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Help me deal with moodswings without destroying DP

(61 Posts)
WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 10:36:24

Sorry if this turns into a bit of a novel:

Have been with DP 5 years, love him to pieces - we're really happy together. He makes me laugh everyday and is genuinely the most kind and caring person I know.

There are things he does which irk me, which is natural. I'm sure I irritate him in a minor way from time to time.

However, a week or two before my period, for 2 - 3 days, I get mind-bending rage at him, lose my temper, resent everything he does/says, am generally evil (completely overreact and say horrible things) and have near panic attacks that we are not right for each other and I'm making a huge mistake. This is followed almost immediately by massive guilt, fear of losing him and more panic.

His crimes are as follows:

He will occasionally leave clothes in the bathroom (on the floor), instead of putting them away immediately, as I would do.
He also leaves empty toilet rolls lying around rather than change the toilet roll properly.
Forgets on rare occasions to clean the toilet bowl after himself. Or doesn't do it as well as I would like.
He seems incapable of eating cereal and milk with out slopping it about (bringing the spoon up to his mouth before the milk has fully stopped running off it - or he will lift the bowl up to just under his chin and spoon from there - noisy and unattractive to watch)

Just typing that has given me the rage again. He is a lovely man. I am an evil, hormonal banshee.

The moodswings are completely OTT and ridiculous and DP gets the full force of my PMT rage every month

I've looked on the health boards and there seem to be a few medical things I could try but I want to know what I can do practically - all I can think of is leaving the house and only coming back to sleep on those days, which is not going to work.

I was thinking I can mark the days on the calendar so he knows to go out with his mates or keep himself busy (away from me!) or something?

AIBU? Any suggestions? Is it just me?!

theredjellybean Mon 22-Jun-15 10:57:36

please go and speak to your GP, prozac the drug used for depression is now licensed ( i think) for use in pmt..it is very very effective and in no way am i suggesting you are depressed. I have used it myself for same problem after i found myself yelling at my poor dds that i wished they had never been born ( please dont flame me, i only did it once, and they were little, and i have now got teenagers who understand how hormones do make you nutty) . I am also a doctor and have used it in patients with great results

pictish Mon 22-Jun-15 11:01:24

I'd get the rage at the cereal eating at any time. Bleurgh...no need.

Reading this has made me wonder if I might not unwittingly suffer from a similar thing(ish).

cuntycowfacemonkey Mon 22-Jun-15 11:05:02

Oh god the cereal thing is totally justified, I just have to leave the room now when DH and the dc's are eating cereals

beaglesaresweet Mon 22-Jun-15 11:07:47

prozac? it's addictive! surely not worth taking it monthly for the sake of 2-3 days. Best for him to be out a lot, but also can't he make an effort for just a few days if you mark them on the calendar to do things on your list perfectly as you ask? It can't be that hard!

beaglesaresweet Mon 22-Jun-15 11:08:43

but yes you must leave hte room when he eats cereal grin!

cuntycowfacemonkey Mon 22-Jun-15 11:13:22

I don't think prozac is addictive

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 11:19:10

Thanks for the replies!

The cereal thing: I was sat opposite him this morning whilst he was doing it (around 05:30am - so fine, he was tired as it was early) literally holding my breath with the rage boiling up inside me - the things I think to myself are snide, sarky, mean and hurtful things going round and round in my head...

Don't get me wrong: I still believe that most of what he does that annoys me is unjustified - he's a grown man. He should be able to clean/pick up after himself and get milk into his face in a tidy fashion grin.

It's my complete mania/overreaction that's the problem.

Bless him - he is the less assertive of the two of us and he never retaliates - he could get down on bended knee and apologise for the cereal thing and, so powerful is my rage, I'd have a go at him for apologising/criticise his apology.

I think I will make a very obvious calendar in the kitchen with the days marked in RED and will discuss with him tonight that, I will try my best to keep a lid on it, but for his own sake he needs to stay out of my way for those days. I saw on here someone said they have a 'signal' which was "I'm going upstairs for 10 mins" and the other person knows to leave them alone for a bit...

shovetheholly Mon 22-Jun-15 11:21:31

Honestly, it IS worth taking something like prozac if these mood swings are so extreme that they are threatening what is otherwise a good relationship.

I think that many women have experience of PMT, but there are a few for whom the emotional rollercoaster is off the scale. I have a friend who is like this, and she is absolute hell to be around in those days. In the past, she has been so completely unreasonable that it has been a major factor in ending every single promising relationship that she has ever had.

In recent years, she has undergone both counselling for the rage, and started to take prozac for the hormonal symptoms. And she is SO much better. For the first time in ages, I think she has a real chance at being happy.

I think (perhaps because we don't talk about periods much!) there is often a temptation to assume that our own experience of PMT (or bleeding, actually) is true for everyone. It isn't! It's a scale, and different people experience different things, and if someone says that they are really struggling it's sometimes best to think 'Oh their experience must be worse than mine' rather than 'Oh they must be less tough than me'. It is unhelpful to assume that because you cope with your situation that someone else's is the same and that they are simply weak! This isn't aimed at anyone here - it's actually personal, based on my experience of excessive bleeding.

