I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). And as someone with PCOS, I also live with depression and anxiety.
I always thought my depression and anxiety were mostly a factor of my past experiences. But as time went on, I started to experience weight gain in a short period of time, sporadic eating habits, and occasional panic attacks. My weight also fluctuated without any reasoning, and my menstrual cycle (I apologize if this is TMI) wasn’t actively doing its course for over a year. This felt peculiar, so I went to a doctor to test for PCOS. The results came back positive.
After being diagnosed, my doctor prescribed Metformin for me, which is a diabetic medication usually known to treat PCOS. After taking this medication for about a week, I’ve experienced more weight gain, social anxiety, and a tremendous lack of energy, so I decided to stop taking it. I was extremely embarrassed about this because of how I constantly felt about my body image. Soon, I started to isolate myself from my friends, worked extra hours at my college job, and attended college part-time. I told a few close friends of mine about this syndrome, but I felt more embarrassed and fell into a deeper depression.
After isolating myself for a fair amount of time, a close friend of mine decided to introduce me to long distance running. She invited me to train with her for the first time on a Thanksgiving morning, and I was out of breath within the first few minutes. A few weeks later, I ran my first 5k. Then, a month after, I ran my first 15k, then eight months later, I ran my first ever half-marathon. It was from that point on that I found how exhilarating running was. I had fewer panic episodes; my depression wasn’t taking over my life as much, and I was simply a lot more confident. Although I stopped running for over a year now, I’ve tried a lot of different activities. I’ve also taken boxing classes for a few months, hiked at a lot of different places around the Bay Area, and I’m starting a climbing/bouldering class soon. I also hoop dance in my free time almost every day after work!
Although I’m still experiencing depression and anxiety due to my PCOS, I’m still trying my hardest to stay active just so I can balance this out. Because PCOS is a very common disorder among women of childbearing age, its treatment is complex. Once I started bringing awareness about PCOS, more people have reached out to me and thanked me for even talking about it. Although I’m still trying to figure out a balance between my PCOS and my mental health, I do know now that I can finally share my story and feel proud about my journey.
This post was written by Savannah Kuang. Please send any questions or concerns to email@example.com.
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