens any concerns I have regarding my ‘mate’ and is a way of saying: You’re not pregnant – find a more suitable man. PMDD is a warning to me and a deterrent to my mate.
But in our society, PMDD is not an evolutionary advantage; it is not helpful. For the many women who are physically, mentally, emotionally or financially unable to have children, have already had their children or who do not want children at all, PMDD merely destroys many facets of life with no benefit to the sufferer or the sufferer’s society. The interference in my relationship with my partner is by far the most destructive aspect of PMDD, for me. I worry that my body will successfully drive him away, that he will eventually give up on me, having to endure my hormone-crazy self every single month. I have actually come to long for my period to come so that it can all be over again – that’s how serious PMDD is. Compared to the emotional pain of PMDD, the physical pain of a period is a breeze

by E M, UK.

1 comment:

Oxalis Deppei said...

I agree about the evolutionary aspect. If you look at the wiki for pms, it briefly mentions that. I go through it too.. I have lost many boyfriends over it.

I realized something today - it generally makes me hate all the men in my life, and pretty much anything familiar in general. I even hated my mp3 collection in its entirety today. : (

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