Mental Health Bookclub discussion

Support Chat > Physical ailments causing mental health changes

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message 1: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 4 comments Hey all, new to the group... My girlfriend has recently been diagnosed with PCOS. This seems to be the cause of many changes in her life and mine... she has gained weight (was 140lbs and within just half a year hit the 200lbs mark), she is constantly tired and listless, zero sex drive, slight depression... I want to help her in any way I can, but what we have tried doesn't seem to be working. I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if they had any advice or support? Thanks much!


message 2: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthais) Hi Jamie,

Sorry to hear you and your girlfriend are having such a tough time with this, PCOS is really crap to have.

I have a lot of the symptoms of PCOS but don't actually have it - it's been fun and games trying to figure out what it is I do have but that's another story! I can't get too specific with advice because of that, but I did briefly see a specialist who had said that going on the pill can really help, I don't know if that's an option for her.

In terms of the impact on general mental health, the symptoms really knock your body image and sense of self esteem - so many times I've felt like my body has just deserted me and let me down. So I suppose my biggest advice is to help her learn to love her body again. It won't necessarily cure everything as the hormonal imbalance in PCOS will be a factor as will any medication she's on, but it might do something to help.

I found exercise to make a big difference - particularly as she has put on weight, exercise might help with that. I'm overweight and so I had always shied away from exercise - I hated being the fat girl sweating and puffing UNTIL I discovered weight lifting! It's great exercise and it's not cardio like getting on a treadmill so it might be more appealing if she's suffering from low energy. There's loads of things that put women off lifting which I won't go into at length but doing it has made me so proud of my body in a way I never have been before - I stopped looking at the flab (which is still there!) and started looking at the biceps!

Anyways that's just one idea - it had an amazing impact on my body image and my anxiety. If she's not up for that, there are so many types of exercise out there it's worth trying a few out.

Keeping communication open, especially with the sex thing because that can also be really hard, I tied myself up in knots not wanting to disappoint my boyfriend when I was just not up for it, and that just makes it worse. Emphasising there's no pressure and maybe exploring things like massage etc that still have intimacy but aren't sex straight away could help.

It's great you're being so supportive, make sure you have other people supporting you too. Happy to talk to her directly about it if it would help.

Martha x

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (bookbakery) I don't have PCOS, but have another condition with low energy/weight gain, etc. Chair exercises work for me.

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