Synopsis
My story begins as a young pubescent women growing up in leafy Surrey. Full of teenage hormones and angst I was trying to make sense of the adult world, even though it made no sense at-all.

Confusion and depression dominated my thoughts and although I tried to reason it all out, I only became more insecure and afraid. I would use alcohol to try to numb the pain, although I couldnít say what the pain was, only that it was deep in my soul. I would cry out for help which never came and so self-medicated, hoping that while intoxicated, the answer would come to me.

Through a haze of drink, I would use my body to boost my self-esteem, sleeping with any man who would show me the slightest attention, good or bad; I would deal with the consequences the next day even though the guilt and self-loathing created the cycle of misery. My high and insatiable sex drive would lead me into more and more trouble as the years went on, I felt powerless to stop it or even to control my urges which would damage me further. I would surround myself with misfits, convinced that any friend was better than no friend, even if it meant compromising my integrity and this would lead to personal conflicts and further dramas.

I was diagnosed with a severe depressive illness which although was no surprise, left me wondering if there was another cause for my symptoms. By the time I reached adolescence I was broken, physically, emotionally and with nowhere to turn. Although I was being treated for a mental disorder, I started to see a correlation and a pattern with my female cycle and started to research over and over, leaving no stone unturned until I was sure. I believe that many women have been wrongly diagnosed with a mental illness and have been treated incorrectly, something that has been clarified professionally and something that I have personally proven.

My adolescent years were a culmination of Doctors, Psychiatrists and various health professionals, all of them trying to help, but failing miserably. After a serious attempt at taking my own life and a brief spell in a mental health unit I would plead with the professionals to help me. I desperately wanted a resolution as I was suicidal, at times psychotic and always desperate. Deep down I knew that only I could change my life and that nobody could do it for me, this was my personal journey and only I could take control. After a particularly bad episode of depression which included a detoxification and intense psychological therapy, I decided to move away. I left the past behind and everybody with it, even though essentially, I was running away from myself.

During my twenties, I immigrated to the Balearic Islands. Full of hope for the future and certain that things would change, I met amazing new people and devoured the lifestyle. I learnt the language and soaked up the culture and surroundings. This was the world for me and I took the Spanish way of life into my heart, devouring the new way of living which I thought would free me from my previous feelings of uncertainty. I experienced a short-lived respite and felt calm and at peace, which was something I had never experienced before.

Unfortunately it wasnít to last and sadly the demons would return .The life of privilege which I had made for myself was tarred by the depression and sadness, which once again returned leaving me utterly perplexed and reaching for the bottle. I would struggle and strive to find out what was wrong with me, the misery was so consuming I was unable to hide behind a faÁade and it was slowly becoming impossible to run away. People would notice my edginess, my impatience and my perception of myself would gradually diminish over time, leaving me with the familiar feelings of despair and anguish. What was wrong with me? Why couldnít I be normal? Why did I feel the overwhelming compulsion to drink? Why was I always in such a mess?

During the late nineties I moved again, this time to the Canary Islands. Once again I was full of hopemfor the future and even though I was still using alcohol rather than facing up to my emotions, it was a new start. I felt extremely positive about the move and relished the change. The first day I arrived I met the man that would steal my heart, and I fell deeply in love allowing him to take over my life and every conceivable emotion. We worked hard, partied hard and loved hard and I felt a happiness and joy that I hadnít felt before. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel and so wanted to make a new life with him. Sadly it wasnít to last and the passion and all-consuming love could only, and would only come to a pitiful end.

He would make promises which he couldnít keep, and rather than speak the truth would make life unbearable for me. He slowly pushed me away and made life more and more difficult until once again, I would run away rather than deal with the pain. The love that I felt for him was so deep this ultimately left me heartbroken and bereft. It also left me pregnant with my first child, a beautiful baby boy named Lewis who had the most beautiful blue eyes. If I thought that I had been troubled before, now I really did have problems. I was a single parent, homeless and penniless. I had no choice but to return to England and start again in the country that I hated. I was also once again suicidal, conjuring up ways in my mind how to leave this world that didnít want me. I had been heartlessly abandoned and my beautiful life had been stolen from me along with a deep sense of guilt that I now had a child without a father.

The next few years would leave me shattered emotionally. Physically, I was also extremely unwell although nobody could say why. I was crippled with pain and had multiple illnesses which would sometimes leave me bedbound and incapable. I was also seething with rage and venomous thoughts, sometimes raging and livid, hostile with everyone around me. Everything was furious and I was manic and overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks. I was also becoming paranoid and deluded, not knowing what was real or a figment of my imagination. Was I dreaming or was it all real? Was it all a bad film or was it actually happening? Unable to comprehend what was happening around me, I would plead for help which wouldnít come. Nobody could offer any firm diagnoses and I would despair of it, once again unable to fathom out the situation.

