‘My periods made me suicidal so I had a hysterectomy at 28’

For a couple of weeks every month, Lucie appeared to become a different person – one particular suffering from countless mental and bodily problems – and she couldn’t discover why. She spent years looking for a physician who could provide an answer, also it took a hysterectomy at the age of twenty-eight to cure her.

“I would know that things would certainly change before I even opened up my eyes in the morning. It was just like this particular weight had been put on me, inch says Lucie. “I did visit the doctor at one point plus tell them that I thought I was had. ”

Before puberty hit, Lucie had been a relaxed, happy, carefree child. But in the age of 13 she started to have problems with severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

She also started to self-harm, and experienced extreme feeling swings. So at 14, the lady was pulled out of her popular school and sent to live in a teenager mental health unit.

“I had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and Obsessive Addictive Disorder (OCD), and they mentioned zweipolig quite a lot, ” she recalls.

But none of these appeared to fit the cyclical nature associated with her symptoms.

Things changed dramatically when the lady became pregnant at 16 along with her son, Toby.

“Within a few months of being expectant I left the hospital. My signs and symptoms just seemed to disappear. I was joyful. I felt really good. I experienced mentally really, really well, which was a bg surpise. ”

This survived throughout her pregnancy and the girl time breastfeeding – but when the girl periods came back, so did the girl symptoms.

Image caption When Lucie was pregnant her symptoms vanished and she felt very well

A few years later, Lucie, from Devon, went back to college to analyze for A levels, but every couple weeks she would feel unable to cope with the particular pressure, and eventually she quit.

Then she embarked on the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) to turn into a teaching assistant. This time she fought through to the final stretch, stopping just two months before the end, when the girl symptoms became unbearable.

But at 23 Lucie grew to become pregnant again – with the girl daughter Bella. And again the girl felt mentally well, despite needing to spend months in hospital along with severe vomiting.

Right after Bella was born, however , the symptoms the girl had been struggling with for years became worse.

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Media caption Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects around one in twenty women in the UK.

Some were actual – joint and muscle discomfort, hypersensitivity to sounds, smell plus touch, and extreme fatigue. Other people were mental – invasive ideas, irrational behaviour, forgetfulness, and mind-boggling feelings of hopelessness.

“The scariest thing for me had been depersonalisation, where I would feel like I had been completely disconnected from my body, plus like I was in a dream. With points I would find that I failed to recognise the people that were around myself. I knew that I should know all of them, but their faces just didn’t create any sense to me, ” the lady remembers.

“And with one point, when things had been really really bad, I could listen to my voice as someone else’s, then when I was talking, I couldn’t identify my own voice or my own representation. ”

She often suffered from suicidal thoughts, which led the girl to take enormous risks, almost ready her own death.

Each one of these things occurred at monthly time periods, but it wasn’t until her spouse, Martin, offhandedly mentioned that he ought to keep quiet before her time period, so as not to annoy her, that will Lucie began to study the connection among her periods and her signs and symptoms.

“It became fairly clear what was going on, ” the girl says. “Within hours of hemorrhaging, I would be fine. I would move from one extreme to the other. I might know that my period was arriving and though I suffered from really, actually heavy, awful periods, I sensed at my best when I was hemorrhaging. I even very carefully planned the wedding day so I would be bleeding since I knew that it was the only period I felt OK. ”

Up to this point, Lucie got always assumed that her human hormones exacerbated the mental health problems the lady had been diagnosed with. Now she started to wonder if they could be the cause.

Armed with a listing of about 30 symptoms and info she had printed off the web, Lucie went to speak to her DOCTOR. At the time, she was consistently being taught that she was suffering from post-natal depression after the birth of her child, but having suffered from depression previously, Lucie strongly believed this was not the case.

She have been medicated with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medicines and sleeping pills since the girl was a teenager. And now anti-psychotics had been added to the mix.

“Every time I went, they will up something or add some thing. I was on a very hefty dosage of anti-depressants. And I would tell them, ‘I’m not depressed… that isn’t depression, something else is happening. ‘ We felt like I was losing my thoughts completely. ”

The girl GP sent her to see a psychological health team, who told her that will although some of her symptoms had been affecting her mental health, the lady had a physical condition that could not be handled by a psychiatrist. But when Lucie requested her GP if she can see a gynaecologist, he scoffed in the idea and sent her to the mental health team.

This time they gave Lucie’s condition a name: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – a serious form of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These people wrote to the GP recommending that will she be seen by a gynaecologist, plus “think about medication to prevent ovulation permanently”.

This appeared like a possible breakthrough to Lucie, yet her GP disagreed with the analysis – and insisted that the lady try every possible alternative treatment prior to he would refer her.


What is PMDD?

  • Severe PMS/PMDD impacts 5-10% of menstruating women and is frequently triggered by fluctuations in body hormone levels
  • Some people have a genetic weeknesses to these changes – research has demonstrated that there’s often a family history of PMS
  • While physical symptoms are typical, it is the emotional symptoms, e. gary the gadget guy. depression, irritability, aggression, which result in the greatest problems
  • PMS/PMDD can affect anyone that menstruates, but it most commonly occurs throughout adolescence, when periods first start, and over-35s
  • Hysterectomy is usually a final resort for PMS/PMDD and not carried out lightly, but it can be an effective treatment – patients must receive HRT to ensure that PMS problems are not changed with menopause problems

Source: Nick Panay and Anna Fenton


She had been put on various birth control pills, which usually made her feel constantly sick, and once the dosage limit has been reached for one anti-depressant, another one had been added on top.

The lady was prescribed Mirtazapine, Sertraline, Prozac, Diazepam and sleeping tablets, all of these made her feel numb, plus made it harder for her to argue the girl case.

