A Visit From My Old Friend
The last couple of days were pretty rough for me. My mind dropped into old patterns of negativity and I had a visit from a strong old friend — depression. I really struggled lifting my veil of sadness. My mind was conquered with self defeating thoughts and serious thoughts of suicide.
I know that this subject is dark, and while I try to keep things light — on the bright side — I do think that this is a topic that is important to discuss. The subject of depression is often taboo, similarly to endometriosis and even less talked about is the connection between the two.
I have struggled with depression since my teenage years on up into my twenties. Only recently, since focusing efforts on my liver health, has this condition lifted quite a bit.
But I do still get bouts of it, often times coupled with anxiety, and more than not in cyclical nature — prior to ovulation (where estrogen levels are highest) and in the second half of my cycle (where estrogen levels should be at their lowest and progesterone levels at their highest).
I am in the luteal phase right now and yesterday was the fifth day following ovulation. This is the point of time where progesterone levels should be rising nearing a peak on seven days past ovulation.
However, I’m not so sure my progesterone levels are where they need to be.
Low Progesterone and Depression
Up until recently, I thought that I was just burdened with depression for some unforeseen reason. But the thing is, there is more to the connection between endometriosis and depression and it comes in the way of hormones.
Endometriosis is fueled by excessive estrogen in the body. Women who have it then will often times have too much estrogen in the body (fueled by many environmental factors) or too little progesterone.
- suicidal thoughts,
- difficulty with concentration,
- mood swings,
- insomnia…. etc.
Also low progesterone is related to low serotonin levels. If progesterone levels are low then serotonin is also low — lending more fuel to depression and anxiety.
This explains the connection between the hormonal imbalances at play with endo and the presence of depression. For me, it has helped to know that these symptoms — the crazy, dark places my mind falls into — are not my fault.
Suicide and Endometriosis
Regardless of the knowledge that this is a hormonal thing, it was really hard to pull myself up yesterday. This is a really dangerous spot to be in. I think too many women with endo cross over the line and fall into the darkness — taking a swift moment to end it all — the emotional and physical pain.
This seriousness is why we should talk about the connection between endometriosis and depression — two topics that are too taboo (in my opinion) and often times brushed aside as not a big deal.
If you are in this dark place, I encourage you to reach out for support. Whether it be from a loved one, or a fellow endo sister or from the support ready 24-7 at the national suicide prevention lifeline.
Sometimes all it takes it speaking out to help with the pain. Sometimes a hug (real or virtual) is enough to save a life.
On the Positive Side?
I am feeling much better today 🙂 In retrospect, I’ve found little things that helped me through the darkness.
What tops the list are my two, loving boxer pups, whose purpose is to make me smile. Their love is unconditional and their warm bodies leaning against me is helpful 🙂 How could I consider leaving them behind?
Another thing that helps is tears. While I was unable to lift myself up, I cried. I let out all the negative emotions in me through those tears and let myself feel it. I accepted it for what it was and the tears helped me to release it.
I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the sun. Vitamin D is a great remedy for depression. And the warmth was very soothing.
I did some yoga. Exercise releases endorphins and yoga is great for relaxation and stress reduction.
I took a nap 🙂 When all else fails sleep usually helps.
I spent much of the evening watching Vampire Diaries 🙂 And topped it off playing the video game Dead or Alive 5 with my hubby — nothing like virtual fighting to get rid of excess negativity, Lol.
While I think it is good to feel the emotions and wallow for a bit, again, I encourage you to not fall into the dark pit without a hand to help pull you out. If you are at this place, please reach out.
And do not forget — You are love. You are loved. And your life is worth living.
Have you struggled with depression and/or suicidal tendencies. How have you overcome? I’d love to hear from you.