PCOS and Mood: How a Supporting Hand Helped My Recovery

By Beth RushApril 10, 2024

I never questioned the healthcare professional who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder during my senior year of college. But seven years later, when my endocrinologist diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and put me on a treatment plan, I began to.

With the PCOS diagnosis and subsequent treatment regimen, my mood swings and quality of life have vastly improved. I sometimes wonder if I had gotten my PCOS diagnosis earlier, I would have started feeling better sooner and perhaps never had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I want to be understood—and I think many young people feel the same way.

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can affect any person with a uterus in their reproductive years. One of the main signs of this condition is having irregular periods, one of the first things that tipped me off. It’s not as uncommon as you might think since up to 5 million people in the United States live with PCOS.

Some of the main symptoms that come with PCOS include the following:

  • Easy weight gain
  • Excess body hair
  • Infertility
  • Irregular and missed periods
  • Cysts on the ovaries

The Link Between PCOS and Mood Disorders

PCOS can lead to a greater chance of having mood disorders like bipolar. However, hormone therapy can mitigate this risk and help stabilize moods and hormones. Treatment is possible, and I was able to eventually handle the symptoms that affected me the worst—though not without some side effects.

PCOS can also cause certain mental conditions, like anxiety and depression. Brain fog is another symptom due to a drop in insulin levels from the hormone imbalance. It has also caused my moods to shift suddenly and make me doubt my perceptions of certain situations.

How to Trust a Health Care Professional

Everyone wants to assume their healthcare professional knows what’s best for them. Fortunately, healthcare continues to make strides every day, and everyday people are learning more about their minds and bodies than ever.

1. Learn to Ask Questions

Take health into your own hands. I had a much more pleasant experience in medical settings once I learned to ask questions and understand my condition. I found myself researching outside of appointments and learning all I could to better myself.

I also found that putting more positivity into my conversations fostered deeper bonds and could make someone’s day. A few words can make a massive difference in an overworked healthcare professional’s life, making them easier to work with.

Don’t be afraid to ask about any concerns you have. It’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why I ask my primary care doctor about anything I’m uncertain of. I feel safer that way, and even if another misdiagnosis happens, I’ll be one step closer to solving the mystery.

2. Find Someone Who Advocates for You

Finding a healthcare professional who can advocate for my autonomy was a major point for me when looking for a new provider. I wanted someone who would explain things in terms I would understand while advising me.

This person will also explain every option you have. They won’t push patients toward one thing in particular—they’ll let them choose the best option for their health.

PCOS or Bipolar Disorder: It’s Not the End

My mental health journey has taught me to confront certain situations that can affect my life with authority and grit. I had to learn to take care of myself, and I’m grateful for the healthcare professionals who helped me understand more about my health along the way. A bipolar disorder diagnosis followed by a PCOS diagnosis has allowed me the space and time to learn more about myself and my mental health.

Over time, I learned how to cultivate a life I love. I found that my interactions with people also set the tone for how I feel, as it honors one of my top values to prioritize my social connections. Though my diagnoses initially hurt, I am choosing to turn them around to better myself and live the life that serves me best.

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Comments (2)

  1. Angie

    Hola, qué recomiendas para cambiar el estado de ánimo viviendo con ovario poliquistico la verdad me está afectando mucho y no encuentro que hacer

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hola Angie. Gracias por enviarnos un mensaje. Lamentamos saber que está luchando. Pero, por favor, sepan que no están solos. Para ayudarte con tu estado de ánimo, te recomendamos que hables con un profesional, ya sea un médico o un terapeuta, para ver qué cosas holísticas puedes hacer y, posiblemente, si la medicación es una opción. Mereces sentirte mejor.

      Con esperanza,

      Reply  |  
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