PCOS and Mental Health

PCOS and Mental Health

Do you have days when you cant seem to help but feel low? Do you randomly get annoyed at those around you for no particular reason?

Often times you may lash out at those around you or harbor feelings of hatred and anger for reasons that you do not know or understand. There are random days when you may feel extremely low and nothing may be seeming to go your way. There may be days when you can’t bring yourself to meet and interact with those around you even if they are someone you love and care for a lot. Although there are various reasons for these things happening to you, one of the reasons could be that you are suffering from PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS as its more commonly known is a disease that usually emerges during adolescence and is characterized by hormonal imbalance and ovarian dysfunction. PCOS is very prevalent among cisgender females in their adolescents especially in today’s time however not everyone knows about it and it often goes undiagnosed. 

PCOS is most commonly diagnosed among cisgender females when they have issues with their menstruation cycles or periods as it is better known. The irregular pattern of periods or the lack of it often is the biggest symptom that one notices which leads to the diagnosis of PCOS. It is mostly because of the issues of the periods that one goes to the doctor and only then do they get diagnosed. Very rarely does the diagnosis happen from other symptoms. The underlying pathophysiology of PCOS is not fully understood, but it has been found to lead to a number of comorbidities including Hypertension, Diabetes, Dyslipidemia and also various Mental Health Disorders. Although there have not been many studies that have been done in the field of PCOS and mental health, the ones that have been done show a high correlation between the two. However, correlation does not mean causation and the reasons why they occur together still remains a mystery.
Although there have been a number of studies that have been conducted to find out the exact relationship between PCOS and the various mental health issues that people diagnosed with PCOS undergo, there have been no study that has been able to pinpoint the exact cause for their correlation. There have been multiple hypothetical causes that have been separated and studied for example insulin resistance, stress and high cortisol levels, inflammation and obesity among others however no study has yet been able to figure out the exact way that these create a causal relationship between PCOS and Mental Health. Multiple studies have showed that people suffering from PCOS often happened to show a higher prevalence of Mental Disorders like Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder, Eating Disorder, and Personality Disorder.

PCOS is among the most common endocrine disorders. It is extremely prevalent among cisgender females in today’s time and though there are many hypothetical causes that have been pointed out by numerous studies like genetics, lifestyle problems etc., there is no proof to show whether the PCOS has been caused by those or if they have some other causes. Also, despite so many people suffering from it, there has been no cure that has been found and it remains as a chronic disorder that may get better with time but will never really go away. So, if you have PCOS, be sure that it’s going to stay with you for a while and although this may be disheartening it is the truth but this however does not mean you should give in to it. There are many ways one can manage their PCOS and live with it instead of struggling through it. Although there are medicines that are prescribed when one goes to the doctor, that alone will not do much to manage your PCOS. You will have to make changes in your lifestyle which will include an increase in physical activity and keeping a closer eye on what you eat and you will probably have to learn to give up on certain dietary habits that are harmful for you because of your PCOS.

PCOS is classified as a syndrome because it is a heterogeneous disorder which means that not everyone who has PCOS will express all of the symptoms associated with the disorder. This indicates that the treatment method will also differs from person to person. There are multiple ways a person can manage their PCOS however what one must keep in mind is to always go their doctors before they go ahead with their plans on how to manage their PCOS. A lot of times people forget that the body and mind are but one and affect each other greatly. There are multiple connections between the brain and the body that we are often unaware of which is okay but we must learn to seek help instead of coming up with treatment plans on our own based on some google search. Although exercise and working out is recommended and one can make changes in these on their own, the dietary changes should be screened by your doctor. Different food have different nutrient levels and provide us with various different nutrients that are body lacks. These nutrients affect our body and mind more than we think they do and therefore it is important to consult your doctor before making any huge dietary changes in your everyday life. There are also multiple mental health concerns that people with PCOS undergo and often the medications and dietary habits for these mental health issues may clash with that of PCOS for example some antidepressants can cause weight gain and potentially impact blood glucose level and therefore we must always consult the doctor before making amy changes in our dietary lifestyles.

PCOS has been known to have very clear biopsychosocial connotation and therefore a person’s values and the culture they live in may greatly impact which characteristics they may find distressing. PCOS is a stigmatizing condition that affects a person’s identity, mental health and quality of life. There are multiple things that come along with PCOS including hair loss, weight gain, excessive growth of hair, darkening skin patches, skin tags etc. which can greatly affect a persons view of themselves. There are multiple bodily changes that individuals with PCOS undergo and often these changes can lead to a lot of emotional labor and may lead to low self-worth and negative perceptions of self which may eventually even lead to eating disorders. Our society as a whole tends to place physical appearance on a higher pedestal then it should be and this can lead to a lot of emotional damage among those persons with PCOS because of the changes in their bodies which may not align with the beauty standards that they are exposed to and idealize. This gap between their ideal bodies and real bodies may increase the gap between their idealized life and real life because they may start discrediting their skills and talents in other areas of their life because of low self-worth and this may lead to various mental health disorders and an extremely low quality of life .

It is important to spread more awareness about PCOs and also about its relation with Mental illnesses so that there is more attention given to those who are undergoing mental health issues along with PCOS so that they are able to maintain their PCOS and also do something about their detoriating mental health.

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Psychologs Magazine

India's First Psychology Magazine 

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