Cell disorder found in women with PMDD makes them different to women with PMS on a molecular level.

Scientific breakthrough raises questions about chemicals, plastics, food additives and everyday toxins that could be affecting women at a reproductive age.

Scientific research has uncovered that women with PMDD are different on a genetic and molecular level to those with PMS finding that a ‘cellular disorder’ may be the cause. NIH researchers found a sex hormone-sensitive gene complex linked to PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

I’m not a scientist but as a woman with PMDD I now wonder if this condition is caused by a natural abnormality or are genetically modified foods, the use of plastics and toxic chemicals in the air we breath to the food we eat, combined with preservatives and food additives in processed foods modifying our women’s cellular & molecular structure, particuarly those at a reproductive age?  What about alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking?

Science has long experimented with animals finding that toxic chemicals affect the reproductive systems of females, their offspring and future generations.  These new  findings warrant further research.

We all know that the best approach to eating healthy is eating natural and organic.  Simply because of the amount of chemicals in food which includes pestiscides is dangerous to everyone but more so for those who are less tolerant.  Asthmatics come to mind.

The problem is that we live in a fast paced working society with convenience food readily available.  This has become a major industry in western society that was quickly adopted into the culture.

I recommend the following reading for those who have PMDD  to understand how it affects our relationships. Written by a woman who has experienced life with PMDD and the harm it can do to relationships.

Sandra. C.

Trusting God After Leaving An Abusive Relationship

Long ago before I made that decision to follow Christ I was sitting in church complaining to my sister that I didn’t want to come to church any more because I didn’t believe. She said, “Fake it till you make it.” Yeah, it sounded funny to me too at the time!

She meant to stick around and hear it out, so that I’d have enough info to put the pieces of the puzzle together in order for me to see the full picture. Then it hit me. I’d been in church for a long time with a wall up.   The reason for that was the many years of abuse created some serious trust issues within me. Church was a nice break from the reality of my life so I stayed put.

The Home Life

Living in that one sided relationship that started when I was only fifteen years old, I was married at 18 and felt that I’d lost my identity to a kid living in a man’s body.

Fear had me living for someone else instead of me. Three months into our marriage and my life was becoming a violent and vicious cycle of denial and abuse.  I washed his clothes, cooked his meals and lay in his bed lying to myself.  The truth was that he was a womanising, violent, drug addict who was so messed up, convinced he was right and didn’t want any help to change.

I was so scared to face the truth about my situation which would make see how broken I really was, or to confront him which would mean a violent reaction.  The lies I told myself were numerous but the big one was telling myself that he would change from the strange person before me who was becoming the embodiment of every loathsome characteristic I didn’t like in a human being.

When the threats began, I felt trapped like a hostage in my own marriage. The situation seemed hopeless. He was totally convinced that my family were trying to separate us. Yet my family had never interfered in our relationship. When I tried to leave him he told me that he’d sneak in the house at night while we slept to kill us all.  Believing that he was capable of carrying the threats out, I stayed.

When we separated the only things I got out of that relationship was PTSD.. Years later I found out that I had been living with a certified Schizophrenic.

So after my experiences giving myself over completely to God took an enormous amount of trust.  Then I discovered that true love is found only in God.

God is Love and the source of love  

I was convinced that I hadn’t fully learned what love was so a quest began to understand God’s love.  This bible passage below describes His Holy (perfect) love and after reading I saw how distant we all really are from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails…….”.

GET HELP

If you’re in a violent situation don’t bury your hurts by lying to yourself.  See a counsellor, a church leader, your pastor and even your doctor for help. Don’t do it alone.

Lifeline 13 11 14 (Australia)

If your life is in danger don’t hesitate to dial 000.

The Coward With A Hardened Heart

I’d met my childhood sweetheart at the age of 15 and we were married five months after my 18th birthday.  At the age of 32 I divorced a violent and narcissistic drug addicted schizophrenic man who in his twisted way believed that he loved me. He probably did but in my mind it was shallow.  At first I stuck around hoping for change and later on it was fear that kept me by his side for believing in his threats.

Since the divorce I’ve been dealing with stuff that surfaces slowly. You see, I’ve been a runner avoiding emotional pain and have done so for many years burying things deep within not to feel hoping it would go away. As a child I thought that If I didn’t feel it that it wouldn’t affect me. I wouldn’t let it. I thought I was tough to be able to swallow my pride, put things away and not face them again. In reality I was a frightened kid with a hardened heart who accumulated one trauma after another.

Refusing To Feel is Refusing To Heal

Funny thing about burying these very real feelings, they don’t die. They resurrect when you least expect them. Undealt with pain sinks into the chambers of our most inner being, seeping out poison slowly to remind us that these badly filed emotions need to be dealt with. The longer we leave them, the more thought processes and actions will be impacted affecting our character.  That’s how I became a very angry young person.

No wonder I ended up with depression. Recently (after 20 years) I uncovered exactly why I left my ex-husband.  When visions of the past rose to the surface playing as if on the TV, they seemed so remote to me I had to re-analyse them before I could recognise the past and own it.

Our hurts will resurface giving  us the opportunity to file them under, ‘forgiven’ not under ‘forgotten’ because that’s been proven not to work.  I’m living proof! We can’t completely forget trauma and past hurts.

The key to my healing was forgiveness.   It’s not within our nature to forgive such things. It’s a supernatural thing.  God gives us the ability to make that choice.  Our hearts catch up with our choices.

The bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Will you ask God to give you a forgiving heart?   Choose today to forgive and release yourself!

Today I make the choice to forgive………………………… but I don’t know how. Jesus come into my heart and give me the ability to forgive…………………………… for…………………….    Forgive me for my sins as well I ask in Jesus name.  Amen.