DoreenLethal Mon 22-Jun-15 11:21:37

Leave the clothes where they are dropped.
Leave the toilet rolls where they are dropped
Leave the toilet bowl and just say 'I think you left something in the toilet dear'
Leave the room during the slopping of the cereal

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 11:21:41

Re the Prozac. I'm reluctant to take anything as it's a long-term problem (God only know what I'll be like when pregnant!) and I'd like to find strategies that work without relying on any meds.

Lots of people suggest Evening Primrose Oil, but I've seen really mixed reviews about whether or not it actually works

I have only ever been worse once: on Microgynon - temper was the same, but combined with hysterical sobbing.

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 11:24:38

Doreen - this is what I do. Only difference is your response to the toilet bowl is a lot more polite and controlled. That is what I would normally say (in fairness, it doesn't happen often) but, when DP is unlucky enough to let things slip during the 'danger zone' - he will get a right mouthful, complete with insults and storming around and shouting.

I actually start off calm - and there's this calm before the storm moment where we both know it's coming and he can't stop it - literally whatever he says or does will cause the rage...

theredjellybean Mon 22-Jun-15 11:31:41

prozac is not addictive . absolute fact.

yes you do have to take it every day , obviously when you are pregnant you do not get the same hormonal cycle that causes PMT smile

I found that after 6 months on prozac i came off it and was better for about another 2 years, just noticed it creeping back though.

evening primrose does not have any scientific evidence to support its use but you can try , there maybe a good placebo effect.

other option if you are not TTC is the mini pill...it gives a steady dose of progesterone , and it is the changes in progesterone levesl which are thought to be cause of pmt.

or of course get pregnant smile)

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 11:45:10

jellybean thanks for your replies.

I think my fear re. pregnancy is that I always hear of women being weepy/hormonal and getting 'preggo rage' during pregnancy and, if I'm ridiculously angry due to hormones now, I'm scared I'll be ten times worse due to any kind of hormonal ups and downs associated with pregnancy. Which is why I think I need a strategy.

The idea of taking anything frightens me, if I'm honest. Even the idea of a placebo effect scares me as I don't feel I'll be dealing with the problem

I think the PP who mentioned that my DP could put some more effort in on those particular days is a good idea - I can't expect him to now because he has no idea it's coming (have never really taken note of my cycle, so is a bit of a surprise to me too, sometimes)

shovetheholly Mon 22-Jun-15 11:48:43

"Even the idea of a placebo effect scares me as I don't feel I'll be dealing with the problem"

This makes no sense. If it works, who cares?

I think there's a slight case here of not knowing where your responsibility stops and starts - of not knowing what is hormonal and what is you and of not wanting to take any responsibility. The answer, inevitably, is that it's a bit of both: this behaviour is caused by hormones but is also under your control in terms of how you 'act it out'. And while it is understandable that you feel this way it is nonetheless not acceptable to shout, scream and insult someone. So you need to do something about it. That might be medical, or it might be counselling or CBT to learn new, less destructive techniques of managing those emotions.

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 11:59:28

shovetheholly I think it makes sense and is in no way me "not wanting to take any responsibility" - it's the total opposite.

Have you read my original post? Because your reply seems to state the obvious: 'it's not acceptable to shout, scream and insult someone' and 'you need to do something about it' - precisely what my OP was about...?!

Anyway, I know the emotional response is hormonal, because I don't have the same response the rest of the time, only during this time in my cycle.
I start off calm because I know this and am trying my best to be reasonable. So I am aware.

I lose my temper because I am unable to control it. Which is why I am looking for strategies so I can control it. Because I am aware this bit is under my control.

A placebo/Prozac might work. But is not a strategy in my mind. In my mind, that would be placing all the blame squarely on my hormones, and therefore not taking any responsibility at all.

theredjellybean Mon 22-Jun-15 12:03:23

wrath - i do understand what you are saying but i dont think you can just deal with it by altering your behaviour, the rage feeling is like an irrational red mist. I know i could no more have stopped myself than fly to the moon, and i also have had patients say same, and who have done ever more 'mad' things - someone once threw a kitchen knife at her dh...and she was the mildest, nicest , well mannered lady the rest of the month.

you are dealing with the problem is you acknowledge that this is a problem and you seek the appropriate help for it...which you may have to accept is medication. If you simple refuse to consider it then tbh you are not dealing with your problem and you are abdicating responsibility for it ....

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 12:29:46

I'm sorry - I just don't agree that not wanting to take Prozac makes me irresponsible.

At the very least I would try behavioural techniques before popping pills.

I totally understand that they could work brilliantly, but for me they would be a last resort, not a first step.

That doesn't mean I am not taking responsibility.

I don't even track my cycle at the moment, so I'm sure there's a lot I could be doing to help myself.

