Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and depression are two conditions that often go hand in hand. In fact, up to 50% of women with PCOS also experience depression. But why is this the case? And what can be done about it? In this blog post, we will discuss the link between PCOS and depression and offer some tips on how to manage the condition.
- 1 What Are PCOS And Depression?
- 2 What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS And Depression?
- 3 What Is The Link Between PCOS And Depression?
- 4 Why Do PCOS And Depression Co-occur?
- 5 What Are The Risks Of Having PCOS And Depression Together?
- 6 How To Treat Depression In PCOS?
- 7 Conclusion
What Are PCOS And Depression?
PCOS is described as “a hormonal disorder that can affect women of reproductive age.” According to the dictionary, PCOS is “a disorder in which a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce high levels of androgens (male hormones).” This can lead to irregular periods, cysts on the ovaries, and difficulties getting pregnant.
PCOS occurs when your ovaries produce higher than normal amounts of certain hormones. And further, these imbalance hormone levels lead to problems in women’s monthly menstrual cycle, and can also cause problems with fertility.
On the other hand, depression is “a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.” Depression is more than just feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. It’s a real medical condition that requires treatment by a professional.
So how are PCOS and depression linked? Let’s further deal with that question.
What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS And Depression?
There are many symptoms of PCOS and depression, and they can vary from person to person. The most common symptom of PCOS are:
- Irregular periods: You might have fewer than eight periods in a year, or you may skip months without having a period at all.
- Weight gain: PCOS can cause weight gain, and being overweight can make PCOS symptoms worse.
- Excess hair growth: PCOS can cause excess hair growth on the face, chest, and back.
- Acne: PCOS can cause acne on the face, chest, and back.
- Infertility: PCOS can make it difficult to get pregnant.
These are the common symptoms of PCOS, while the symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Unexplained fatigue
- Concentration problems, indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Clearly, there is a significant overlap in the symptoms of PCOS and depression. It is important to note that not everyone with PCOS will experience depression, but the two conditions are linked. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PCOS or depression, it is important to talk to your doctor.
What Is The Link Between PCOS And Depression?
The link between PCOS and depression is not fully understood, but it is thought to be due to a combination of hormonal and psychological factors. PCOS can lead to a number of physical changes that can affect a woman’s self-esteem and body image, which may, in turn, contribute to depression.
In addition, the high levels of stress and anxiety that are often associated with PCOS can also contribute to depression.
In one study, it was found that nearly 50% of women with PCOS also suffer from depression. That’s a pretty staggering statistic. And it’s not just feeling a little down or blue now and then. These women are dealing with real, clinical depression.
Another study found that women with PCOS were more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women without PCOS. In fact, it is believed that they co-occur many times. Moreover, the link between PCOS and depression seems to be strongest in younger women.
So, if you have PCOS and are feeling down, you are definitely not alone. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help. If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to see your doctor or a mental health professional for an evaluation.
Why Do PCOS And Depression Co-occur?
There are a number of reasons why PCOS and depression co-occur. These include:
Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, meaning that their bodies don’t use insulin as efficiently as they should. This can lead to a number of problems, including weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings. And insulin resistance is believed to cause depression. According to studies, women with PCOS are twice as likely to suffer from depression as women without the condition.
PCOS is characterized by hormonal imbalances, which can lead to a number of physical and emotional symptoms. For example, fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. And the excess production of androgens (male hormones) can cause acne, hair loss, and weight gain, all of which can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
There appears to be a genetic link between PCOS and depression. Studies have shown that women with PCOS are more likely to have a family history of depression. This suggests that there may be a genetic predisposition to both conditions.
Stress and obesity
It is well-known that stress can trigger or worsen depression. And women with PCOS often experience a great deal of stress due to the physical and emotional symptoms of the condition. In addition, obesity is common in women with PCOS, and obese individuals are also more likely to suffer from depression. This is because obesity can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and a host of other problems.
So, these are some common reasons that these conditions can occur together. If you have PCOS and are struggling with depression, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. And there are things you can do to get help.
What Are The Risks Of Having PCOS And Depression Together?
It s believed that PCOS and depression are linked because of the hormonal imbalances that are associated with PCOS. These same hormonal imbalances can also lead to other mental health conditions such as anxiety and eating disorders.
Moreover, the risks of PCOS and depression are greater than the sum of their parts. Having both PCOS and depression can lead to more serious health problems, these include:
- Cardiovascular disease
These risks can even make things like fertility problems and endometrial cancer more likely. So, it’s important to be aware of the link between PCOS and depression and to get help if you think you might have either condition.
In addition, there are various things you can do to manage the condition. So, you should talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.
How To Treat Depression In PCOS?
It may be that your depression is a direct result of PCOS, or it could be that the two conditions are unrelated. But either way, there are things you can do to ease your symptoms. But the very first thing is to get a diagnosis from a doctor or mental health professional. This will help rule out other possible causes of your depression and give you a clear idea of what’s going on.
Here are a few tips that you can treat depression in PCOS:
Get regular exercise
Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression, so it’s definitely worth a try. Just make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you’re not used to being active. In fact, moving and staying active for just 30 minutes a day can help improve your mood and ease depression symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for people with PCOS, but eating healthy foods is always a good idea. Some studies have shown that certain dietary changes can help ease depression symptoms in people with PCOS. For example, one study found that following a low-glycemic diet (a diet that’s low in sugar and refined carbs) improved depression symptoms in women with PCOS.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential part of overall health, and it’s especially important if you’re dealing with depression. Make sure to get enough sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. There are several things you can do to improve your sleep, such as avoiding caffeine and screens before bed and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
Practice deep breathing
In depression, deep breathing is one of the most simple but effective things you can do for yourself. Whenever you’re feeling down, take a few minutes to focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, letting your stomach expand. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this several times, and you should start to feel more relaxed.
Therapy is a great way to talk about your depression and learn coping skills. It can be especially helpful if you have PCOS, as it can be a way to address the underlying issues that may be contributing to your depression. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your doctor for recommendations. There are various types of therapies and you can find one that’s right for you.
Talk to your doctor about medications
If lifestyle changes haven’t helped ease your depression symptoms, medication may be an option. There are a number of different medications that can be effective for depression, and your doctor can help you find one that’s right for you. It’s important to remember that medication is not a cure for depression, but it can be an important part of treatment. The most common medication can be side effects, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
PCOS and depression can be a difficult combination to deal with, but there are things you can do to ease your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your options, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. With the right treatment, you can start to feel better.
To conclude, PCOS and depression are very much linked. If you are suffering from PCOS, it is important to be aware of the possibility of developing depression and to seek help if you experience any symptoms. There are many treatments available for both conditions, so there is no need to suffer in silence. With the right help, you can manage both conditions and live a happy, healthy life.
If you think you may be suffering from PCOS or depression, please speak to a mental health professional. You should know that you are not alone. There are many people who suffer from this condition, and there is a lot of support available. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the condition, please contact Mantra Care for expert guidance.
Mantra Care is the leading provider of mental health services around the globe. With a team of highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. Mantra Care is always here to help you improve your quality of life! You can also book a therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.