BY Team Veera
With PCOS, life is definitely challenging. It can be frustrating to deal with the various symptoms that PCOS presents itself with. Irregular periods, excessive hair, acne, weight gain and mood swings can sometimes make your PCOS reversal journey overwhelming. While most sources may tell you all about how to take care of your physical health, how do you deal with the mental health complications of PCOS?
It has been estimated that most women with PCOS experience anxiety or depression and most of them have no clue about how to treat this. With the correct approach and optimal understanding of PCOS and its symptoms, you can manage the impact of PCOS on your mental health.
PCOS and mood swings
There is a lot of scientific data that indicate that women with PCOS feel moody partly because of the imbalance of hormones in their body and partly because of how they feel about the symptoms affecting them. It is difficult to remain calm or patient when you have no idea about the cause of your condition and are left with zero resources on how to manage all these symptoms. For example, some women may have mood disorders when they are trying to lose weight but do not see a lot of change in themselves, despite restricting themselves from most unhealthy foods.
PCOS and mood swings are heavily interlinked and yet, it is neglected by many women themselves. And this only strengthens the belief that women with PCOS require far more constant support for their mental and physical health in order to lead a good quality of life.
Women of reproductive age with PCOS often deal with a lot of thoughts surrounding this condition – about how their bodies look, how it has changed because of the symptoms of PCOS, the health risks that accompany PCOS, and how there might be various challenges when you wish to start a family. These thoughts can become persistent, disrupt your quality of life, and affect the way you live immensely. But you should be assured that you can deal with these thoughts with the help of various methods and the correct understanding of your own mental health.
Coping with the mood swings of PCOS
To understand how to cope with the mood swings you experience in PCOS, it is essential to understand the reason for the symptoms and imbalance in your body. You may experience different symptoms such as insulin resistance, increase in hair growth or increase in testosterone levels or the increase in weight. These symptoms and your mental health can improve using different approaches. They can be:
The mind-body method
The symptoms of PCOS can be the root cause of the mood swings you experience on a daily basis with PCOS. So, treating these symptoms can revive your mental health and help you cope with PCOS.
Lifestyle modification and forming healthy and sustainable habits are the most important steps in trying to treat your PCOS symptoms. “Whole” foods, when consumed by women with PCOS instead of highly refined or processed food, can make a significant difference over how they feel about themselves. This is because their blood sugar levels stay stable enough and balance any mood swings.
Studies show that loss of weight and regular exercise can help improve the menstrual cycle in a lot of women. Exercises also release “feel-good” chemicals that can elevate moods and prevent the mood swings from occurring. Simple exercises coupled with a nutritionally rich diet can improve your body image even if there is no visible difference of weight loss. And yes, any workout is a great workout!
Relaxation and mindfulness
This method can involve the use of yoga and meditation to reduce your stress. The stress you face due to the symptoms of PCOS can trigger different hormones in your body that can negatively affect your PCOS. Just focusing on your breath and observing how the air rushes into your lungs can make you feel at peace.
It is a great method to practice if the mood swings become too much of an ordeal, and concentrating solely on your breaths can distract you from the anxious thoughts that normally make you feel moody. So, meditation and being mindful of your present and your existence can be a good practice to keep your stress at bay.
Different psychological therapies
Your mental health provider may want to help you manage your mood swings with the help of talk therapy while employing CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
- These therapies help your doctor to understand the patterns of how you think and behave.
- You learn more about yourself and find out about the negative feelings you might have that has caused you mood swings.
- It can involve different activities, such as usage of affirmations for yourself, journaling and recording your thoughts, practicing exercises to reduce your stress, and roleplaying for a few situations.
It is always better to acknowledge and accept your thoughts than finding distractions to avoid the feelings you have.
Setting up goals
When you are determined to take care of yourself through your PCOS journey, you may face a few setbacks that can aggravate your mood swings. It is crucial to set goals for yourself, but unrealistic goals can make you feel unfulfilled and incompetent. This can increase your cortisol levels and the mood swing can get worse.
Allow your body to relax on those days that you feel lethargic and listen to your body closely. Restricting yourself completely from the food you like can make you long for it all the more, and hence it is okay to give in to cravings sometimes, provided that you can understand the correct portion size for yourself. Putting hard limits on your body can affect your moods largely and are not feasible options mentally.
Medications for Mood swings with PCOS
Mood swings with PCOS are usually an outcome of the underlying hormonal imbalance that not only affects your physical health but also your mental health. Body image issues, stress of dealing with the symptoms, societal taboos can all add up to your mood swings.
Although occasional mood swings is normal – if you feel like the mood swings are affecting your daily life, you need to see a doctor. There is no medication per se that can specifically help control your mood swings but you can speak to a psychiatrist who can guide you on how you can control your mood swings and in extreme cases prescribe medications.
The journey of treating PCOS can be a long one, and there can be times when your motivation and determination to keep working towards a healthier lifestyle may seem overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that help is available and you shouldn’t hesitate to speak to a professional when needed. PCOS is complex, but you are stronger than that, and your mind is even stronger with the right kind of support and care.
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