Once you’ve done this, it’s filed behind you under, “forgiven”.  Thoughts may resurface but when feelings of anger rise up again remind yourself that you’ve chosen to forgive, thank God for his forgiveness .

If you struggle with thoughts resurfacing, unwanted thoughts and pain too unbearable to face seek the help of a counsellor or talk to your church leaders.  I’m glad I did!

 

WHY CHURCH LEADERS NEED MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING

With mental health training church leaders can help their communities more than they know.

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Most of us have friends who we can trust when the burden of our troubles become too heavy a load to carry. Christians often reach out to members of their pastoral care team or to close friends, while others choose to keep their problems to themselves.

Talking to someone is a great way to vent allowing for the release of some of that pressure. Friends can be really good listeners and advice givers, but depending on our circumstances and state of mental health at the time, they may not be able to give the right advice or point us in the right direction.

The church is uniquely positioned to help the community in difficult times as most believers will run to their church leaders for help.  Mental health training will help support the congregation with issues like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder just to name a few.

THE WHOLE BEING

The bible is clear that humans are a three fold being consisting of a mind, body and spirit.   When one of those is out of peace, the other two are affected.  Keeping all three healthy is to find balance and wholeness.

“I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (body), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

Two Types of Crisis

Grief – Unfortunately the majority of us will suffer loss at one point in our lives and loss can lead to grief.

Some types of loss are:  Substantial financial loss, death of a close relative or friend, loss of a job, divorce, separation and loss of a family home or death of a beloved pet.

Mental Health – People with a mental illness like depression or anxiety can have overwhelming emotions and feelings that often alter their thought processes leading them to overreact to normal everyday situations.  Having lived all my life with the fortnightly roller-coaster of Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, it was a common occurrence to cry about problems during ovulation. After having my daughter in 2004, I became peri-menopausal and that’s when my symptoms, that included rage, became extreme.

Those who have a mental illness often find normal activities become overwhelming.  For some this might mean the inability to function as they normally would, they can lose their jobs often leading to a loss of quality of life and isolation.

Those Who Have Helped & Supported Me

Counsellor, Gynaecologist & Doctor – good listeners & resourceful – The best help so far for PMDD.  My GP sent me to a gynaecologist who recognised my symptoms.  He put me on a birth control pill (Norimin) suggesting I cut out the sugar tablets so to stop my menses completely, thus stopping what happens to my brain during that time when receptors shut down causing a depletion of my happy hormones.  I was also put on anti-depressants (Pristiq).   This helped me to function normally only to experience mild symptoms of PMDD now and again. The counsellor helped me to organise myself mentally in order to help me with my circumstances.  Finally I was beginning to function normally.

Family & Close Friends – Advice differed according to personalities, religious views, professions and some of those with mental health training (My two sisters) listened and then pointed me in the right direction.  Untrained friends lacked the ability to help me with my mental health problems which to them was foreign.

Pastoral care – Able to help me with personal and spiritual problems but when my mental illness was kicking in with intense bouts of depression that left me crying for hours nonstop, my thoughts were dark and gloomy and it seemed like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  My pastoral care team were untrained to recognise symptoms of mental health problems; they didn’t know what to do apart from praying for me, which was great for me as I was hoping for a miracle.  But, miracles don’t always come when you want them to and it’s not through a lack of your personal faith.  God’s timing for your life is perfect. When a person is physically sick they go to see a doctor.  A person who has mental health problems needs counselling support.

That’s why I believe in mental health training for all church leaders.   Knowing the difference can make all the difference to a person in need.  Christians who have mental health disorders need to know that they are supported within the church, be pointed to mental health support services and resources when needed and they also need to know that they’re no less a Christian for being mentally unwell.

The body is all interconnected.  If our bodies can get sick, then the mind is no exception. Caring for the three fold being, mind, body and spirit leads to wholeness.

Sandra Ciminelli
PEN WITH A VIEW

Where to get help in Australia

Talk to your doctor who can point you in the right direction if you feel that you have a mental health issue.  You might be able to qualify for a mental health plan.

Lifeline A free 24 hour crisis counselling service – 13 11 14

Mens Line – A free 24 hour counselling service for men –  1300 78 99 78

Kids Help Line – Email Counselling and Web-chat available – 1800 55 1800

PMDD – My Mental Health Nightmare

Sandra writes about her experience with PMDD hoping to raise awareness and break the stigma.

PMDD GIRL
After having my first child at 39 years of age, the bouts of monthly depression (PMDD) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder were slowly becoming worse.

By the time my daughter was 7 years old I was diagnosed as being peri-menopausal by a nurse at a local clinic.  Around this time my symptoms began to explode into overdrive.

The anger during the 14 days of ovulation became all out rage and it was scary!

Seeing a specialist, I was put on a birth control pill, cutting out the sugar tablets to stop my period and to stop what happens to my brain during ovulation. The doctor recommended that I take an anti-depressant as well.  Taking a few months to have a good effect on me I was beginning to function normally for the first time. The treatment was working and I couldn’t be happier.

Some of the symptoms may appear every now and again in very minor doses that I can cope with.  One of the major positives is that there’s no longer any sign of anger.

Below are symptoms that appear randomly.

  • Mood swings
  • Migraines
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Self esteem issues
  • Marked anger, increased interpersonal conflicts
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue

In sharing my story I’m hoping to break the stigma by raising awareness of PMDD which has been described as PMS on steroids.

I began a page on Facebook for women in Australia who have or suspect they might have PMDD.   PMDD AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S GROUP

As part of my treatment counselling has helped me to come to terms with what I was facing. I learned to forgive myself and live life to the fullest.  I highly recommend counselling for any woman going through this.  It’s a nightmare and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone!

For Free 24 hour emergency and crisis counselling contact LIFELINE on  13 11 14