I hope this article can shed a little light on what so many females are suffering through. I also hope those that are close with someone suffering from these evils can use the tips I've provided at the end of this piece.
How to help someone suffering with PCOS and PMDD
Last month was both Suicide Prevention Month and PCOS Awareness Month. As mentioned before, these two things play a big role in my life. Women with PCOS are more likely to commit suicide, but there’s another, smaller percentage of those women with PCOS that also have PMDD and can deal with suicidal thoughts continuously, not just at a certain time of the month. I’ve read so many articles concerning PCOS and PMDD and depression. They’re all linked. In my mind, they are all the “silent killer.” There’s only so much a mind and heart can take at any certain point. It’s not easy being close to someone who suffers from these symptoms and it’s not easy to find ways to help cope until the sufferer has a moment of peace once more.
I battle daily with depression, something I’ve had before I hit puberty, but with the added PCOS and PMDD symptoms, there are some days where living seems impossible. I think most of us that are in that position tend to isolate ourselves and break down even further, finding comfort in food, lack of food, too much sleep, lack of sleep etc… while we wait out the feeling.
Distractions are key for me, but those can only hold so long as I have motivation.
It’s frightening to think that if modern science hadn’t realized that these symptoms are real and not caused by “hysteria”** the majority of women would be locked away in asylums.
I think one of the most difficult questions to answer when you’re struggling with these symptoms is how to tell people closest to you how to help until they pass, or becoming more manageable. I hope some of these points can help you, or send this to people you feel comfortable with helping you in those darker moments.
If you’re close with someone who suffers from suicidal thoughts, PCOS, and/or PMDD, just know that they don’t want a lecture. They don’t want to hear “you’re going to be okay” because that feels condescending, even if it’s coming from a good place. When someone you care about is in that position they’re looking for the feeling of not being alone and being wanted/needed. Nothing has to be said, just send comfort. Let them know they matter. A letter, flowers, little texts throughout the day, “thinking of you” gifts, or messages will mean the world. If you’re able to see the person face to face bring them something healthy to eat together. Do “nothing” with them, i.e. watch a movie, talk about a book, listen to a podcast, or knit together - whatever small distraction you can offer that the person who is hurting is willing to do.
Sometimes it helps just to be held and rocked in silence. For most, there are no words of advice that are strong enough to penetrate the high walls of depression and suicidal thoughts. Sometimes silence and touch are the best things to offer. If those aren’t possible, keep sending messages, texts, letters, emails, etc… to the person you care about. They want to know they’re cared for. They want to know their existence matters, even if they feel the world would be better off without them. Never think for a moment that you’re annoying them. If they react negatively, just know that you reaching out to them is better than not.
I suffer with these symptoms on a daily basis and those closest to me are keeping me sane and in the present. I cannot thank them enough.
** this article is interesting and a good introduction to Hysteria, but it doesn’t go into the isolation, torture, and misjudgement that women suffered for years before there was acutal help offered.