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Periods and Mental Health - !!Tw!!


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Okay, so this is gonna be deep and I really, really don't know if it's something for this page but I really really don't know where else to go with it. It does involve stuff about gender too tho so. 

So, I'm biologically female and 20. I had my first period at 16. It didn't take me long to realise how much I despised it. Now, I know everyone hates their period, no one likes it, but this is way more than just hating it. Blood freaks me out at the best of times, but to me it really shouldn't be coming out my body freely. I don't know why I think that, but I do. It scares me. I do not want children. Relationship-wise, I'm into females/women, so I'm never going to have male-female sex. I do not want children - I want to repeat that. I have never wanted them myself. I don't want to carry or give birth to children. IF (and it's a big if) I ever want children, I will adopt. I have thought  this for as long as I can remember. This is where it gets deep. I started my period today after a year of not having it (I've been to the doctors about it before) and immediately I started thinking about how I could get rid of it. I was prescribed tablets a while back which reduce the flow by 50% for when it goes crazy heavy, and I instantly thought about taking LOADS of them - which of course would not be healthy. I have wished on numerous occasions of getting some sort o f medical problem or disease or cancer or something in my uterus which would mean I could get it removed. I am also genderfluid and get dysphoria when I feel masculine, and having a period really doesn't help this. Having periods has always hindered me; it's stopped me going to places, it's stopped me doing activities I love doing, I fear it, I dread it. I think about it all the time. The other thing is weight. I heard once (and I don't even know how true this is) that being underweight affects your period (i.e reduces it), so now I have a very unhealthy relationship with weight and my period. I've always been conscious about my weight in fear that if I get too heavy or gain more weight that me period will start coming more regularly. Technically I'm already SLIGHTLY (only slightly) underweight. The thing is, I'd rather be skinny, underweight with no period than a healthy weight with a period. I know how bad these thought are.  I also drink less in an attempt to A) reduce the flow (no idea if that even works) B) so i dont have to face going to the toilet so much. I should probably also mention that I have OCD and possibly autism, no idea if that makes a difference but it could explain my odd POV. 

I told my friend and he thinks I should talk to my doctors ASAP - should I? It seems like a silly question considering how much it's impacted me, but could they even do anything? I fear that they wouldn't take it seriously. I'd hope so considering that some of these thoughts are really really bad....  I have told my Mum once before and all she said was 'but all girls have to go through it, you can't do anything about it, it isn't that bad' which absolutely shattered me. 

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19 hours ago, Marv said:

Okay, so this is gonna be deep and I really, really don't know if it's something for this page but I really really don't know where else to go with it. It does involve stuff about gender too tho so. 

So, I'm biologically female and 20. I had my first period at 16. It didn't take me long to realise how much I despised it. Now, I know everyone hates their period, no one likes it, but this is way more than just hating it. Blood freaks me out at the best of times, but to me it really shouldn't be coming out my body freely. I don't know why I think that, but I do. It scares me. I do not want children. Relationship-wise, I'm into females/women, so I'm never going to have male-female sex. I do not want children - I want to repeat that. I have never wanted them myself. I don't want to carry or give birth to children. IF (and it's a big if) I ever want children, I will adopt. I have thought  this for as long as I can remember. This is where it gets deep. I started my period today after a year of not having it (I've been to the doctors about it before) and immediately I started thinking about how I could get rid of it. I was prescribed tablets a while back which reduce the flow by 50% for when it goes crazy heavy, and I instantly thought about taking LOADS of them - which of course would not be healthy. I have wished on numerous occasions of getting some sort o f medical problem or disease or cancer or something in my uterus which would mean I could get it removed. I am also genderfluid and get dysphoria when I feel masculine, and having a period really doesn't help this. Having periods has always hindered me; it's stopped me going to places, it's stopped me doing activities I love doing, I fear it, I dread it. I think about it all the time. The other thing is weight. I heard once (and I don't even know how true this is) that being underweight affects your period (i.e reduces it), so now I have a very unhealthy relationship with weight and my period. I've always been conscious about my weight in fear that if I get too heavy or gain more weight that me period will start coming more regularly. Technically I'm already SLIGHTLY (only slightly) underweight. The thing is, I'd rather be skinny, underweight with no period than a healthy weight with a period. I know how bad these thought are.  I also drink less in an attempt to A) reduce the flow (no idea if that even works) B) so i dont have to face going to the toilet so much. I should probably also mention that I have OCD and possibly autism, no idea if that makes a difference but it could explain my odd POV. 

I told my friend and he thinks I should talk to my doctors ASAP - should I? It seems like a silly question considering how much it's impacted me, but could they even do anything? I fear that they wouldn't take it seriously. I'd hope so considering that some of these thoughts are really really bad....  I have told my Mum once before and all she said was 'but all girls have to go through it, you can't do anything about it, it isn't that bad' which absolutely shattered me. 

Hey @Marv it's clear how much this is affecting you and the way you have described everything, you have given it a lot of thought and a lot of it entirely reasonable - after all anyone that has periods will (I think) to a degree relate to the feeling of "I'm just bleeding and carrying on with my life". It goes against our instinct which is to react to blood loss as an emergency. 

