PMDD: You’ll need more than prayer

PMDD: You’ll need more than prayer

courtesy of Google images

I haven’t used my blog in while, but this Monday I decided I needed to share. Mostly for myself, at times I’ve got to be selfish. I  truly believe this post could be useful to others as well. As for the title, don’t be offended my Christan folk. Sometimes, we have to use what the Lord has provided us with, and a lot of times that means medication! It doesn’t mean you stop the prayer,  you just have to kick things up a notch. Trust me, I am always here for an SSRI and a Hail Mary or two!

What’s PMDD mean?  Well, it stands for Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, its a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS but are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, and relationships.

It’s something that I don’t generally share with people, but I’m honestly over the “raised brow,” or whatever other dismissive or confused response I get. A couple of years ago, I noticed a really crippling case of PMS. I realized my moods were crazy, I was depressed, relationships were extremely difficult to manage, and it all seemed to correlate with monthly hormonal changes. I went to see my doctor and she agreed that these were not the norm for PMS symptoms, so she provided me with medication.

I have a really bad habit of not maintaining oral medications. I get this, “well I work in mental health so perhaps I can use my coping skills to manage this.” Nope, I can’t.  My PCP requested I not do this anymore, but did I listen? Of course not. Here I am today, on Monday, desperately waiting to leave work to get my Rx filled. I’ve had about two good weeks of a normal upbeat mood. My personal relationships are going well, then yesterday I noticed the shift, and today, I am heading to the miserable place of PMDD/PMS hell. The one where I have increased anxiety, the one where my boyfriend wants to strangle me and disappear to not deal with my craziness. That space where I am especially weepy and struggle to complete day-to-day tasks, like going to the grocery store or getting up for work.

I say all this to say, we are all human and we’ve got to get out of this place of stigmatizing mental health problems. When I say we, I mean Black women who have a tendency to lean on that “Superwoman syndrome.” I also say this to the Black men who are experiencing shifts in their mental health, which is lending itself to the mass amounts of Black  men committing suicide. I am really looking forward to starting a women’s group at my  job, and before I start I’ve got to get real. I have to be comfortable with sharing and learning how to respond to real people and real issues. I also need to continue to collaborate with my peers to learn how to better serve my community, the educated, Black, young  professionals struggling to manage.

Quick Facts on PMDD

How Common Is PMDD?
PMDD occurs in 2% to 10% of menstruating women. Women with a personal or family history of depression or postpartum depression are at greater risk for developing PMDD.

What Causes PMDD?
As with PMS, the exact cause of PMDD is not known. Most researchers, however, believe PMDD is brought about by the hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle. Recent studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps transmit nerve signals. Certain brain cells that use serotonin as a messenger are involved in controlling mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Therefore, chronic changes in serotonin levels can lead to PMDD symptoms.

The symptoms of PMDD can include any of the following:

-Mood swings
-Depressed mood or feelings of hopelessness
-Marked anger, increased interpersonal conflicts
-Tension and anxiety
-Irritability
-Decreased interest in usual activities
-Difficulty concentrating
-Fatigue
-Change in appetite
-Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
-Sleep problems
-Physical problems, such as bloating, breast tenderness, swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain.

courtesy of Webmd
Advertisements
How do I keep up with blogging?

How do I keep up with blogging?

I’m so confused on how to keep up with my blogging. How do I increase traffic? What is the point of my blog? Do I just talk about my life and relate to my crazyyy life as a social worker? What about all the crazy stuff that happens to me on the day-to-day, like my trips to the store, or the old guy who tells me to make sure I put oil sheen in my afro?

I am open to suggestions. What do you people want to see? As of now, I am lost. I was hoping that my trip in the blistering cold to see Issa Rae, author of “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” would be one of those inspiring trips. You know, those experiences where you see the light and then spiral into this overnight internet sensation. Eh, didn’t happen. Maybe it’s because I was on the metro, somehow got lost, and then had to sit in the back behind the various natural hair-dos, I couldn’t see shit and despised the chick who interviewed her as if this was Oprah’s ” Next Chapter”.

I have so much creativity in my veins and social work isn’t cutting it. I love working with my clients, I love the training, I love the feelings of success with the guy who has feces all over his apartment, but I have to release the inner artist in me. I AM LEFT-HANDED DAMMIT!!! I want to be creative (although I’ve read that the left-handers being more creative is a total myth).

