International Women’s Day 2023: Mental Health Advice for Polycystic ovarian syndrome  (PCOS) Patients

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    2023 International Women’s Day: Women with this syndrome are three times more likely than others to have symptoms of severe anxiety and despair, for a variety of medical, mental, and social causes. Here are some suggestions for maintaining your mental health while living with PCOS.

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is not a new idea, and it is commonly connected with a variety of menstrual health issues in women. A complicated and persistent lifetime disease caused by hormonal imbalances resulting in a variety of physical and mental health issues, and women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome are typically determined to be insulin-resistant, have high levels of inflammation throughout the body, and are obese and lead a stressful life.

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    International Women's Day 2023: Mental Health Advice for Polycystic ovarian syndrome  (PCOS) Patients

    According to health professionals, women with PCOS are three times more likely than others to have symptoms of severe anxiety and depression, and the relationship between the two can be attributed to a variety of medical, physiological, and social factors. Dr Geeta Komar, Senior Consultant – OBG at Kinder Women’s Hospital and Fertility Centre in Bengaluru, established the link between PCOS and mental health saying, “Although the reasons behind why women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome are more likely to be at an increased risk of depression and anxiety are unclear, it is true that their symptoms are often overlooked and remain untreated.

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    “Emotional health for women with PCOS can be particularly impacted by issues such as ongoing physical and psychological changes, diminishing self-esteem, changing body-image, lifestyle, and difficulty coping with stress,” she explained. When a person is diagnosed, an ocean of emotions is released, which may not be the same for everyone but can have a profound influence. While some may feel frustrated and angry, or shocked and incredulous, for many, it is just the anxiety of facing unexpected health difficulties. Polycystic ovarian syndrome generates an increase in androgens and DHEAS (testosterone hormones), which may be linked to sadness and anxiety.

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    Numerous research studies have also revealed that patients with Polycystic ovarian syndrome have low amounts of serotonin (a chemical in the neurological system involved with sparking good feelings), which may lead to feeling melancholy and worried more frequently.”

    • “The key to controlling PCOS is to be aware of factors that may trigger mood swings and regulating lifestyle,” Dr Geeta Komar said, suggesting recommendations to take care of mental health with Polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is a complicated illness that, if left untreated for too long, can have a negative impact on one’s entire health. To increase mental well-being, it is vital to learn and educate oneself about the disease, its treatment, and available resources. The good news about PCOS therapy is that it can also address the many other specific underlying causes.
    • Women who have been diagnosed with insulin resistance, for example, may be encouraged to follow a low-carb and low-sugar diet. This will also aid in the prevention of obesity and the maintenance of a healthy weight, resulting in a considerable lifestyle adjustment. Birth control tablets may be administered to treat hormonal abnormalities and to regulate menstruation.”
    • Feeling melancholy, nervous, or experiencing mood fluctuations, according to her, are frequent among persons with Polycystic ovarian syndrome but may be better managed with the following tips:
    • Transform your way of life for the better. Instead of making short-term adjustments like following a certain diet, learning a sport, or meditating for a few days, focus on changing your whole lifestyle. Work out for at least 30 minutes every day, and meditate to help you calm down, manage stress, and stay focused on your goals. Have a well-balanced diet rich in fibre, protein, and carbs.
    • While there are no solid studies proving that antidepressants assist treat PCOD in the same way that they do in those without PCOD, drugs such as metformin, which helps the body metabolise insulin, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin D can aid in reducing the feelings of anxiety and sadness.
    • Mindfulness methods such as yoga, guided meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques can assist to improve the symptoms of anxiety as well as the quality of life.
    • Living with PCOS may be difficult. It can have a negative impact on both physical and mental well-being. Changes in body image and size, excess facial and body hair, face acne, lack of physical fitness, and motivation can all be tough to deal with. Thus, it is vital to take responsibility for emotional health and well-being starting from the adolescent years and adopt a better lifestyle to maintain a healthy body weight, eat nutritiously and exercise frequently. Open interactions with parents, teachers, or counsellors can also be beneficial.

    “Therapies or counselling can work wonders and provide good outcomes in treating depression if diagnosed with PCOS,” she says of therapy. Talk therapy (talking and counselling), cognitive behavioural therapy (identifying patterns of negative thinking and teaching how to cope with the problem), and sharing difficulties with individuals in support groups and seeking for answers together can all be effective. There is little question that PCOS and depression are frequently linked, however with proper treatment, the symptoms can be considerably minimised.”

    She stated, “PCOS can make you feel melancholy and nervous at least three times more than when you don’t have PCOS,” while the causes for this remain unknown. Get psychological counselling and drugs to treat both PCOS and depression to alleviate and improve symptoms. Using the proper prescription will assist in restoring the menstrual cycle and improving one’s lifestyle. See a mental health professional if necessary to manage sadness and anxiety, or join certain support groups that can provide the essential assistance.”

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