Dealing with endometriosis can be an emotional rollercoaster. This is not only due to long delays in diagnosis but also the severity and unpredictability of the symptoms lived through. Here are some of the emotions women living with endometriosis may experience.
Confusion and despair
There are still many stigmas around menstruation across cultures. Therefore, many women may think that the excessive pain they experience is part of normal periods. Their pain can make fulfilling daily activities almost impossible, which can lead to a sense of confusion, despair, and dejection.
As soon as you feel there’s something not right with your periods or the pain you experience, consult your healthcare provider. Remember that it is ok to seek a second or even third opinion if you are not satisfied with the response you get.
Anxiety and depression
Given the progressive nature of the disease and the combined impact of the different symptoms it causes, you may find yourself feeling anxious and depressed. Moreover, knowing that the disease may cause infertility can lead to feelings of panic and worthlessness.
Watch for warning signs of anxiety and depression and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your healthcare provider or a confidant and express yourself fully. Consider discussing with your partner, family members, or friends.
More importantly, acknowledge your feelings as valid and practice self-compassion. Know that your pain and concerns are legitimate and that you can fight your way out of it and emerge successfully.
Reluctance in seeking medical help
You may be reluctant to open up to others or even to your healthcare provider. Questions like “What would somebody think if I talk about my periods?”, “Am I getting worked up for no reason?”, “Didn’t my mother and grandmother manage to live with menstrual pain all these years, so what’s the big deal?”, “What if the diagnosis reveals something unanticipated?” is not uncommon. You may not even be able to present your case properly to your doctor should you eventually plan on a clinic visit.
Reluctance can be overcome with good preparation before going to see your doctor. Make a note of the symptoms you experience, what you’ve been doing thus far to reduce them, their frequencies, and just about anything you think could be relevant. Note that all minor details count. Try to be relaxed and discuss these points with your doctor. Consider someone you trust with you to the appointment.
Endometriosis care requires an understanding and empathetic clinician. If you feel your doctor isn’t listening well or isn’t giving you enough time, go and see someone else.
Lack of interest in daily activities
The unpredictability of pain and associated symptoms of endometriosis can affect your daily routine like no other. Your favorite hobbies or pastime may suddenly feel drab, boring, and meaningless. You may feel as if just lying on the couch all coiled up is the best way to tide over the day. Such a lack of interest in daily activities can ultimately have a negative effect on your mind.
Try to instill in yourself a new purpose for your day. Set easily achievable goals and try to give them a sense of meaning and purpose. Try to engage with others, socialize, and occupy yourself whilst also being mindful not to push yourself too hard.
Feelings of isolation
The high propensity for misdiagnosis and general lack of awareness about endometriosis further adds to the confusion. Women often find themselves asking, “Am I the only one experiencing these problems?”, “Why do my symptoms sometimes flare-up?”, “Is there a treatment?”
The Endometriosis Foundation of America has been striving hard to raise awareness about endometriosis through various programs to remove many misconceptions. Educating yourself and others about the disease is the best way to combat it and be able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to deciding on treatment and fertility options.
Anger and guilt
All the above emotions can result in bouts of often-unintended anger when you have endometriosis. These could be followed by a feeling of guilt and remorse. You may find yourself getting angry with healthcare providers, family and friends, and just about everyone who may try to give you company. Trivial things may suddenly become contentious.
Dealing with anger requires building some emotional resilience of your own. When you see you have a tendency to get all worked up for no reason, sit down, relax, and try calming yourself. You may also consider taking part in recreational therapy. Or try yoga and meditation to help calm your nerves and get emotional balance.
Finally, a sense of relief
You may be struggling with the emotions described above on a daily basis if you have endometriosis. But please know that it’s not all gloom at the end of the day.
Proper diagnosis, empathy, and the right multi-disciplinary approach can help effectively treat the condition. The surgeons at Seckin Endometriosis Center are able to identify and remove all kinds of endometriosis lesions both in the pelvis and in other regions for long-lasting relief. We use laparoscopic excision surgery, the gold standard of treatment combined with our patented Aqua Blue Contrast (ABC)TM technique to identify every lesion.
The overwhelming number of positive feedback we’ve received is a testament to the fact that our approach is ideal for fighting endometriosis and restoring a healthy lifestyle. Our patients also know that they needn’t sacrifice their fertility to treat their disease.