Enough of this rant…

Girls

Girls

Image
Photo Credit: Google Images http://www.vibe.com/article/new-music-estelle-make-her-say-beat-it

Last entry, I was pretty bummed about my car breaking down, not scoring a job, and who knows what else! I was excited to write a new entry to talk about how things had turned around for the better, but that would be a total LIE! I’ve not found a job yet. However, I did graduate from just completing a plethora of job applications with no interviews, to having interviews, but still NO job! My car is completely dead (R.I.P. Chloe) BTW, I think I will never purchase a Volkswagen again.

Where does this leave me now??  I’m getting a lot more exercise walking to and fro.

I’ve began learning the Baltimore City public transit system, I’ve explored and used ZipCar, Uber, Amtrak, Metro, I also learned how to bum a ride to Baltimore on a Sunday night with my L.A.N. (local a** n-word) A.K.A. Corey.  Heels have been somewhat removed from my wardrobe due to the unknown amounts of walking I may have to do on any giving outing (i.e.: walking 1.34 miles at 3 am in Southeast D.C). 

I am even closer to graduation and I’m crossing my fingers that having my degree in hand, plus pending licensure will secure me a job so that I can begin my career as a Social Worker (a career that many people completely lack respect for). I’ve recently had a few people mention to me how I am destined to be broke because I chose this field. Usually, at this time I give the meanest stank face I can muster up, because when did it become okay to discuss salary at a train station bar?! Fortunately, Essence magazine knows the worth of a social worker! As I perused the April issue I was shocked to see in the Style/ Dress for Success section a social worker! Well, I was excited and looking at the pricing of the suggested outfit, Essence knows that we can make over 32k, okaaaaay!!!

Image
Photo Credit: Essence Magazine April 2014 Issue

Other than anxiously waiting graduation, I’ve been taking selfies on the train, hitting up brunch spots in DC, and the occasional dive bar with old roommates and friends (with sponsors).  There is also the-ever-so daunting task of trying to build some type of relationship with a man in 2014; while not trying to be all clinical with him and “therapize” him every chance I get.  Oh yea, I’ve also had time to go from loving Beyonce to blaming her for my inability to sustain a relationship because she has got me out here thinking “Drunk In Love” is possible when you’re single, 25, and unwed!!! Damn her & the illusions she’s put in most Black women’s brains. It can’t all be my fault!!

Sidenote: I’ve also been “put on” to the HBO series “Girls,” and I love it! Like most people, I binge watched the series until I was all caught up, was able to identify with the characters, feel like they are my actual friends, and then decide that I am Hannah. BTW, season finale is this Sunday at 10! 

I am okay. I may not seem okay, and I might not be okay now, but I am, like, OKAY. 

-Marnie, Girls

 

Le’ Struggle

Le’ Struggle

DISCLAIMER: The following post does NOT indicate I need a man to be happy, but it does indicate that as a human being we all like to be shown a little love here and there and have someone there for us in out time of need. 

Image

Why didn’t any of you tell me that I was going to have to struggle these past two weeks & that I was going to be overwhelmed beyond measure??!?!

I definitely have felt down about not immediately finding employment after returning from India, and living in Baltimore hasn’t been my cup of tea-to say the least. Oh, but school started giving me a little something to do and a small aspect of a social life. I went out for the first time in Baltimore had a pretty decent time! YES, things are going somewhat smoothly… I also met a guy… a nice guy… that I actually like… Were the stars aligning??

Fast forward… snow storms a’coming and instead of canceling classes  UMB decides to still hold them, by the time I’m one block away from my my destination my cars starts spinning like a teacup at Disneyland and BOOM!!!!! I crash into a fence, in someones front yard. PISSED is an understatement!!! It’s okay the new guy comes to my rescue like a knight in shining armor… got a little Jack Daniels to wait out the storm & some good company…don’t sweat the small stuff, right??

Image

Ok, Thursday was a fun snow day- got to chill in the house,laugh, talk, and be merry. Friday comes, the sun is out… it’s still snowy, but I’m happyyyyy *Pharell voice*. I’ve got plans and I’m going to get my hair done, head to the mall and get something to wear out for a night out with the girls… BUT wait, lets throw another wrench in the plans. I start may car it herks, it jerks and putt-putts, and then begins to smoke inside and out!!!!  WHYYYYY me??!? All my plans get cancelled I’m stuck in the house (but at least I’ve got the new boo?!).

And here we are, one week later, still no car, no job, and then on top of it I had to deal with a misguided black man cursing me out and leaving me heinous voicemails because I refused to listen to his explicit rants!! I’ve been catching cabs, trains, and others modes of public transportation and hitching rides w/ my knight… he’s been a great person to have around because he took this whole team approach and says its a team effort, totally embracing my issues, rearranging his schedule to accommodate me & my struggle. What more can a girl ask for, a total gentleman–so at least I’ve got him (for now LOL), my “hanging by a thread” sanity, faith in God, and girlishly good looks!

I’m hoping that the upcoming week will relieve some of le’ struggle! Maybe a train ride to the city, a couple cocktails, and some twerking with my girls at the popping juke joint will make me feel better?  Corey can only do so much, right?! I’m hoping my next blog posting will bring tails of triumph, employment, mobility & maybe a little more romance!!! 

My best friend recommended reading the verse below & it shed some light at the end of the tunnel! 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 

Image

 

American Promise: A Documentary on Educational Equality

American Promise: A Documentary on Educational Equality

Image

It is not who you attend school with but who controls the school you attend.
-Nikki Giovanni

Okay so this past week has been sobering and between the constant Facebook posts about people passing, reading chapters upon chapters on mental health, revising cover letters, and resumes I had the opportunity to view an AMAZING documentary. I guess this is what being 25 and somewhat of a professional student will do to you,  this literally has been the highlight of my week, American Promise.

So American Promise is a film that documents thirteen years of education and life in America for two Black young men. The documentary begins with both of these young men embarking on an exciting and rigorous educational journey at one of America’s most prestigious and predominantly white schools. Throughout this two-hour film you see the struggles for a Black boy in the American educational system. 

Honestly, if you have a Black son, if you are a Black son, or if you are considering having a Black son you should watch this. I mean I was captivated from the very start. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was an enlightening story. I have a nephew who struggled throughout school and I saw the frustration and sometimes worry on my sisters face as she wanted the best for him. I saw how hard she had to work to ensure that he made it just through high school,  so that he did not become a statistic. It gave me insight and also frightened me slightly about how challenging child rearing can be especially when you have a Black boy.  As we celebrate Black History Month and the advancements we’ve made because of our ancestors it is important to recognize that even in today’s society there are still so many inequalities for our men. Quite honestly, it doesn’t even if they come from a two-parent household with well-educated parents! I’ve recommended that my sister watch it, even though my nephew is now nineteen, I honestly think they should watch it together. Then maybe, just maybe, he can understand her struggle and appreciate the late nights of homework, the seemingly ridiculous yelling to complete assignments on time, and the tears! One of the thoughts that stood out the most to me in this film was when a white educator acknowledged the disconnect between independent schools and “African American” boys, what is this disconnect and what can we do to repair it? 

Watch the clip below, for a the full documentary click here

A tough topic

A tough topic

ImageThis is just one of those posts where I just need to express myself. I wasn’t this persons best friend, we didn’t take shots together, but so many of my friends are hurt by this and honestly I am too! I have a close friend who has unfortunately experienced loss because of suicide and this is just all hitting too close to home.

Last week, I posted about my class and the wonderful experience that I had. I also briefly touched on suicide. Well, today a fellow Hamptonian committed suicide. Yes, I’ve chosen to go into the field of mental health and suicide is the one thing that seriously baffles and hurts me. Anytime someone commits suicide that I’m somehow connected to– I feel like I’ve lost, like I somehow failed this person no matter the degrees of separation. One thing that I noticed in the documentary I posted, is that every person interviewed somehow felt responsible… and it’s such a common feeling. I can say this, Hamptonians truly know how to come together. I’ve seen an outpouring of support via social media and even via phone today. Let us continue to come together and let us not just do it in times of tragedy, we need to be there for one another every other day as well.

49486836

Once again I’m going to post this link and info because you TRULY do not know what someone is going through. It can be the most popular person, the richest person, or the poorest… So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are feeling hopeless or just down and out call a friend or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Please feel free to comment… post your feelings…sometimes you need to.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is ALWAYS open…

“No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.”

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

ribbon