Depressed and feel like a man

Hey, Im new to the community but was diagnosed with pcos back in 2008 when I was 16, but I have had symptoms since I was 13 (it took them some time to figure out what was wrong with me). At first I was put on the pill but I stopped taking that within two months as it caused my weight to shoot right up!

I haven't had a natural period since I was 14, I'm over weight and have a serious case of hirsutism. Over the years I have tried almost everything to combat the hair! At first I would bleach but I had to switch to waxing as I was literally walking around with a blond beard, the waxing became too painful and my skin suffered a lot so now I just shave EVERYDAY. I have brothers and I have a bigger beard than any of them and its embarrassing. I'm asian and have jet black hair so even when I shave you can still see the little hair follicles (foundation does nothing to help hide them!). My entire body is covered in hair as a result of this I have 0 confidence. I hate going out I hate meeting new people, I haven't been with a guy in 4years (last guy broke up saying he wanted a real woman not a man and he wasn't gay and couldn't overlook my issues).

Recently I have tried to ask the gp for help esp with the hair and I feel like this guy just didn't understand me at all; I practically broke down and begged for help to which his response was "there isn't a lot I can do heres a leaflet and you can refer yourself for counselling and how about we do a blood test to check for diabetes" i had by this time started balling so he said he would refer me to a dermatologist but he doubted that they could do anything to help.

I am at the end of my whits I have no confidence and no hope left, I referred myself for the counselling and I know that will help with my mental well being but what about my physical well being?? I just feel so lost and feel like I should call it a day let my beard grow and just start dressing like a guy at least that would be easier than putting myself through so much on a daily basis and still have a 5 o'clock shadow within an hour!!

8 Replies

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  • Hiya glad your going to see a counsellor as you say it will help with your mental health. I am the same with the hair I have to shave every day and as much as I hate make up I have to wear it otherwise it would be obvious I shave. Your gp doesn't sound supportive at all, could you possibly change? Are you under a consultant at hospital? And have they prescribed vaniqua cream or metoformin tablets I have been on the tablets and I lost six stone in six months it has slowed hair growth slightly, but because I older and lived with it longer I am just used to it now. Your ex boyfriend sounds like a prat so he definitely wasn't right for you. I am married and I have days where I don't shave to give my skin a break and my husband doesn't bat an eyelid. Also you can ask gp for some great coverage make up which is better suited for darker skin tones. Don't let it take over your life and just fight for a solution and be proud, hold your head up high, everyone has their own individual battles and just go on, not much else we can do, the right man will come along who will accept everything about you x

  • GP had a typical bloke reaction and didn't understand at all his response was that because its a side effect of pros theres no point in treating the side effect and pcos itself doesn't have a direct treatment so theres no point in me giving you anything. Im going to have to book an appointment with a female GP instead and hope that she is more understanding of the situation and more supportive. I feel like Iv been abandoned and left the deal with it on my own! Your words are helpful and I have been doing some independent research on treatments so that next time they try and say they can't help me i can give em a list of things that i know are available through the nhs.

  • Deari BBymz, I'm so sad to hear of your daily struggle. It sounds like this has completely engulfed you and it must be so debilitating. It's great that you've got some counselling lined up. One thing to remember - DO NOT let this problem define you. You are much more than what people can see on the outside. And they don't know your problem or your struggle. So be who you are. I suggest you change your GP - perhaps a female one might be more empathetic - ask to see a specialist and work hard at finding a manageable solution, be it a combination of meds and superficial help. Have you tried laser treatment? This can eventually deaden the hair follicles completely so you will not get re-growth. Don't go to a high street beautician/parlour though - seek out professional qualified clinics. It's expensive but finite, in so far as you will need a course of treatments but eventually you may not need them at all. So think of it as an investment in your well-being. Given the effect hirsutism is having on your sense of self-esteem and confidence, it could vastly improve your quality of life. Good Luck, and please don't lose hope.

  • I would look at electrolysis as having Asian skin sadly makes it even more tricky. The ex Verity secretary is Asian and she had it done and it works really well, takes time but is the only permanent way of removing it. I would also ask your GP for vaniqa as this slows down the hair growth, it is quite expensive so isnt generally mentioned at the GP so you do need to push.

    As for your previous bf who was so rude, he isnt a real man as he cant cope with a more natural lady and actually to say what he did is really very mean, he had the fault not you.

