PCOS Depression and Mood Swings are two of the many emotional health issues that women with PCOS go through. In fact, women with PCOS are 3 times more likely to have anxiety and depression than women without PCOS!
If you wondering why you’ve been feeling grumpy after your PCOS diagnosis or perhaps why you’ve been feeling grumpy even before the diagnosis, then this post is for you!
It’s not just the knowledge that you have PCOS that kicks you down. There’s more to it. In this post, we are sharing 6 ways in which PCOS can ruin your mental health.
Remember, knowledge is power! And so is awareness and hence an action based on the knowledge to improve your condition.
When you become aware of the fact that your mood is heavily affected by what’s going on inside your body, you can actually take suitable actions.
We have shared tips for you work on your emotions, when you go through the upheaval along with the messy PCOS symptoms.
Do try to adopt the suggestions to better control your mood, your emotions, and hence your relationship with yourself and your loved ones.
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1. Anxiety in PCOS
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of mental uneasiness. It makes you feel like there is some impending doom. When you are anxious, you experience extreme worries and fears, even without any physical threat present.
While anxiety can be a normal reaction to unpleasant situations, when it reaches an extreme level, it becomes detrimental.
It can cause anticipation (you’re always expecting something bad to happen), increased heart rate, disturbed gastrointestinal functions, irritability, horror, etc.
Several studies have indicated that women with PCOS may have lower levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) like serotonin (an important neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation of mind).
2. Mood swings out of nowhere
Having PCOS increases the chances that you will have mood swings.
Have you ever experienced mood swings during your period? That is because of the many hormones that are at work to regulate your menstrual cycle. These hormones are constantly shifting and varying to make sure everything goes well.
However, as you must have heard, polycystic ovarian syndrome is caused by hormonal imbalances.
So, when you have PCOS, the hormones in your body are not stable, and this can cause your mood to be unstable also. Hence, you experience mood swings in PCOS.
3. PCOS Depression
What is the relationship between PCOS and depression?
One of the characteristics of PCOS is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked with depression. Why? That is not clear.
A possible reason is that insulin resistance changes how hormones are produced, leading to prolonged stress and depression.
Another theory is based on inflammation. Inflammation hikes the cortisol levels (the stress hormones), and this causes stress and depression.
Aside from the hormones and the science, PCOS causes depression indirectly via its symptoms.
The struggle to regulate weight, the sight of the acne breakout, the racking pain during your periods, or the absence of the periods as a whole, can lead you into a state of depression.
4. Irritability and Angry Outbursts
While on the subject of the effects of PCOS on mental health, we talk about irritability.
You can feel irritable and begin to snap at everyone. Remember the mood swings? They can bring you to this extreme.
Now, this is easier said than done, but when you feel that anger and irritation, try not to take it out on your spouse, on the kids, the poor dog, or even the furniture.
Practice breathing exercises, take a break from what you were doing, and just take a few minutes to relax.
It will really help you to put your emotions and thoughts into perspective. And of course save your relationship with your loved ones!
5. Low self-esteem
The daily fight with PCOS symptoms is draining and takes a toll on your confidence and self-esteem!
Often you do not recognize your own body anymore, as it has gone through so much of the change from what’s called normal functioning.
When you are constantly worried about your bulging belly, facial hair and mustache that needs shaving almost everyday, that pimple that has cropped up, or that constant pain in your belly indicating a period, which never comes; it can really shoot you down.
That can happen, but remember that none of those things make you less of a woman. There are some hormones in your body that are messed up, which are actually causing all this trouble.
But, that’s not the end of the story! Recognizing the problem and educating yourself on the what and how will actually help to resolve PCOS at its root!
Also, keep in mind that none of this is irreversible.
You can reverse the symptoms of PCOS by simply faithfully following a PCOS diet and exercise regime.
6. Stress that doesn’t seem to go away
Stress could be physical, mental, or emotional! PCOS subjects you to all of these together and really hard.
Physical stress comes in form of the constant pain that you feel. The mental and emotional stress comes in form of what we have discussed from 1-5 so far.
Aside from the above, stress can also be caused by the hormonal imbalances that characterize polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Research in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences showed that there is an increased level of cortisol in women with PCOS.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, and having more of it means higher stress levels. Stress in any form does not help PCOS and you want to keep it down. Else, it will aggravate the symptoms.
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PCOS affects mental health in ways that only the person experiencing it can really understand and explain.
However, remember that it is not permanent. You can work toward reversing your PCOS symptoms and achieving an optimum state of health, both physical, mental, and emotional.
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