My second child was born, another beautiful boy called Sonny. This was a result of my stupidity and low self-worth. Iíd been irresponsible and selfish, thinking of only myself and not my children. I had tried for reconciliation with Lewis father; however, once again it didnít work out which again left me with immeasurable guilt and the on-going and all-consuming regret. Pregnant, alone and once again abandoned life really was unbearable. At the time I was destitute, but now I can see it was for the best as he didnít want the responsibility and wasnít ready to give up his partying lifestyle. I had once again trusted the wrong man, the same man and I was to blame. My irresponsibility and the world of carelessness was a manifestation of an illness which lasted over twenty years and would only leave me after a radical solution.

The euphoria which I felt once Sonny arrived gradually turned into a new type of mania and I was racing, unable to calm down and control my own thoughts. I was methodical and overexcited, with a heightened sense of awareness. Colours and sounds were vivid and translucent, almost as though I were in my very own cartoon. The baby whom I had bought into the world didnít seem like a human baby at all and I squirmed when I looked at him. He seemed to me to be a kind of alien insect and I was sure that he knew what I was thinking, even indeed I was frightened of him. This was a new psychosis and my body was physically repelling him, with the bile rising in my throat when I held him to my breast.

The decade since then, I have strived hard to find out what is wrong with me. I was sure initially that I had bipolar disease or at worst, schizophrenia. I certainly showed signs of them both, suffering from hallucinations and psychosis, particularly after having my children. I would also relapse regularly every month, just before seeing a menstrual period and regularly experience terrifying tantrums which would come out of nowhere. I would again try to figure ways of ending the misery and at times even consider ending the lives of my children which at the time felt plausible and quite rational. I would smash and break things, use disgusting language and would then break down for days at a time with the despair and utter misery of it all. Cycle after cycle, month after month the symptoms would return and nobody could help me.

After reading thousands of articles and speaking to various Doctors and Professors I am convinced that I have a biochemical abnormality, one which is shared with millions of women worldwide.

This revelation has been confirmed in blood tests and various medical examinations and has been assessed by Britainís leading medical advocates, including Professor Ian Brockington of Birmingham University and Professor John Studd of Harley Street, London. This is something which I have insisted on as they are pioneers in the field of this Reproductive Depression. I have been treated by Dr Nick Panay at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and he has given me his full collaboration and help with this vitally important memoir. I have allowed myself to be used in genetic research in the hope of isolating a genome, which will benefit thousands of suffering women worldwide. I am a Panel member with Action on Menstrual Psychosis in the hope that it will raise awareness of this dreadful disease. I am also fully active within the Association of Postnatal Psychosis in the hope that I can help with the latest medical findings and treatments and of course assist other Doctors and medical professionals whether they be Social workers, midwives or indeed carers of women that are suffering.

This illness has robbed me of my youth, my ability to form and maintain friendships and almost my marriage. It has cost me dearly, as I have very little memories of my childrenís first few weeks of life and they have been robbed of a stable mother. My research has led me to believe that this tragic and dreadful affliction has been largely regarded as a mental illness when in fact; this couldnít be further from the truth. I have researched this book on behalf of all women who are suffering emotional disturbances, whether they are infrequent or long term, and irrespective of social standing. I hope it will make a huge difference in the understanding of female madness and all that it entails.

Do you suffer from Polycystic Ovary syndrome, Pre-menstrual syndrome or Post-natal depression? Are you suffering from menopausal mood swings and have you realised that all of these afflictions are interlinked? Have you been diagnosed with Bipolar, Schizophrenia or do you self-harm or abuse alcohol? Have you a chequered emotional history without obvious cause? Do you suffer from various medical conditions that are long term and donít respond to conventional treatments? Have you sought help from various medical professionals but feel sure there is another cause?

My story gives a detailed and thorough guide to understanding Hormonal diseases and my experience of it. It also helps the reader to decide on appropriate treatment and self-help and also explains my decision to have a full Hysterectomy, which I believe will probably save my life. It will also raise awareness of a dreadful disease, one which is greatly misunderstood and tragically confused, all at great cost to those that are suffering needlessly. It also gives a thorough explanation on how to use simple Hormonal Therapies which are not made from chemicals but from plants and which have been proven to save lives. It also tells of the latest medial consultants who have helped me piece my life back together and shown me that there is another way and more hope for women of our future.

I am a happily married mother of three sons who have suffered and survived with me, and I have now dedicated the last ten years of my life to helping fellow sufferers and advising others accordingly. I have three beautiful children and a kind, caring and supportive husband who have stood by me in the midst of the most awful of female tragedies. At last I have found the happiness I deserve, but more importantly my family have too. I am now, after 25 years of suffering been cured of surely one of the most dreadful afflictions any women must endure, and I can only hope that my story will be heard.