PCOD: A SOCIETAL DISORDER

PCOD/PCOS has always been less about abnormal periods or unhealthy lifestyle and more about the society diagnosing you as UGLY. PCOD has symptoms that include Acanthosis nigricans ( darkening of one’s neck, underarms, inner thighs etc.), hirsutism (unwanted hair), gaining weight, hormonal acne on various parts of the body including vagina, back, face, arms, back of the neck. For a fifteen year old who has newly been told that she suffers from a lifestyle disorder is already a lot to take in but for the society it is not enough burden on a teenager they tag you and generalize you as ABNORMAL.

I have been dealing with PCOD for five years now and there is not even a single day that passes by without me being told that I have some abnormality about my body. When someone sees a person with a darker neck the first thought that might come to their mind is that the person with the condition is not taking care of their hygiene but it does not work that way. Can you ask a person with hyperpigmentation to erase the pigmented parts of their face with a soap? Do you see how abrupt that sounds, because its impossible. Just like that simply erasing hyperpigmentation from other parts of your body is equally impossible. Since, there are very less people who know about Acanthosis nigricans it was very hard for me as an individual to do things others were easily doing like go get a haircut done because I was embarrassed of myself or I would constantly think how the barber would react to a dark neck, will he think I do not keep myself clean? I remember scrubbing my neck everyday harshly almost at the extent of my skin burning because I was tired of judgement.

When I was in class 6 I was sent away to an all girls’ boarding school and being around only girls and watching them grow without any of these symptoms I was struggling with self confidence and until I was 15 I did not know why were all these random things happening to my body. One evening I was standing in a line and the girl behind me whispered to her friend ‘Look at her neck’ I still hate the fact that I heard it because it crushed me. Somedays I would find blood stains on my clothes because my body acne would burst at any time. Other time a teacher asked me not to eat potatoes because they would make me fatter than I already was. The occurrence of unwanted hair did not make it any easier I had one more thing to be mocked about.

I can go on and on about how difficult it was for me or for anyone with PCOD to make themselves feel validated because the society rejects you as soon as it sees the ABNORMAL part of you. I have not mentioned about my irregular periods or about constant blood tests or about the diets I had to follow for weight loss because they were never the difficult part of having PCOD it was always the judgements people threw at me. PCOD is not limited to a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges its a SOCIETAL disorder more than dealing with unusual ovaries you will have to deal with the society.

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