Sunday, December 20, 2009

They Make a Pill for That

I have an aversion to prescription medications.

Not that I have anything "wrong" with me requiring such a thing currently...I have great blood pressure, my cholesterol's better than most, and the chronic pain from arthritis I've had since high school is manageable with an occasional ibuprofen or naproxen.

As for prescription mood regulators like prozac, zoloft, lexapro, or wellbutrin well...I have my moments where those kinds of pills might help. Pretty much everyone does. But I prefer other methods of altering my brain chemistry...like exercise, like dancing, like spinning around in a circle until I'm falling over dizzy, like sex. Oh yeah, and a little bit of chocolate helps too.

However, right around my 33rd birthday, I began to notice a new phenomenon in regards to my body and mental state. I began to suffer from horrible PMS.

Terrible mood swings, uncontrollable weeping, my skin so sensitive, I didn't want anyone to touch me...including me - even accidentally.

And it would last and last and last beyond my cycle - most times the worst days happening 2-3 days after my cycle was over.

You know it had to be bad because, after several months of this, I went to my male doctor and begged him to help me. He had no clue what to do. So he asked his colleague - a woman in his practice - what to prescribe. She suggested Xanax.

Uhm...what?

Yeah, so I was on Xanax for about 6 months. Not every day. I would start taking it 3 days before my period was to start and continue to take it each day for 10 days.

You know what it did?

One thing it didn't do was stop me from becoming a raving, maniacal, weepy, bitch factory.

It just made me feel OK about becoming a raving, maniacal, weepy, bitch factory.

That's right. It completely removed that internal social filter in my head that kept me from exploding RAWRRRR at innocent bystanders. Awesome. A prescribed permission slip for a monthly psychotic break.

I stopped taking it.

Now I just manage. I hold myself in check mostly and have my internal RAWRRRR moments while I smile sweetly and know this too shall pass. I have the occasional *snap* and spend an evening wrapped in pink terrycloth and crying over the scene from Return of the King in which Pippen sings to Denethor who's sent Faramir riding toward certain death. I eat chocolate. I exercise.

Because really, mood regulating drugs aren't worth it for me. They are, at best, an excuse not to deal with life. At worst, they are an excuse not to care.

7 comments:

kk said...

Supplements? You might try SAMe (pharmaca has it). Check it out! It's supposed to help with mood, PMS, *and* joint problems. MayoClinic has a pretty good article on it. B vitamins are precursors to it (the body makes it itself), so you could also try upping those?

PATTY LEIDYS ZERO HOUR said...

Almost bought SAMe today at whole paycheck,but opted for BACON instead. Surely THAT is better than drugs,right?

Last time I was put on a 'mood -altering" pill, I raced around like a squirrel on caffine ,lost 35 pds in one month and almost had a heart attack..so yeah,no thanks.

newt said...

ummm...so, evening primrose oil - one 1300mg a day will take care of that pms - give a solid month, and you can say "bye - bye" to all the hormonal crazies...promise...

Diva said...

I have been taking sam-E, garlic/parsley, and drinking ginger tea for years. The combo has almost completely alleviated my PMS which, even though I've had a partial hysterectomy, still rears its ugly head once every few months (I still have those hormone-making bastard ovaries *laugh*).

PATTY LEIDYS ZERO HOUR said...

I think my ovaries crapped out on me finally, I can't tell.Wait, was me craving a bacon,chocolate snack any indication? hee hee

kk said...

Mmmmm... chocolate covered bacon....

Has anyone tried Rhodiola rosea? I hear that it's traditional medicine in Siberia for seasonal blues The dark days can really get to me at this time of year. I seem to only have about 2 really bad weeks tho. Maybe I'll try this as a preventative next year.

kk said...

(and, yes, those 2 weeks are *that* bad that I am already plotting a preventative for next year.... every year, I think *this* time, I'm ready for it. Every year is totally surprises me how absolutely and truly *awful* I feel. Sigh.)