For some women, the journey to being diagnosed with PCOS can be a long one and can bring in a range of feelings and emotions when you learn about your diagnosis.
Sometimes it can feel easier to not talk about your condition and your symptoms with those close to you. Maybe because you don’t want to burden them with your health problems, or you feel like they won’t understand your condition.
Your mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Coping with hirsutism, acne, weight changes and fertility problems can affect your body image and self-esteem. This can add to depression and anxiety levels.
Research has shown that experiencing the symptoms of PCOS can negatively affect mood, self-confidence and body image.
Body image and PCOS
Body image is the way a person thinks or feels about their body. It can be influenced by many factors, including a person’s understanding of their health, their attitudes towards physical appearance, their physical fitness, body size and their personal or cultural values.
THE PHYSICAL CHANGES OF PCOS CAN AFFECT YOUR BODY IMAGE. MANY OF THE SYMPTOMS OF PCOS CHALLENGE OUR IDEAS ABOUT FEMININITY AND HOW WOMEN ARE ‘SUPPOSED’ TO LOOK.
For example, some women might find they restrict their eating, start to obsess over food or stop spending time with their friends. If PCOS is affecting the way you feel about your body, or your behaviour, talk to a health professional or a person you trust.
At different times of your life, different symptoms of PCOS can concern you more. If symptoms such as acne and excess hair growth are of concern to you and affect how you think about your body, it is important to seek treatment for these symptoms.
Certain health problems, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, can all make you feel negative about your body. It can be helpful to stop and think about how you view your own body and acknowledge it for all the wonderful things it is capable of instead of focusing on the negative parts.
When to seek help?
If your image of your own body is at odds with how others see you or you have an extreme view about yourself, then it is likely your body image is affecting your mental and emotional wellbeing.
You can ask your doctor about counselling to help you talk through how to have a more balanced view of your body.
It is also important to focus on the physical health of your body and not compare it to others, so aim to be the healthiest you can possibly be. Treat it well.
Dealing with symptoms of PCOS can bring in a range of emotions. Sometimes between all the wonder and worry, there is one feeling that will help you keep it together — hope. And getting the right medical care and support can help you stay in the right path and give you hope for a healthier life.
There are certain chronic conditions including PCOS which has the potential to change the way you live. So it’s only natural to want to learn as much as possible about them. There are many women like you who have kept going and have overcome their PCOS symptoms. Your progress might not look straightforward, but your effort counts everyday and you’re one step closer to reclaiming your life from PCOS.
Disclaimer: Content on Veera is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical advice given by a physician