One of the side effects of my mental health, and related medication is that when I do have moments of unrest I never know the causation. I did wonder, over the past year, if I may be perimenopausal but the GP doesn’t think so. I have no family history of early perimenopause. I did point out, as I regular do, that I don’t know my biological family so my family history is unknown rather than negative so by writing off conditions based on the fact no known family member experienced something is actually putting my life at risk (for example, if I have a symptom that is associated with a hereditary illness I do not get referrals based on the fact I don’t know my biological family. If a person who do know their family, had the same symptom and there was a family history of specific illnesses they would be treated differently). Anyway, I digress – I’m just annoyed at biocentrism in medical care – especially as I expect someone with a science brain to acknowledge the difference between no and unknown.
Also, because I’m obese everything is attributed to my weight. Change in hair growth, location and density = lose weight. Fatigue and anxiety = lose weight. Worry about auditory hallucinations = lose weight. Finding sensory stimuli overwhelming = lose weight. I ain’t even joking.
So between being fat and not knowing if I’m genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, I’m a bit stuck.
Puberty came early for me. I remember being in the final year of my junior school because when I started bleeding my mum thought it would be helpful to tell the teacher so I could change in the toilets by myself during my time of the month. My body had already started changing before that point because I have clear memories of a birthday party at a swimming pool the previous summer where friends asked to look at my body in the changing room (if it sounds a bit weird now, rest assured it didn’t feel weird at the time – just annoying). I also remember having a mustache from age six onwards which I thought was a clear indication something was up with my hormones. Obviously my GP disagreed because members of my adopted family were also hirsute (Hello!? I would have challenged my GP but my mother said it was rude to argue with him.).
A few years later my mental health problems started getting diagnosed. Two decades afterwards, professionals are still disagnosing them. But now, there is an openness (in me) and awareness (in them). Things that were originally thought of as growing pains are being reexamined.
The reason why I have given so much history here is to show that (undiagnosed) mental health issues were around earlier than I anticipated and puberty arrived before I was mature enough to understand it. I was navigating both of these fields before my friends, and due to the nature of my upbringing relatively alone (my family were very old-fashioned so depression was pretty much seen as weakness and laziness, and body changes were not talked about… and there was a general uncomfortableness about early puberty because they were not ready for me to grow up).
And let’s not forget that mental health medication is widely associated with hormonal changes (good and bad).
So, how do hormones and mental health impact me? Gaaah! I don’t know. They are so fully intertwined in my life that I wouldn’t know how to seperate them…
But I do know chocolate helps 🙂