However, you're aware of the things you do in hopes of reducing flow and that wanting to remain underweight in the hope of periods stopping. I agree that advice along the lines "just put up with it" is supremely unhelpful so I wonder if you mum realises the actual impact this is having on you?

I would definitely agree with a visit to your doctor as they may be able to support you through this and discuss potential ways to deal with this. At the very least it would give you a starting point to find out a little more and often, being proactive about our bodies is a huge deal. You deserve the space to discuss your concerns.

What do you think?

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Hi @Blondie

Thank you for your reply. i'm 100% phoning the doctors tomorrow, no doubt about it. I don't think my mom really fully understands how much I hate my period. Like, there's no other way of saying it, I genuinely believe that I should not be bleeding from there, it feels wrong. I've convinced myself so many times that I dont actually have periods, and then when they happen, it's a MASSIVE shock. I have really extreme thoughts about it, some of which I talked about above. I've talked to my friends about it and realised, too, that I think part of it is definitely gender. Currently, I identify as genderfluid, but I've always wondered if I'd be better off transitioning to a guy, even if its just top surgery and testosterone. I dont know. I do have dysphoria. I dont know if this is a coincidence, that I've just happened to get my period at the same time as a masculine period, or if the period is giving me dysphoria. I've always had a very negative relationship with my period, I always cry and breakdown at it. The trouble is, now, I dont know whether to ask to see a gender doctor or a period doctor. I think I need to talk with both. I think tomorrow when I ask for an appointment and they ask what for, I'm just going to say that im not sure but its about my period, gender and mental health and they can put me through to the right doctor, because i really dont know. I do wonder if my hatred for my period has all along been a trans thing, that maybe I'm just experiencing internalised transphobia. In the past, I've cried in the shower because I wondered why I wasn't a guy and why I had breasts etc. Even now being genderfluid, I still reject the label trans. I know not everyone uses the trans label, but i feel like im scared of it and like im maybe in denial? I dont know. I'm so confused.. 

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6 minutes ago, Marv said:

Hi @Blondie

Thank you for your reply. i'm 100% phoning the doctors tomorrow, no doubt about it. I don't think my mom really fully understands how much I hate my period. Like, there's no other way of saying it, I genuinely believe that I should not be bleeding from there, it feels wrong. I've convinced myself so many times that I dont actually have periods, and then when they happen, it's a MASSIVE shock. I have really extreme thoughts about it, some of which I talked about above. I've talked to my friends about it and realised, too, that I think part of it is definitely gender. Currently, I identify as genderfluid, but I've always wondered if I'd be better off transitioning to a guy, even if its just top surgery and testosterone. I dont know. I do have dysphoria. I dont know if this is a coincidence, that I've just happened to get my period at the same time as a masculine period, or if the period is giving me dysphoria. I've always had a very negative relationship with my period, I always cry and breakdown at it. The trouble is, now, I dont know whether to ask to see a gender doctor or a period doctor. I think I need to talk with both. I think tomorrow when I ask for an appointment and they ask what for, I'm just going to say that im not sure but its about my period, gender and mental health and they can put me through to the right doctor, because i really dont know. I do wonder if my hatred for my period has all along been a trans thing, that maybe I'm just experiencing internalised transphobia. In the past, I've cried in the shower because I wondered why I wasn't a guy and why I had breasts etc. Even now being genderfluid, I still reject the label trans. I know not everyone uses the trans label, but i feel like im scared of it and like im maybe in denial? I dont know. I'm so confused.. 

Completely agree that being able to talk about gender, periods and mental health is a good option. I'm not sure if your doctors does it but you can sometimes book a double appointment so that you're not trying to discuss everything in a fixed time slot.

With identity, it is incredibly personal how each of us identify - of course, there are similarities in experiences and some of the terms we use but you can still be having a lived 'trans' experience but not identify with the label at all. I think as people, we just try and find names and labels in order to understand things but ultimately how you feel and your experience overrides all of that.

If you had the opportunity to discuss both the periods and your identity (and how they intersect) it does feel like you'd make some progress in moving forwards. Most gender identity clinics will have a huge amount of experience in this.

Hopefully once you have a doctors appointment in place it'll feel like you've made an important first step.

Meanwhile, do you think it might be helpful to note on whatever type of calendar you use, when your period may be due in order to decrease the shock? That must feel awful every time it happens and I'm trying to think of ways to reduce that shock.

 

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@Blondie

Yeh, I'm going to see if I can either  have two appointments or hope that they have someone who can do all of that. We'll see what they suggest tomorrow. I've actually always had trouble tracking my period because it's never been consistent. I started this period yesterday, and before that I hadn't had a period since April 2020 I think. It's happened before, a few years back I missed a whole year. I don't know why it happens but I want to find that out too. Trouble is, although the pill could help make it regular so I dont have the shocking surprise, I dont know if i could deal with constant periods. Im terrified of it, Im scared that it would F up my gender even more. I guess im just scared that actually I might be a trans guy - or something much more masculine than I currently am.  I've had periods that are super light and lasted two weeks, I've had some that are incredibly heavy too that I had stuff prescribed to reduce it. Its a right mess. Im just extremely confused and dont understand why its happening to me 😞

Also, ive finally decided that I'm going to look for therapy. I dont even care that i'll have to pay, but I need help. I need gender help and help with conditions i have. So that will help too when i get to it.  

