5 ways to cope up with mood swings during PCOS | Health - Hindustan Times
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5 ways to cope up with mood swings during PCOS

Nov 27, 2022 11:13 AM IST

Mood swings are a common symptom of PCOS and can impact one's ability to function at work, maintain relationships, and enjoy life in general. Check out five effective ways to cope up with mood swings during PCOS.

Women with PCOS often report signs of mood swings, depression and anxiety. Mood swings can feel like rapidly fluctuating emotions that can manifest as irritability, temper, sadness and/or anxiety that results from hormonal imbalance. In fact, many women do experience signs of mood swings, especially near their menstrual cycle. Although everyone experiences mood swings from time to time, in conditions such as PCOS, mood swings can seem to be frequent and/or intense and can invariably affect work, relationships and overall quality of life. Changes to a mood that is severe and prolonged should be discussed with a doctor/mental health professional. However, there are plenty of ways by which you can manage and cope with your mood swings. You may want to experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you. (Also read: How PCOS affects your mental health: Expert shares insights )

Mood swings can feel like rapidly fluctuating emotions that can manifest as irritability, temper, sadness and/or anxiety that results from hormonal imbalance. (Unsplash)
Mood swings can feel like rapidly fluctuating emotions that can manifest as irritability, temper, sadness and/or anxiety that results from hormonal imbalance. (Unsplash)

Talking to HT Lifestyle, Madhu Hisaria, Psychotherapist and Relationship Counsellor at Veera Health, Online PCOS Clinic, shared the following behavioural interventions that can directly assist women with PCOS as these are highly effective for reversing hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, which are the core biological mechanism causing PCOS:

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1. Nutrition matters: What you eat not only has an impact on your physical health but also your mood. Research suggests that eating complex carbs, protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can help keep your blood sugar levels stable which has been linked to improved mood. Also, it is not only what that's important here but also when and how often.

2. Keep moving: Regular exercise can not only help lower insulin levels and keep blood sugar levels stable which is critically important for improving your mood, but it may also help you to lose weight. Exercise helps reduce stress and release endorphins (feel-good hormones) that can help improve mood. Exercising may also be a welcome distraction from negative thoughts and improve social interaction, areas which are known to improve mood and depressive symptoms. Finding a form of exercise that makes you happy is key - be it walking, running, yoga, dancing or a team sport.

3. Sleep well: The importance of sleep is underrated — especially while managing chronic conditions like PCOS. Some studies indicate that poor sleep can produce a 50 % increase in insulin resistance within just a few days. In practice, this means that a woman with PCOS will experience a 50 % rise in blood glucose levels, despite following a healthy diet, if sleep is not proper. Sadly, studies also indicate that sleep problems may be 50-100 % higher in women with PCOS as compared to women without the condition. Hence, practising sleep hygiene such as going to bed and waking up at a fixed time, putting out devices before sleeping, practising relaxation techniques and avoiding the use of substances before bedtime is important.

4. Practice stress management techniques: Stress can sometimes feel inevitable but it is in our best interest to manage stress levels. Practising meditation, mindfulness, journaling, and taking up a hobby or leisure activity can help improve your overall mood and well-being. Knowing your triggers and managing them beforehand will help. Educate yourself about everything related to PCOS to know how to manage the condition and improve your emotional well-being. Just knowing that there are ways you can help yourself could motivate you and make you feel more empowered.

5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of psychotherapy that can help you identify and change unhelpful or negative thought patterns and learn practical self-help techniques. CBT is used for a range of emotional health issues ranging from anxiety to depression. International evidence-based guidelines for PCOS also recommend CBT to help patients with this condition. A therapist or counsellor can guide you and work with you closely to help you implement these strategies after a thorough assessment of your problem and symptoms.

With PCOS, it is important to get a holistic approach while treating the symptoms. And your mental health is as important as your physical health. Many of the mood disorders of PCOS are linked to the underlying hormonal imbalances so treating PCOS holistically can also help address these symptoms.

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