Wendy’s guest post is the 32nd post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.
I’m Wendy, from Washington state.
I have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
PMDD has symptoms similar to PMS but much more severe and life disrupting.
People with SPD have difficulty processing information received through the senses (sound, sight, movement, smell, taste and touch). It’s considered a childhood developmental disorder but issues usually persist throughout adulthood.
This is my life: the world hurts. Noise hurts. Lights hurt. Clothes hurt. I struggle to stay asleep because everything and anything can wake me up. Daily life is spent trying to decode my body’s alarm system that interprets almost all sensory input as a painful emergency. Sensory overload results in meltdowns and an inability to function.
PMDD symptoms for me include suicidal feelings, rapid and severe mood swings, extreme irritability, migraines, increased allergy symptoms, insomnia and increased hunger. I am currently in “remission” due to my age but I suffered these symptoms almost every month for the past 36 years. It has left me unable to work and basically stolen my life. I’m hoping to finally be free of symptoms for good.
Adapting to sensory issues requires respecting them. Trying to “tough out” a trigger makes it worse and causes more meltdowns. Because I have so much trouble with noise, I tend to be somewhat of a hermit. At home, I can control my sensory input somewhat.
I’m not sure I ever adapted to PMDD but I survived it. Many don’t.
The lack of an adequate support network has changed me more than my disabilities. I’ve been trying to get SS since I stopped being able to work, which was eight years ago. Since then I’ve been homeless several times and had all of my symptoms aggravated by stress and trauma. I’m often bitter and angry, I struggle with depression and I no longer trust doctors, the mental health care system or social services. Peer support, especially online support, has literally kept me alive through it all.
My Favourite Superhero
As for my favorite superhero, does Eleven from Stranger Things count?
Thanks Wendy for sharing your story with my readers and me!