It’s been about a week since I posted in my “28 Days to Simplify Your Life a la Pinterest” series. I even had some of the posts pre-written and ready to publish! What happened was that last week on Tuesday, I was sick with some weird 12-hour bug. Pukey stomach, bad headache, and generally not feeling well. I felt better the next day but then on Thursday, I was struck down with crippling anxiety and near-panic attacks. It was terrible. I’m pretty sure this happens to me once a month, but it doesn’t happen every single month, and I haven’t been keeping track lately. Generally what it looks like is that I spend the day crying, as in the tears just roll out of my eyes and I can’t actually stop them. Sometimes that escalates into a panic attack, if I’m triggered by something (what might trigger me changes, but a sure bet seems to be something overwhelming, like scheduling problems). It sucks no matter what (obviously?), but it’s especially awkward when it’s my one day of the week to go in to the office and the thought of skipping work for the day just makes the anxiety worse. So then I stay at work but try to hide my emotional state all day, which I’m sure doesn’t really work.
The next day, magically, I’m always fine. A little emotionally hungover, but otherwise totally fine. It usually takes at least a couple of days to recover though, in that I have to rearrange my To Do list and get caught up on all the things I let slide that day.
Which is why I haven’t posted in a few days. Between the weird illness and the terrible emotional day, it’s taken me a few days to get back on track, and home and work life took precedent over the blog.
However, the incredibly anxious day on Thursday brought something interesting to my attention. Well really it was what happened on Friday morning that brought it to my attention: I had ovulation symptoms (the state of my cervical mucous, to be specific, though I don’t generally love using those words on my blog). I usually suspect my extreme emotions, when not tied to an obvious life event, are tied to my cycle. And I know this would not be the first time I’ve had a severe low that coincided with the egg dropping.
I’ll be tracking my cycle and moods for the next few weeks to confirm, but for now it seems like a strong theory.
Of course I Googled “ovulation anxiety” – and guess what? A ton of forum posts came up with women reporting a similar pattern. There was also a scholarly article entitled “The Complex Interrelationships of Menstrual Cyclicity and Anxiety Disorders” which is really interesting, and on which I would love to see some follow-up.
I find it shocking, and yet not, that this seems to be a relatively common thing and yet it’s virtually unheard of. Have you ever experienced severe anxiety or panic attacks that coincide with your ovulation? Have you seen your doctor about it? Did they offer you any advice or solutions?
I’ll be mentioning this to my doctor in January after I tracked things for a bit. I don’t have a lot of hope for Western medical solutions, but I’ll see him about it. I’m looking at a whole host of possible options, from diet, to herbs, to medication, to acupuncture. I’m also open to other ideas. One day a month isn’t too bad as far as a panic disorder goes (note: I have not been diagnosed with a panic disorder. I’m referring to what my symptoms seem to resemble.), but given how screwed up that one day is, it would be great to figure this out!
And now back to our regularly-scheduled blogging.