“It was very difficult. I was at my most severe, I couldn’t go to the doctors, could not even string a sentence jointly. I couldn’t hold a discussion. And then when I was well, I actually couldn’t even remember what I have been like, the weeks prior to that could just be a blur. ”

It was Lucie’s hubby, Martin, who ensured that the girl kept going back to see her physician, and trying other GPs, within the hope of finding one that would pay attention to her. Eventually, she met person who recognised that none of her remedies had worked, and at long final referred her to a gynaecologist.

The appointment took place nearly a year after her diagnosis of PMDD and she was immediately offered shots, taken every four weeks, which would quit the production of oestrogen in the girl body, causing her to go in to a temporary menopause. If these shots worked, it would confirm her associated with PMDD.

The first fourteen days were incredibly difficult, with the most severe of Lucie’s symptoms flaring upward constantly. But after that, as the girl was bracing for her monthly onslaught to begin, nothing happened, and she sensed truly well for the first time in more than a decade.

“Suddenly, almost everything changed… all my symptoms vanished, inch she says. “I didn’t understand how bad I was until they will disappeared. ”

Inside two months, miraculously, she was able to go all the medication that she’d already been on since her teens.


Learn more


At her first follow-up visit, five months after the injections acquired begun, her PMDD diagnosis had been confirmed. And a new, more long lasting, idea was raised – a total hysterectomy, the surgical removal of Lucie’s womb and ovaries.

Prior to this, Lucie had been fully certain that she wanted another kid, but she quickly found the girl conviction wavering.

“It was really important to me but then We knew that would mean coming away from this injection, letting my intervals come back in, and everything that included that – and it was simply an impossible task, ” the girl says.

“I failed to think I would make it if I do that. I thought I’d end up suicidal once again, doing ridiculous risky things. It had been just a scary feeling. ”

When Lucie discussed associated with a hysterectomy with Martin, this individual was supportive, but concerned that will she might come to regret your decision – which would not only rule out anymore children, but make Lucie’s short-term menopause permanent. Lucie says the lady was worried about that too. But then these people sat down to write a list of signs and symptoms she had previously suffered from : and this time came up with a total associated with 42.

“Looking back again over that list, there was simply no way I could survive that once again, knowing what life was supposed to be such as, knowing what normal was, ” the girl says. “I hadn’t known exactly what normal was until now. Martin experienced seen the change in myself and our lives. It was so much much better. ”

As Lucie was arriving at terms with the idea of having a hysterectomy, though, she experienced a nasty surprise – her symptoms started to come back again.

“The symptoms had been just creeping back bit by bit, that was scary, and I started feeling taking once life again. I was so desperate for the particular injections. I knew that they experienced helped but suddenly they were unable working, and I was trying to get all of them earlier and earlier every month. It had been really like being addicted, ” the lady says.

Lucie’s gynaecologist then told her it wasn’t feasible that the injections were wearing away from, and that her diagnosis of PMDD should have been inaccurate. She was informed to stop taking the injections and get back to using birth control to help manage the girl hormones.

“I was thinking that I couldn’t accomplish that. I would rather die than return to what I had been like before, inch she says.


Help and assistance


The nurse that were giving her injections for months suggested yet another GP, and this one decided to Lucie’s request to be referred to a professional unit that she’d read about, on the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital working in london.

A few months later, Lucie walked into the clinic and informed her full story, going back nearly fifteen years. When she mentioned which the injections had been wearing off, the physician replied that this was, in fact , fairly common. That validation was a large relief.

The girl was offered an injection used every 10 weeks instead of 4, and for a while it worked so well it seemed there would be no need for a hysterectomy. But then Lucie started suffering from a brand new problem brought on by the temporary perimenopause she had undergone – the loss of bone density that often results in osteoporosis. She was prescribed Body hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to deal with this but it made her incredibly unwell.

This constructed Lucie’s mind and in December 2016, at the age of 28, she had a hysterectomy.

Picture caption Lucie recovering within hospital after her hysterectomy

Up until your day of her surgery she discovered herself questioning whether this was the ideal decision.

But in the entire year since the operation, despite occasional migraine headaches, she has been able to do more than within the 10 years before it. She has completed her NVQ and is now operating as a teaching assistant, doing the really job she never thought she’d be well enough to do.

“I still haven’t very got my head around the fact that this is the way it is always going to be, ” the girl says.

Lucie does not feel bitter about the time this took for her to get a diagnosis.

“I got there in the long run. I just feel lucky that it was something which could be cured and that I did view the best people. I know that when I had been younger, the symptoms were all due to PMDD – I have no uncertainties about that whatsoever – but it simply wasn’t recognised then like it has become.

“It was simply shrugged off as, ‘Oh simply no you know everybody gets PMS. Everyone feels like that sometimes, ‘ which is not the case. ”

She does wish, though, that will she’d been taken more significantly by her doctors after the birthday of her daughter, when her signs and symptoms were at their most severe.

“I wish I’d already been listened to more, really. I just desire they’d taken into account what I was stating. If you’re feeling like I was sensation, something is quite badly wrong. inch

The surgery offers affected not only Lucie, but those around her. Martin, a music performer, is able to spend more time working, because Lucie can now take responsibility for the kids. Toby is old enough to understand the positive change in his mother; Lucie hopes that Bella does not keep in mind her the way she was prior to her treatment for PMDD started. They are now so much happier as being a family.

“Is this particular what everyone else is like all the time? They will not know how lucky they are, ” Lucie says. “And it’s nothing I will ever ever take for granted. ”

Follow Natasha Lipman on Twitter @natashalipman

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