    One thing I would suggest is trying the combined pill again as there are loads of options (I am on yasmin), they should not cause weight gain so find one that is right for you. I find that I can lose weight easier on the pill and also it slows down my beard growth hugely (I have had laser on my face though and it was excellent).

    It may also be worth going to somewhere like SK:N to see what laser they have that may be suitable for your skin tone as I know they are getting more and more different sorts. Laser literally changed my life, I dont get the horrible black 5 o'clock shadow any more so I know exactly where you are coming from, it is so difficult to hide it. Laser is not permanent for pcos ladies so you will need to maintain it. I havent had any done for about 3 years I think now and the goaty area is starting to poke out again so I need to go for a top up (15 sessions is average for a pcos lady and not 6). SK:N do a discount for pcos ladies and interest free credit too.

    You need to be asked to be referred to an endocrinologist as pcos is their area and they will be able to refer you to who they may feel is relevant or prescribe you something that will help.

    The other option is to make a private appointment with a endo and then they can refer you back to NHS after the initial consultation.

    PCOS can cause anxiety and depression as well and they dont know if it is the hormonal imbalance or the symptoms that cause it. I tried to get laser on the NHS and they said no as it was cosmetic - what a lady with a beard is purely cosmetic, I dont think so .....

    So anyway waffled a bit, you are totally normal, you are totally a woman just with a bit of extra hair. Look at your self and see the positives (I know its really really hard some days). Start exercising as it helps mentally too, the other option is anti depressants, I find they work brilliantly and can help you feel more positive about stuff and sometimes when all you feel is black and despair, sometimes you need that light back at the tunnel. It is so common to have mental health with pcos so do not feel ashamed or anything.

    Sending hugs, you will get thru this.

  • A friend of mine living in london had managed to somehow get the GP to give her laser on nhs but thats in london! I have asked to be seen by a female GP and hopefully she will be more understanding of the situation. Thank you for your kind words and support its good to know that I am not alone .

  • You really have to show it is affecting you mentally and that is not just cosmetic. Good luck

  • Hi bbymz,

    I hope you've been reassured by these lovely ladies before me. I'm really sorry to hear how your PCOS is affecting you. Facial hair is an absolute pain in the jacksie (much like your ex - what a douche!).

    I'm getting electrolysis done at the moment as laser didn't work on my face although laser has changed my life when it comes to my legs. The electrolysis takes a lot of time and patience but improvements do happen. And to be fair, laser might have worked better on my face if I'd had more sessions but I didn't really see any reduction after 6 sessions - compared to my legs which are almost entirely hair free now. These treatments are all very expensive and obviously I don't know your financial status but when I was in my early 20s I didn't have the ways and means to pay for it. So the advice I would give my younger self would be to just start saving now so that you will have money set aside just for that. Again I agree that it's not a cosmetic issue that you should have to pay for yourself but I've just decided to suck it up and pay for it for my own wellbeing. Some health boards/trusts do pay for laser so it is always worth asking your endocrinologist - make sure your GP refers you to one asap. Don't take no for an answer.

    Weight is another total pain. For me, I can loose weight much more easily on slimming world IF I'm on the pill, I'm not at the moment and slimming world/weight watchers does not work at all. I've recently been to see a nutritionist who specialises in fertility/endocrine and she recommended basically a very low carb, very very very low sugar (ie only from berries when I have them with my porridge) and no wheat diet. I was really cynical that I would feel hungry all the time but I've realised I've been eating too many carbs and not enough protein for basically my whole life. And since I've been doing it I'm not bloated, I've stopped burping - something I've done my whole life without any control - and I've lost some weight. You may be able to get a referral to a nutritionist via your gp or if you can afford to, go privately.

    Lastly, don't worry about men, focus on you and make sure that you are happy with who you are before letting anyone get near your heart. Then you're more likely to meet someone who deserves and compliments you. And as an aside, I once dated a guy who loved the fact that I had darker hair etc. He said the extra testosterone makes you have more intense orgasms. Just saying!

    Hope you get your counselling soon. Everyone should get counselling - it's amazing to just chew the ear off someone completely neutral. Sending lots of love. xx

  • 6 sessions would be no where near enough - 15 is closer for pcos ladies and then you have to maintain so it is a long journey. Electrolysis will do it though, keep going.

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