PCOS is NOT in My Head!

by Lynn C.

Regarding your article PCOS - Is It All in Your Head?, I can assure you that my PCOS is not all in my head.

I have enjoyed receiving your newsletter over the last couple of years but this one has my dander up.

I agree that the stress and obstacles that come along with having this condition could lead to emotional upset, poor self-esteem and even isolation at times.

However, I do NOT agree that mental illness could be a cause for PCOS. In fact, I do not even believe that it is a part of the equation at all.

Like you, I think mind, body and soul are all intertwined. Each one has a definitive effect on the other.

But in NO universe is it possible that mental illness makes a woman's hair get thin on top nor does it cause hair to grow excessively on her chin, chest, back or buttocks. PCOS is very much a physiological disorder (hormonal imbalance) with very real physiological symptoms.

Many other conditions such as hypoglycemia and multiple chemical sensitivity have also been labeled as being forms of mental illness or being "all in the patients head."

It really burns me up that when the medical community cannot understand, explain or cure a condition, they attach mental illness to it.

The patient's symptoms then become psychosomatic and no longer require an effort to find its cure.

At the risk of sounding irrational or insane, I cannot believe that you lent any credence to the study in Brazil or that you dared to share it with women who are struggling to hold mind, soul and body together because of PCOS.

I will retain my subscription to this letter only if you can assure me that there will not be a repeat of this fodder and tomfoolery in the future.



Editor's comments:

Hi Lynn,

Thanks very much for your viewpoint. Sometimes I don't communicate very well.

I did not mean to imply that "mental illness" or whatever we wish to call it is a cause of PCOS. I think what we can say is that emotional and mental issues are more likely to be present in women who have PCOS vs. those women who do not have this condition. Depression, anxiety, etc. appears, to me at least, to be a manifestation of PCOS.

There is a chicken-and-egg aspect to this. Let's suppose PCOS predisposes an individual to be more depressed or anxious. The problem is that depression and anxiety could lead to unhelpful behavior (such as isolation, lack of self-care, eating poorly, being sedentary, etc.), some of which could worsen the physical symptoms of PCOS or increase hormone imbalances.

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