Dealing with Loss and PMDD
Q: Please help because I have no one to turn to.
I have secretly suffered for many many years, always on the defensive, blaming
everyone else for upsetting me. I am usually a very gentle, caring, quiet person
until literally the day before my period. My husband, who has always been loving
and supportive of my problem, even though I have never admitted I had a problem,
is now dead.
One weekend, after a beautiful day out, my mood suddenly changed. I was acutely
aware of my mood changing yet I didn't stop screaming and shouting the most
outrageous accusations. I couldn't help myself, and I couldn't stop. I went
on and on screeching like someone possessed. I can still see him now, cowering
from me, bewildered for he didn't know what he had done.
Next morning at work, I discovered I had started my periods and immediately
I was calm, as always. I rang home to apologize but there was no reply. I came
home to find my love had taken his life. My beautiful husband of over 10 years
left without a note.
My immediate reaction was to remove all signs of suicide. Everyone now believes
it to be SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) for he was perfectly healthy and
the pathologists could not find any cause of death. Only I know the truth and
I can't tell anyone.
Now, since his death, each month when I have an attack, I am turning on myself,
calling myself a monster, evil, and have serious self-harming and suicidal thoughts.
I don't have any friends or family for the same reasons -- over the years I
accused them of things.
Why do I behave this way? Nobody could ever guess that I am this monster every
month. I am so sorry.
Dr. Donnica: You have a serious medical condition (premenstrual dysphoric
disorder) and you need serious medical help. The good news is that with medicine
and psychotherapy, you may have years of a much better life ahead of you. Please
make an appointment TODAY with a psychiatrist to discuss this. I wish your husband
had done this before giving in to his despair and taking his own life.
As bad as your problem and your behavior may have been, YOU are not responsible
for the choices your husband made. While it's tragic, he was probably also suffering
terribly from depression. For too many people with this devastating illness, suicide
is the only solution they see. While you may not have been helpful to him, you
didn't kill him. He killed himself. He could have gotten medical assistance; he
could have simply moved out. Clearly, he chose a different and permanent way out.
I would hate to see you make the same mistake he did. Please give yourself the
best holiday gift possible. Please call a psychiatrist NOW and say you need an
For more information on depression and PMDD, click here.
With my best thoughts and prayers for your recovery,
Donnica Moore, MD
Created: 12/20/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.