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Actually, since I've mentioned it, therapy. You guys are based in the UK too right? do you have any advice on getting therapy? I dont have a lot of money, but i have enough to get me something but i dont know the best way to go about it. 

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4 hours ago, Marv said:

Actually, since I've mentioned it, therapy. You guys are based in the UK too right? do you have any advice on getting therapy? I dont have a lot of money, but i have enough to get me something but i dont know the best way to go about it. 

Yes, we're in the UK - usually most GP surgeries can refer you to a local service where you will get 6-12 weeks of in-person therapy for a donation. If they don't or there's a massive waiting list it's important to ensure you go to someone reputable. We would always recommend you go to a registered, practicing therapist that's registered with a credible body such as UKCP or BPS as they have a minimum training period of at least 450 - 600 hours. Most of the time you have an initial session so you can see how it feels and if you think the therapist would be a good fit for you. Also, check to see what areas they 'specialise' in as many will list things like 'trauma, gender identity, sexuality, anger management' etc. etc. Again, if in any doubt at any point,  check back with you doctor.

Let us know how you get on! We're always here.

 

 

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Update! So, I just got back from a doctors appointment. I think I worried her to be honest... I told her about how having a period is giving me really bad thoughts and ideas and that all I want is it to  go away. I also mentioned about gender too. So, on Friday we're going to do a blood test to look at my hormones etc because she wants to make sure there isn't anything wrong with my insides. I dont know if i mentioned it but its been over a year since my last period so thats why she wants to check. Then, next thursday I'm going back to talk about contraception. I also talked to her about gender and she said she's going to see if anyone at my GP does gender stuff. She said I should have a good think about gender stuff for the Thursday appointment. She seemed genuinely worried and concerned so I think I'm good. 

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3 minutes ago, Marv said:

Update! So, I just got back from a doctors appointment. I think I worried her to be honest... I told her about how having a period is giving me really bad thoughts and ideas and that all I want is it to  go away. I also mentioned about gender too. So, on Friday we're going to do a blood test to look at my hormones etc because she wants to make sure there isn't anything wrong with my insides. I dont know if i mentioned it but its been over a year since my last period so thats why she wants to check. Then, next thursday I'm going back to talk about contraception. I also talked to her about gender and she said she's going to see if anyone at my GP does gender stuff. She said I should have a good think about gender stuff for the Thursday appointment. She seemed genuinely worried and concerned so I think I'm good. 

That sounds hugely positive (not that she's worried) but in that she's concerned and actively seeing what she can do and look at underlying causes. Do you have a sense of relief for having gone and spoken about it?

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I'm definitely relieved. I'm so so so glad I'm finally being listened to instead of being told that 'everyone who has periods has to deal with them, it isn't that bad, you're upset because of the hormones', because that's stopped me getting the help I need. I'm proud I've finally told my mom and a doctor. 

I have just over a week until I chat with her again about contraception options and gender stuff. I know I don't have to work out my gender all in one go, but whilst we were talking, she asked if I want to be a man and I said no. I really dont know if that's true, or maybe yes I want to be more masculine but not people's typical idea of what a man is (e.g I dont want a penis and I'd want to sometimes be more feminine), or if I'm just experiencing really strong internalised transphobia. Its really hard to tell...I have thought about testosterone before, and i have cried in the shower in the past because i thought i should be a guy. Like i said, i know i dont need to work it all out at once, but it'd be good to have some kind of answer for when i next see her instead of a load of 'im not sure's 

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6 minutes ago, Marv said:

I'm definitely relieved. I'm so so so glad I'm finally being listened to instead of being told that 'everyone who has periods has to deal with them, it isn't that bad, you're upset because of the hormones', because that's stopped me getting the help I need. I'm proud I've finally told my mom and a doctor. 

I have just over a week until I chat with her again about contraception options and gender stuff. I know I don't have to work out my gender all in one go, but whilst we were talking, she asked if I want to be a man and I said no. I really dont know if that's true, or maybe yes I want to be more masculine but not people's typical idea of what a man is (e.g I dont want a penis and I'd want to sometimes be more feminine), or if I'm just experiencing really strong internalised transphobia. Its really hard to tell...I have thought about testosterone before, and i have cried in the shower in the past because i thought i should be a guy. Like i said, i know i dont need to work it all out at once, but it'd be good to have some kind of answer for when i next see her instead of a load of 'im not sure's 

Yes, it sounds like a really positive step! Even if at this point, you simply get your thoughts down so you have a starting point to move forward from. I'm so pleased that you're being listened to - you deserve that. 

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Yeah! Like i said, i have til thursday to think about the gender part, and i have a bunch of friends who i have these kinds of experiences so hopefully I'll get somewhere! 

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