What is the connection between PCOS and Anxiety?

Dr Sandra Jayesh
October 11, 2023
4 minutes
Anxiety and Pcos

Have you been feeling a bit different and helpless? Do you find yourself feeling stressful, worried, fearful and panicked? Do you experience body aches, irritability, stomach ache, headache, shortness of breath, brain fog and insomnia? These symptoms can lead to anxiety. Whether there may or may not be significant highs or lows in your life, anxiety is not easy to deal with alone. Especially if the root of your anxiety isn't anything specific, but rather an ever-present, grumbling voice in your head. 

First of all, understand that you are not alone and Anxiety is a normal emotion unless it’s diagnosed as a disorder.

At times you might have felt “Why me?” “Why these sudden dips?” “Why does my mood keep on fluctuating?”

As mental health of a human being is directly proportional to physical health, it’s true that it’s difficult to find out the links of mental roots to your physical struggles. Understanding the significance of mental health is much needed in today’s busy life as “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely absence of any disease or infirmity.”

Let’s discuss how PCOS affects Anxiety and How to deal with it.

We can take a sneak peak in to PCOS

PCOS is a condition in which excessive amounts of male hormones are produced in women leading to formation of cysts in the ovaries. Symptoms may include irregular periods, infertility, excessive hair growth on face, darkening of skin in some areas, acne, mood swings, depression, anxiety etc

PCOS and Anxiety relation

PCOS and anxiety are frequently found together. Menstrual irregularities and unwanted hair growth can have a negative impact on self-esteem. Furthermore, insulin resistance, a hormonal condition common in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, has been linked to anxiety. Two major links between the two are hormonal and hereditary

Hormonal: In PCOS and anxiety one of the root causes is the hormonal imbalance. Androgens, Insulin and cortisols play a major role in this.

Hereditary: The exact connection is still under studies but, according to the data available, PCOS and Anxiety can be genetic. However, that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to be passed on. 

PCOS and anxiety can be improved with the right approaches and consistent application. Life can improve and become more enjoyable!

What Effects Does Anxiety Have On Your Body?

There is no such specific time for the anxiety to start acting on your body and indicate physical symptoms which may include fear, dread, uneasiness in the body, shortness of breath, aches, empty, restless, rapid heartbeats, sweat, over-eating, low appetite, gastric issues, insomnia etc.

Experiencing anxiety can be in different situations for different people. Some people may have to struggle daily, while others in some specific situation.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder: You experience excessive, unrealistic worry and tension for no apparent reason.
  • Panic disorder: You experience a panic attack due to sudden, intense fear. During a panic attack, you may break out in a cold sweat, experience chest pain, and have a racing heart (palpitations).
  • Social anxiety disorder: This is also known as social phobia and occurs when you experience overwhelming worry and self-consciousness in everyday social situations. You are preoccupied with the possibility of being judged, embarrassed, or derided by others. 
  • Phobias: You are fearful of a particular object or situation, such as heights, water, spider etc. The fear extends beyond what is reasonable and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.
  • Agoraphobia: You are scared of being in a situation in which it appears difficult to escape or seek help in the event of an emergency. For example, you may experience panic or anxiety while flying, taking public transportation, or standing in line with a crowd.
  • Separation anxiety: Separation anxiety disorder can affect anyone when a loved one departs. You will feel very anxious or fearful when someone close to you leaves your sight. You'll be constantly concerned that something bad will happen to your loved one.
  • Selective mutism: This is a form of social anxiety in which you converse normally with your family but refrain from speaking in public.
  • Medication-induced anxiety disorder: Some symptoms of anxiety disorder can be triggered by the use of certain medications or illegal drugs, or by the withdrawal from certain drugs.

As per the studies, over 25% of the world population is suffering from anxiety disorders. Whereas, about 75% of women with PCOS are reported to have mild, moderate and severe anxiety symptoms. This is to generally inform you of the types of the condition and make you aware that you are not alone.

How Can Anxiety and PCOS Be Managed?

Well, you can start with simple little steps one by one which may include practicing mindfulness, following Ayurveda, positive affirmations, yoga and pranayama. This may help in managing the symptoms by knowing the root. Once the cause has been identified, Ayurveda recommends corrective measures such as balancing the doshas (functional energies of body-Vata, Pitta and Kapha), adopting a positive attitude, and instilling optimism, affirmations, and confidence.

Choose a health care team who you believe truly listens to you. In Curate, we as a team, will support you in an easy and holistic way to tackle PCOS and anxiety. Yes! We care for you. You can get back to your beautiful life☺