Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a lot of women of their reproductive age are affected by this common endocrine heterogeneous disorder. The most known symptoms of this hormonal problem are abnormal or absence of periods, obesity, infertility, excess growth of hair on the face and body, and acne. Not all PCOS-affected women experience all the symptoms associated with the condition.
Along with the above-mentioned symptoms, some women are subjected to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. These numbers are on the constant rise, but they are often overlooked and left untreated.
How PCOS affects the mental health of women?
Well, recent reports say that the women affected by PCOS are three times more prone to anxiety and depression than women without PCOS. These condition of abnormal hormones, some of which increase the risk of psychological problems. Their morals, the cultural values of the society, and the burden for a perfect look can all affect the emotional well-being of women affected with PCOS.
In women with PCOS, the male hormone called Testosterone is found in abundant levels and they cause abnormal changes in their physical appearance like excess growth of facial hair, acne, or loss of scalp hair. Women are always obsessed with good-looking faces, and their beautiful presence before society and anything that takes a toll on these are considered not worthy. These women feel less feminine and are reported to have low self-esteem contributing to emotional imbalance and depression.
One of the main symptoms that tag along with PCOS is obesity. Due to the hormonal imbalances, most women with PCOS are insulin-resistant, i.e., their bodies do not use up the glucose like how they normally would. These excess levels of insulin, instead of burning the fat make them get stored in your belly. Due to this reason, women with PCOS gain weight which disturbs their interpersonal relationships leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
Because of the increased level of male hormones and abnormality in reproductive hormones, women with PCOS do not ovulate. This causes irregular menstrual cycles and since there are no eggs for fertilization, women with PCOS find trouble in getting pregnant. Infertility can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining for couples, who often need assisted reproductive techniques to get conceived. This can cause prolonged stress leading to depression.
Women with PCOS experience a much serious problem called Sleep Apnoea. A person with sleep apnoea will stop breathing for a shorter amount of time during their sleep. Because of this and constant worrying about other symptoms associated with PCOS, the affected women feel trouble falling asleep. Lack of sleep disturbs the mental state leaving the patients with hopelessness and cause serious health issues like psychological disorders and depression.
Ways to improve your mental health despite having PCOS
If you notice any changes in your mood or feel anxious and depressed, discuss it with your doctor to get medical treatment as a cure. We should also understand that the symptoms of PCOS are very much related to one’s lifestyle and making some modifications can help in controlling mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
- Daily workouts not only help in maintaining a healthy figure but also release happy hormones called endorphins which are responsible for mood lifting and mental peace.
- Alternative therapies like yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and acupuncture are known to reduce depression and anxiety among women with PCOS.
- Following a healthy diet and avoiding foods that increase insulin levels in the body can help in reducing the extra weight.
- Friends and family to have your back is a great support and motivation to emerge successfully from the psychological effects of PCOS.
- The doctors can prescribe medications for the depression after taking consideration into the other symptoms you experience. Some antidepressants are known to cause weight gain. So, express your concerns to the specialists before you assume medications on your own.
- Supplements like omega fatty acids and vitamin D are reported to relax the mind and reduce mood swings.
Message from Bliss Naturals
In India, most women tend to ignore the mental symptoms and experience stigma around them. They do not take the issue seriously which may lead to non-restorable consequences. Lack of confidence, poor self-esteem, loss of sleep, frustration due to the trouble in conceiving, and having negative thoughts can even trigger suicidal thoughts in women with PCOS.
Proper self-care is very important and there is nothing to feel embarrassed about reaching out for help in adverse times. After all, PCOS is just a disorder and with proper treatment, you can reduce the symptoms of PCOS and depression and lead a blissful life.