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Endometriosis And Mental Health

Finally, the topic of women and endometriosis is becoming mainstream. For years, women have suffered a tremendous amount of pain, struggle, stress, and discomfort due to a difficult to diagnose, and difficult to treat condition: endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition of the womb, making it a medical issue exclusive to women. In endometriosis, tissue which mimics the inside of the “womb” or the endometrium, starts to grow on areas outside of the womb, like on the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and even the abdomen. Symptoms can include: painful menstrual cycles, pain during sexual intercourse, pain after sexual intercourse, fatigue, pelvic pain, and painful ovulation cycles.

Since women’s mental and physical health are often discounted by the medical industry, millions of women have suffered without support.  According to the World Endometriosis Society and the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, as per endometriosis.org, one in 10 women are affected in their ‘reproductive years’, between 15 to 49 years old. Around the world, that is estimated to be over 175 million women. Endometriosis can develop as early as a girl’s first period in her pre-pubescent to pubescent years.

The small mounds of misplaced tissue cause an incredible amount of pain and discomfort for women, which in turn causes a severe amount of mental and emotional distress. For the first time, researchers have examined the link between a woman’s reproductive health, affected by endometriosis, and her mental health. Yale University took mice to task by injection endometrial cells into mice, then evaluated them 12 weeks after, according to The Sun. Mice with the endometrial cells had more symptoms of depression and anxiety. Brain scans revealed that mice with the endometrial cells has actual brain changes in structure. Specifically, brain  regions which regulate pain and mood had changed, leading researches to determine “…that endometriosis reprograms the brain”, stated the study’s lead author.

Logically, the connection between severe pain and poor mental health makes sense. Chronically experiencing severe pain is not pleasant. Quite the opposite, chronic pain of any kind is taxing, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. The development of mood disorders, like depression and anxiety, coupled with the chronic experience of pain can lead to substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can temporarily provide relief from mental and physical symptoms. However, the chronic abuse of drugs and alcohol can quickly develop into its own problem, necessitating another level of treatment.

 

Women at Villa Tranquil, a unique transitional living home in Jupiter Farms, Florida, are exposed to the many different areas of recovery which create a fulfilling life. Independently owned and operated by clinicians, our beautiful home is open to women between the ages of 18-65 seeking to extend the structure, care, and support they received in primary treatment. Call us today for information:  (561) 294-0427