Tuesday, 10 November 2015

There are no rules with a mood disorder.

Yesterday I was browsing through the forums, taking notes and trying to find inspiration for this blog, when an online heated discussion ensued. This of course, is not unusual, particularly within the realms of PMDD. I have learnt that it should even be expected sometimes with so many hormonal women battling it out! However, yesterdays online rift stood out because it was talking in particular about finding a cure, what has worked for the individual sufferer, and how it could possibly work for us all as a generalized formula.

If only it were that simple? If only there were rules to this awful disorder? Why is there no fixed strategy?

What I found with my own disorder, and indeed the condition itself, is that its so different for each individual, that this in itself makes it particularly brutal and hard to fathom. Sometimes it even varies from month to month as we try out different remedies in the hope of lessening the symptoms. An example of this is to give up alcohol which has helped in so many cases, only to find that 2 months down the line the symptoms return, often with great ferocity which can leave us surprised and perplexed ! We had thought it was working!

 Quite often we find ourselves lulled into a false sense of security as what has once worked gradually loses its efficacy. The online debates only fuel this as somebody uses a sugar free diet, and another sufferer finds that futile. One person gives up caffeine whilst another finds no change in symptoms at all!  Its all so complicated as together we search endlessly for that one remedy that can serve us all.

Only one thing is certain and that is that one persons PMDD is never the same as another's, and the  list of symptoms is so varied it only serves to confuse us and then leaves us endlessly frustrated as we then try another.

What we need to do is accept that we all have a different genetic make-up, and that makes us as complex and individual as the disorder itself. There is still so much we don't know, still so much to learn and this is what makes the forums so important as we learn, educate each other and strive to find that one strategy that may one day work!  Its is what NAPMDD is working so hard for, what NAPS (London UK ) is working for, and is the hope for every single sufferer on the face of the planet.

As a general overview, clean and healthy living can only serve us all, regardless of whether we have the disorder or not! If we live on junk, don't make ourselves accountable for our own health and well being, our symptoms will always be worse. If we don't take on nutritious food and abuse our physical selves with drugs, alcohol, refined sugars and caffeine, of course we will suffer as our bodies cry out for a healthy regime. Exercise too is obviously a great weapon and simply must be used regularly and consistently. Vitamins and minerals which are often lacking in todays diet have also shown promising results, as has naturopathic and holistic remedies.

What I'm trying to say is that as much as we argue amongst ourselves, what has helped one particular women, may not help another. This is what we are finding and as long as we consistently swap tactics and dialogue, one day someone somewhere will find that one cure that we are all hoping for.
 And HOPE has to be our philosophy for hope is all that we definitely have! It is the only thing that is certain with PMDD.

 For those of you that have read my own memoir, I blame the Hormones, you will see that it wasn't one particular thing that worked for me, but a whole host of scientific intervention, healthy interaction and the correct medical professionals that bought about my cure. Everything came together, at just the right time, with the one strategy that has been working for me.  I so pray that in the future there will be one perfect cure for the most awful of conditions, and that you too will find your own freedom from the PMDD that has no rules.

Blessings as always,


I Blame the Hormones can be downloaded on Kindle, PC, Smartphone, I pad or any tablet. It comes under the pseudonym of Caroline Church, and is available on Amazon.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Is your SSRI the real deal? And can you be sure?

I've been busy this week researching about SSRI's and have been contacted by several people who have had a sudden and unexplained relapse. For those that have read my book 'I blame the hormones' you will know that it is often a case of trying to find the antidepressant that suits you, which can be tiresome and depressing in itself. One type may not agree with you, and its often a case of trial and error with this amazing medication. Once you have found the correct one, with the correct dosage, the effect can be miraculous and life transforming. You can also use them in conjunction with hormonal therapies for PMDD, and this double barrelled approach is often favoured by many women in the fight against hormonal mood disorders.

Why then do so many people have a sudden relapse? And why do so many have to increase the dose needed to maintain equilibrium?

Trawling through the numerous blogs and forums associated with depression and mood disorders, I was amazed to read that in the UK, our antidepressants are often the generic type and not the original brand at all. This means that they are a cheaper version of the original brand and often imported from a different source. Indeed many have noticed that each time they have received their new batch of SSRI's it seems to come form a different manufacturer every time. This then has a different effect on the system and can create a jolt of the same side effects that hit when they first started taking the drug.

There are scattered reports of people experiencing a return of side effects when they use a generic ,as different manufacturers can use different binding agents and non-active ingredients. This can affect the releasing rate into the system and result in the jitters, nervousness, anxiety and a return of depressive symptoms. Not realising that we are using a generic can cause unnecessary suffering and despite the chemists insistence that the drug is the same, the forums tell a different story entirely, with numerous people finding the transition difficult. In the UK the National health service routinely uses generics as a cheaper option, importing them rather than using the branded version which can be up to five times as expensive. It is worth then sticking to the same brand of generic, than chopping and changing manufacturer which can result in a possible relapse. Check the box every time to make sure that its the same generic that you are using.

Anti-depressant medication can be a powerful tool in the war against depression and I have used them over many years for this clinical condition, but please be aware if you have a sudden return of symptoms that you maybe using a version that isn't quite what it seems. In case your worried, the most often used are,

PROZAC-SERAFEM (fluoxetine)

ZOLOFT (sertraline)
PAXIL (paroxetine)

CELEXA (citalopram)

Anything else that uses another manufacturer is probably a cheaper version and is therefore a generic. To be sure of anything, always check with your doctor particularly if you relapse suddenly and without cause.

Blessings as usual, Suzi. AKA Caroline Church.

I Blame the Hormones is available on Kindle, Smartphone, PC, tablet or I-phone and can be ordered from Amazon.