Andrea Braverman on the Mental Health Impacts of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Andrea Braverman

Andrea M. Braverman, PhD
Associate Director of the Educational Core, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University

Sasha Ottey
Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, Inc.

Mental and emotional wellness should be included in the health care and management of women and girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Having a chronic condition is challenging for anyone’s mental health, especially if battling a mysterious illness or one perceived to have established control over one’s body.

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Audrey’s PCOS Story: From Suicidal to Inspirational (and Loving Life!)

Audrey Holsclaw

Audrey Holsclaw and Dr. Gretchen Kubacky

CFYM developed this four-part series in collaboration with The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association. According to the National Institute of Health, women with PCOS are more likely to have mood disorders.

Audrey’s story is a powerful testament to the ways in which polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-related psychological issues can have a profoundly negative effect on quality of life – and of how taking action can dramatically change life for the better. The PCOS Psychologist, Dr. Gretchen Kubacky (“Dr. Gretchen”), comments throughout, and offers three action steps you can follow now. Here is Audrey’s story:

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Break Down the Silos, Work Together for Change

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller

The mental health care system is notoriously divided into silos of narrow interests. Not only is mental health seen as distinct from physical health, and distinct from substance use disorders, but there is little collaboration – or even conversation – between and among people living with mental health conditions and their families, mental health care providers, professional associations, advocacy organizations, researchers, community health centers, hospital systems, and so on. This division works against our ability to effectively and collectively advocate for improvements to the mental health care system.

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Healthcare Reform Readings from Care for Your Mind

Healthcare Reform: Selected Readings from CFYMEarlier this year, Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) and the National Council for Behavioral Health held “The American Health Care Act: What’s at Stake for Our Mental Health?,” a webinar that provides an overview of access to mental health care prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what the ACA accomplished for people with mental health conditions...

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Defining Value in Treatment of Mental Health and Co-Occurring Conditions

Allen Doederlein, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Among people who advocate for any health issue, there often exists a dynamic tension between championship of the perfect treatment scenario for each individual with a particular condition and, on the other hand, the desire to meet the most important and frequently occurring needs of as many people as possible within the total population affected by the same condition.

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Tardive Dyskinesia: A Clinician’s Perspective

Christoph U. Correll

Christoph U. Correll, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine
Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Hempstead, NY

Being human is defined by many things. One important definition is the degree of freedom in experiencing and expressing oneself in areas that determine our life. These fundamental aspects include perceiving, feeling, thinking, and behaving. Just as critical are our muscles and motor system, which enable us to respond to and explore the world. Being in control of our fingers, arms, legs, trunk, and especially our facial muscles is crucial. It allows us to effectively communicate with the world and people around us. But what if, in addition to living with a mental health condition, we also had to navigate the world with a lack of motor skills. For many this is reality.

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Tardive Dyskinesia: A Personal Story About Self-Advocacy

Cariena Birchard

I was diagnosed with Bipolar I, Anxiety with Panic Attacks, and Agoraphobia in 1994. I have a long history of medications working for a year or so, then suddenly stop working. Because of this, I have been on a laundry list of medications over the last twenty-three years. I have experienced my fair share of obscure side effects that were so strange in the moment, but are sometimes a means to an end if the result is psychiatric calm. I have been on medications that caused weight gain, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, lactation, nausea, restless legs, and migraines.

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A New Force for Patient Advocacy

Michelle Winokur
Policy Communications Director
Alliance for Patient Access, a member of the Movement Disorders Policy Coalition

Movement disorders affect millions of people, impacting their mobility, self-sufficiency, and day-to-day lives. Everyday activities such as feeding, dressing, or driving become challenging if not impossible. Symptoms also exact a heavy toll on patients’ social and emotional lives, with many battling mental health conditions.

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