Depression is common among women who are trying to manage and control endometriosis. For many years, women ignored their symptoms and just tried to get on with their lives, while the very real problem of depression that goes hand-in-hand with endometriosis was ignored. As a result, many women turn on themselves, feeling guilty for not being able to cope with their emotional and physical pain.
Are drugs to blame for depression?
One of the best sources of relief from pain caused by endometriosis is medical therapy. To control endometriosis, contraceptives that are high in progestin and low in estrogen are sometimes prescribed. This type of birth control pill reduces or even stops the menstrual period, and has been shown to prevent endometrial tissue outside of the uterine wall from growing. While side effects such as headaches, nausea and depression are mostly mild, they may be more pronounced in some women.
High-progestin pills help control endometriosis, but they tend to cause depression and bloating. Women also cannot expect to use these types of pills as a long term treatment because they can weaken bone density. As an alternative, some experts believe that IUDs containing progestin may be a better way to control endometriosis symptoms.
If depression is a side effect of a certain drug, a patient can ask her doctor to prescribe a lower dose, or change the prescription to something she can tolerate. There is no reason for any woman to try and tolerate a medication that is causing her to feel depressed – no matter how good the medication is if it is causing depression as a side effect it won’t be an effective solution in the long run.
When Drugs Aren’t Enough
When depression as a result of endometriosis is severe, medication can only do so much. Other options need to be considered and discussed with your doctor. A second option may also prove very helpful.
You should know that without surgery, endometriosis tends to be a chronic condition with symptoms varying in severity from one woman to the next. If medication is not enough to control the symptoms, relief from depression may come from one-on-one psychotherapy or group therapy. Many women find talking to other people highly therapeutic, and having their minds distracted (if only for a while) helps relieve pain and prevent depression.
There are also some alternative therapies that may be used to control endometriosis and depression. Aromatherapy, for example, is widely used for its therapeutic properties. Women suffering from depression caused by endometriosis can seek relief in aromatherapy treatments that not only heal the body but also relax the mind. The feeling of well-being that aromatherapy produces is very helpful in controlling both endometriosis and depression.
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Another alternative treatment is homeopathy, which seeks to heal the individual and not just his specific ailment. It can be a very effective way to treat depression as a result of endometriosis without resorting to drugs.
Seeking Outside Help
It is important that in order to control depression caused by endometriosis, a woman build a support network of family and friends who will be able to empathize with her. Isolating herself from other people will do more harm than good, possibly causing a mild depression to develop into something more severe.
Speak to your doctor about getting a referral to a specialist therapist, someone who has experience of either woman’s medical issues or has dealt with patients with chronic pain before.
To control endometriosis, it is as important to control the emotional effects as well as the physical ones to allow a life where pain and discomfort are effectively managed.