As today marks the last day of PCOS awareness month, I thought I’d share some of my experiences with the subject… in particular, the so-called “support” network that is offered on social media platforms such as Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes support groups are just what you need and some of the groups I have been a part of on Facebook were excellent. I was once a part of various support groups after I got my diagnosis on the 14th September 2015 but earlier this summer, I left them all. So I have gathered a list of 10 annoying things that contributed to my decision to leave these groups.
We will have all seen sales representatives for these products on Instagram and Facebook. They have a nasty habit on praying on people with weight problems that have been caused by PCOS. I would often get messaged by people on Instagram and Facebook claiming that these products could “cure” me. Pft, the doctors can’t find a cure for this so what makes you think that you have some magical cure, found in a product that everyone is aware is a money grabbing scam?
These products won’t help you ladies, stick to clean eating, exercise and balancing those hormones.
2. Contradictory Encouragement
This one did seriously grind my gears. Everyone in those groups are fighting the same battle and most women do struggle to stick to clean eating without the right kind of support network. This is why I didn’t understand why when people are trying to gather the strength to resist their hormonal cravings for sugary foods did some people encourage them to cheat on their diet? They do realise the cravings get worse when you give in to temptation, right?
3. The Admins That Were “Above-All-Others”
One of the biggest PCOS support groups I was a member of has this issue. Their admins had gained a high Facebook, Twitter and Instagram following which led them to dictate over everything – some women had their Diet Bet posts removed just because the admins wanted everyone to bet with them. Then they had the nerve to call the people who had their posts removed ‘childish’. HAHA! OKAY! I DIDN’T REALISE YOU LADIES ARE QUEEN OF THE OVARIES!
4. Your Story Is Not About You Anymore!
You get this from people in everyday life but I thought I’d throw this in the list anyways. You could write a huge post describing your diagnosis and your struggle and I can guarantee some one will come along and compete with you on a level of how hard your struggle is. Come on ladies, everyone’s symptoms are different.
5. Everyone is SO HORMONAL!
Mood swings. All girls have them but ironically our high levels of male hormones seem to make us more emotionally unstable… so… we set each other off when we get our knickers in a twist. Too many arguments when you’re getting advised by doctors who don’t know what they are talking about, that you need to relax more to be able to have a period. Am I right?
6. Stupid Advice
There had been several occasions where I have been given the same advice for pretty much everything I asked in the group. My personal favourites are:
“Get yourself to A&E straight away!”
“Take a pregnancy test!”
Going to A&E over cramps… They’d laugh in my face.
As for taking a pregnancy test… I don’t produce eggs so I’d love to know where this baby is going to sprout from.
7. Your Symptoms Are Wrong!
PCOS can be a very difficult thing to get your head around and their are many symptoms to look out for such as:
I have many of these symptoms but not all of them. As different women have different hormone levels their symptoms vary. Different women can have a different ‘cocktail’ of symptoms but many women in these groups don’t accept this and claim your symptoms have nothing to do with PCOS when they really do.
There is also a lot of suggestions for vitamins, supplements and prescribed medication but always check with your GP and Gynaecologist because although these treatments might work for one person, they might not necessarily work for you.
8. They Will Bring You Down!
This isn’t all the women in the groups but I had seen a few women who would bring people down because they aren’t as collected and in control of their symptoms as others. It will make you feel weak and useless (and will definitely belittle your femininity).
So much for the “support and positivity” right?
9. Self-Love Posts
On occasions these are great – especially the no make-up ones but when people say that the ‘no make-up selfie’ posts are shaming women who wear make-up… it gets a bit annoying.
The groups are full of it and sometimes it’s so bad that women with success stories, such as pregnancies are asked not to post about them in the group because it ‘upsets other women’. I’d understand them being upset if it was a woman with perfectly functioning ovaries getting pregnant but these are women going through the same battle as us. Surely this is hope for the rest of us that should be celebrated? Right?
Anyway, that’s my rant over but I will leave links to the groups I found the most helpful below.