It's only just occurred to me now that not tracking my cycle is irresponsible - that I have been expecting DP to beware these 'mad' days when I'm not even sure when they are myself! So that will obviously change starting now.

theredjellybean Mon 22-Jun-15 12:35:27

good idea wrath...a diary charting it, distraction for the dasy you now are going to be bad perhaps, and i might not sound sympathetic, but i am, just know that you cannot actually control your hormonal moods as they are driven by a greater force...the female hormones smile
good luck and stay away from the kitchen knife block ...

mistymeanour Mon 22-Jun-15 12:47:01

Go and see the GP - there a lot of things other than Prozac you could take and may only need to take for the few days you have bad PMT. You could go down the supplement route - I have found my PMT symptoms have really improved by taking 400mg magnesium daily (migraine, hot flushes, feel calmer) and have heard good things about B12

shovetheholly Mon 22-Jun-15 12:54:14

wrath - we're not saying that you shouldn't try counselling or CBT or other techniques. Far from it. More that you shouldn't feel like taking what is effectively a tiny dose of prozac (far lower than that used for depression) is in any way weird, weak, shameful or extreme. For many women, including those who cannot afford the cost of private counselling, it is a practical and effective everyday solution with comparatively few side effects. (I think there are sometimes fears around ADs like prozac that aren't grounded in reality, not saying this in your case, but culturally it is 'out there'). At any rate, it is a better solution than living with the problem!!

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 13:11:48

shove - I don't think taking medication is 'in any way weird, weak, shameful or extreme'. I have no doubt that it would probably work. In the kindest way possible (honestly) your last post sounds a bit like you work in PR for Prozac... grin

But in all honesty, if I was to swan into my GPs office right now and say 'I get really bad PMT, give me some Prozac' before discussing my cycle, choice of contraception, any possible history of mental health issues in my family, and making it clear that I'd tried nothing so far to help, he'd most likely laugh his head off.

My experience of this would be my mother: she was recovering from a messy divorce to my violent and narcissistic schizophrenic father, raising DC alone, with next to no money and no support in a house which needed a lot of work doing to make it a pleasant living environment. She was drinking a lot and smoking and comfort eating, so was very overweight and stressed/anxious.

She went to the GP and GP prescribed anti-depressants. Not counselling, not support of any kind, just straight to the pills.

DM said they stopped her feeling depressed, but also stopped her feeling anything at all.

She felt indifferent to her children, not that she didn't love them, but that nothing was really important, like she was in a bubble.

She said it was scary how little she cared about what was going on around her. I remember this. I remember not being able to get through to her.

So, she stopped taking them. Stopped drinking and smoking. She started exercising - she has an addictive personality so the 'buzz' from exercise replaced the junk food/booze and cigarettes. It was really hard going and took years of her life.

She can recognise when she's feeling down and can do things to help, or at least explain the feelings to herself.

I am well aware that depression isn't a one-size-fits-all and that chemical imbalances can't be fixed with fresh air and exercise (see above re. my DF) but my mum's life was really depressing at that time.

Anti-depressants technically made the problem of the low emotions go away, but introduced a whole new set of problems which were much worse for my DM.

So drugs are brilliant in some cases. Absolute god-sends, I completely agree. But they are not the first and only answer for everyone.

MrsCaptainReynolds Mon 22-Jun-15 13:14:47

I have the same problem.

Things that help:
Vitamin b6 seems to iron things out a little, taken all cycle with a good multivit.
I use a Persona for contraception. As it sits in the bathroom we both know exactly where I am in my cycle at any one time, so on day 26 we'll both be alert to any emerging irrationality. He is able to take it less personally as a result.
Knowing its not just me. One of the sanest and most rational people I know grabbed her DHs pinky finger and broke it in a PMT rage!
Eating foods rich in phytooestrogens toward latter half of the cycle -yams/sweet potato, soya beans...
Generally eating well; low carbs, oily fish.

There is a definite association between pigging out on junk food and refined carbs and the intensity of my PMT.

MrsCaptainReynolds Mon 22-Jun-15 13:21:31

And I work in mental health and fully agree with you, change your behaviour before opting for psychopharmacology. Although SSRI manufacturers did try to market them for PMT, or rather premenstrual dysphoria, there's little good rationale for it. I believe there's currently more evidence for oestrogen supplementation and the non drug approaches you are quite sensibly thinking about. This isn't the situation for prozac evangelism.

WrathoftheBanshee Mon 22-Jun-15 13:26:24

Thanks MrsCaptain - I don't take any supplements at the moment but I can't give blood as, according to the tests, I have just enough iron in my blood for me, but not enough to be a donor, so maybe I should be taking iron?

And I will find somewhere obvious to put the calendar and make it very clear when my cycle is. I think this will help me as much as DP as it's usually only after I've been a total cow that I realise it's the time of the month. I think I'll be less stressed/not beat myself up as much if I know I'm hormonal.

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