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March 28, 2011

Uncontrollable Urges...

{Warning: this is a very female centric post}

What do you when your hormones are nuts and  you just have these uncontrollable urges to be angry or moody?

I know that sometimes I often just play off mood swings or grouchiness as hormones or PMS, but for one of the first times in my life - I could really pinpoint that I had a 48-72 hr period where I was just so unhappy, grouchy and downright mean and it was due to the fluctuation of my hormones (perhaps the estrogen re-entering my body to help the lining of the uterus?).

After going off the (Yaz) pill in December, I realized a few weeks in, that I was pretty steady and happy. Not sure if it was the holidays or the other issues in my life that distracted me from being grumpy - but i didn't say anything. All the way into February, I mentioned to the Husband "I think I've been in a rather good mood lately, dontcha think?" and he responded "I didn't want to mention it, in case I jinxed it... but yea, you've been really happy and sweet for a while." So it was obviously noticeable that I was a nicer, sweeter and happier person and wife.

So, while I don't think I was the wicked witch of the west, I can't lie and say i was always the sweetest person all the time. After going off Yaz, I've realized that I was moody and grumpy and grouchy and it was a random switch that would just flip. After having all these weeks upon weeks of none of that drama or internal turmoil of anger and guilt for being angry - I realized that the pill made me an awfully moody person for the last umpteen years, and i chalked it up to that just being me because it was the norm for so long.

The full realization of this hit me when I had my first period post surgery recently. About two days into my period, I had a full 48+ hrs where nothing could be done to make me happy. I felt like a beached whale that couldn't eat enough food. And then when the food was gone, there was no satisfaction from the gorging, I let the guilt wash over me and then I was just angry. My Husband tried to appease me, offering to do this or that, to no avail. There wasn't a single thing to be done that would make me happy. He was at his wit's end and I was still trying to push him over the edge.  Finally towards the end of the bipolar episode, I shed a few tears, blamed my period (but this time I really meant it and knew it was my period), said I'm sorry with a "I warned you"... and was back to my jolly post-pill self. WTF!!!

While the pill helped to prevent a situation that I did not think i was ready for and kept my migraines at bay, it also kept me from being happy happy but i just didn't know it. It kept me from getting to know my body b/c a lot of the things going on had nothing to do with my body but rather a reaction to the pill.  I have found that getting to know my body through temping and journaling has been a rather revealing experience for me and I find fun in it. Whenever I get to say "ahhh, so that twinge of pain all these years at that time of the month was related to X, Y or Z" and its like putting a piece of puzzle together. So while the pill was beneficial, I didn't realize how little i knew of myself physically or emotionally. And only now, after going off the pill do i realize how much it did affect me.

And now that I know what an awful person I was, I thank my lucky stars daily that I still snagged myself such an amazing Husband. If i were him, I would have walked out many moons ago with the attitudes i would give. But he stayed and I'm the lucky one for it.

But my concern is, now that I can pinpoint the issue and when it will happen... what do i do ? Do i go into hiding? Do i face my fears and try to overcome the moods? Do i take some mood elevating herb (if so, what kind and please suggest only legal options ;) ) What do i do?

What do you do? Do you have Hormonal or menstrual symptoms as badly as I do? Are yours controllable? How do you stay emotionally and mentally healthy through those times?

I would love to know... and i'm sure my Husband would appreciate it as well.


  1. I had the very opposite problem on Yaz. I had to go off of it because two times a month, pretty much to the day, I was so sad I could barely pull myself out of bed. Tears the whole bit. I switched pills and things got better. Don't we wish we could turn off our emotions? Honestly I think the only thing we can do is when we are in that state is to remind ourselves that this is not the way we really feel just how our bodies want us to. A little mind power... I wish I had a better suggestion though. Good luck!

  2. I had the exact same issues when switching off the pill. I can't believe I am saying this, but exercising helps me. Even if it is just as simple as a little bit of yoga. I also tend to lock myself up in our room when I am particularly moody and if he complains, I tell him I could get pregnant. That usually stops him from complaining.

  3. when I stopped taking hormonal bc, it took about 4 months to regulate--and those months the PMS was pretty bad emotionally (and my skin, AUGH!)

    I'm still a lot more hormonal post-pill than I was pre-pill, which I can't figure out, but you aren't alone! I try to warm up E to when it's about to go down. (i need affection, stay out of my way, compliment everything, etc)
    It's never perfect, but I think exercise does help! If nothing else than to expel your hormonal energy!

  4. Let's just say yesterday I saw a polar bear documentary. A polar bear had to go so far looking for food that he died of starvation. I bawled for about ... 45 minutes. And I mean bawled. I'm kind of emotional just thinking of it now.

    So do I get moody? Um ... I've gotta go have a bath now. I mean, why didn't the camera crew just feed him?


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