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
. 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’


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