Hi. My name is Donna Barrowman and I’m delighted to have been asked to write a blog for talkhealth. I was going to say I’m not normal – but then who is?? The best way I can describe myself is hormonally challenged. I have spent the best part of 15 years battling with my hormones, and 3 years ago at age 29 had a complete hysterectomy and ovary removal. I suffered from a condition called PMDD – Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_dysphoric_disorder. The easiest way for me to explain it is that I was intolerant to my own progesterone and hormonal changes – so much so that every month I would go from happy go lucky Donna to paranoid, anxious suicidal Donna – NOT NICE!! But i’m glad to say that today – I am once more happy go lucky Donna. If your interested you can read my story here in an article that I had published in a PMS edition of Menopause International Journal. – http://www.peersupportnetwork.co.uk/MI-12-011.pdf
So – my life experiences have given me a passion for all things hormonal and also how hormones affect our mental health. Having lived through 3 different types of hormonal based depressions (PMDD, PND and also depression in early menopause), I know that without a shadow of a doubt our hormones have a direct link to our mental wellbeing. You will find that my blogs will be a mix of hormonal related issues and also mental health. I’m currently studying the link quite closely because next year I hope to return to study mental health nursing in order to help more women like myself who are often misdiagnosed and are not given the correct – often very simple –treatment that they need. I am a volunteer outreach awareness worker for the National Association for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (www.pms.org.uk).
Apart from all of that – my most important and enjoyable job is that I’m blessed to be a mummy to 2 adorable boys, age 4 and 6. They will of course occasionally sneak into my blogs as they give me so much inspiration in life and hope for the future – something that I lost at one point.
So I hope that you will enjoy reading my blog. I’m confident that I can open your eyes to some interesting facts about female hormones and mental health, and hopefully I can help you to see that there is life with and after mental illness. I have a ‘thing’ for nice sayings and always tend to end my blogs with one – here is todays:
‘Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly’