In so many moments of despair, I felt like no-one got it, no-one understands, I was the only one, I was alone. And that’s why these conversations are so important to be open about
[TW/CN: this post + episode discuss suicide]
One of our most popular guests, Katee Pedicini, returns to Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
Yet this is a very different conversation from our previous episodes.
This time, Katee shares her story.
It’s the story of her mental health journey over the last 20 years.
In her 20s, Katee was (finally) diagnosed with a condition called Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (or PMDD) which (if the research is to be believed) affects between 3-8% of menstruating woman.
To describe it as, or compare it to, PMS doesn’t do it justice. And in fact, it would do a disservice to those who suffer from it.
Katee describes it in this conversation as extreme PMS “wrapped up with anxiety, depression, sometimes psychosis and suicidality or suicidal tendencies”
We begin this conversation with Katee’s story. Her experience of the symptoms of PMDD, including suicidal ideation.
Then we transition into a broader conversation about suicide and mental health; why suicide is often still seen as a ‘taboo’ and what Katee believes needs to change to enable it to be discussed more openly, and with less shame.
Plus she shares her perspective on how you could help someone you know who might be struggling with depression or with suicidal tendencies.
Finally, we step back and discuss the intersection between mental health and endurance sports; the fine line that separates whether sport is a positive tool for mental health as opposed to a destructive tool and questions you can ask yourself to ascertain what side of that line you’re on.
This was an extremely difficult conversation, for both of us. I’m in awe of Katee’s bravery and vulnerability. And it was, by far, the hardest conversation I’ve recorded.
But lifting the shame around suicide and mental health requires brave and uncomfortable conversations and we both agree that if this conversation saves one life, then it’s been worth it.
If you or someone you know needs help, in Australia you can contact:
Lifeline 24 hours per day on 13 11 14. Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or the Black Dog Institute.
Notes and resources:
Other resources recommended by Katee: