Telling those closest to you (and those not so close to you) about any health condition can be awkward. You question whether or not they want to know. Maybe you are divulging too much information for their liking? Perhaps they just do not care. But there are several reasons why sharing your PCOS and any other health condition may just be the best thing you can do for yourself and for others.
1.Those close to you become your support system
It should be easy to do. Sharing your deepest fears and worries with those you love and who love you back? But many may fear rejection when they open themselves up. Telling anyone about your faults allows them to analyze you and see you in a far different light than they may have seen you before. But not opening up to those closest to you can ultimately breed distrust and contempt. When someone truly loves you, whether it is a parent, best friend or significant other, they want to know everything about you- even your faults.
With that in mind, telling family and friends that you have PCOS helps them help you. My mother is my greatest support (closely followed by my grandmother) when it comes to dealing with my health condition. She was there when I was diagnosed at the age of 15 and continues to encourage me from 2,500 miles away now that I am in college. Our phone conversations typically end up with her asking me if I am keeping up on my medication and whether I need a refill or not. It may be a silly little question but it reminds me that she cares enough about my health to ask.
I have a whole army of friends and family members who hold my hand through the tough moments. They encourage me so much that I know that they will continue to be there when things become even harder.
If you do not have anyone to help you through the tough times, there are many great resources for women with PCOS. One of my favorites is pcosdietsupport.com. Not only does this site help with finding the right diet plan for you, it helps battle mental health issues as well.
2. You crush stereotypes and preconceived notions about yourself
One defining factor for PCOS is weight gain. Not every situation is defined by weight but it is true that women with PCOS have a much harder time losing weight than a woman who does not have it. That being said, I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten the stares that just ooze judgement.
According to myfertilitycare.com, “the disease can cause obesity because many PCOS patients also become resistant to insulin, the hormone that orchestrates the body’s storage of food as fat.”
The truth of the matter is that women with PCOS tend to look different. Whether you have acne or are overweight, society perceives you as being responsible for the way you look. But that is not the truth! I will be the first to admit that I am not the healthiest eater but even after eating healthy and trying to lose weight it becomes really difficult to shed the pounds. That just seems to be how it is with PCOS.
When people know that you actually suffer from a medical condition, they may start to see you as the strong woman you actually are rather than someone who is too lazy to try to live a healthier lifestyle.
3. Someone else may just have it too
Last semester, I sat next to two amazing women in my English class. We hit it off so fast and I began to open up to both of them about my PCOS. After telling my story to them, my friend Claire looked at me and mentioned that she had some of the same symptoms I had just described to her. After encouraging her to speak with a doctor on the matter she came to me and said she had been diagnosed with PCOS. I was in no way excited that she had it, but knowing I played a role in her figuring out what was going on with her body felt pretty amazing!
“Unfortunately, women with PCOS often don’t know they have it. To complicate matters, there’s no one simple blood test or scan that produces a PCOS diagnosis.” according to diabetesstopshere.org.
Because diagnosis is hard, doctors tend to overlook the symptoms. By making someone aware of their symptoms, they are more likely to ask the right questions to lead to a proper diagnosis.
I doubt that I am the main cause of her figuring out she has PCOS, but I know I played a role. Claire has been treating her PCOS since September and says she is already seeing improvement. Why would you not share if you could change someone’s life like I did?