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What is mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is about feeling good, functioning well, and feeling connected.

For many of us, when we talk about mental health we're really talking about mental illness or mental distress. But, like physical health, mental health is something we all have, and we need to look after it. There is no health without mental health. 

Good mental health boosts our physical health, creates resilience, and helps us to feel happy, confident, and secure. 

The New Zealand Mental Health Foundation uses two key models of well-being to help individuals, whānau, communities, and society ensure that everyone can enjoy good mental wellbeing. One of these models is the 'Five Ways to Wellbeing'. 

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The link between endometriosis and mood

Living with endometriosis, its symptoms, and lifelong impacts can affect your mental wellbeing and emotional health. Alongside the diagnostic journey and getting to grips with lifelong impacts and treatments, often runs an emotional rollercoaster ranging from uncertainty through relief and depression, anxiety, loss, and grief.

There are a number of known links between endometriosis and mood:

  • The long journey to diagnosis (typically 7-10 years).

  • Living with chronic pain and its lifelong impacts.

  • Stress and uncertainty, anger, irritability, frustration.

  • Hormone fluctuations.

  • Other symptoms such as fatigue.

  • A lack of understanding from others.

  • Misinformation and lack of information to empower decision-making. 

  • Cultural expectations and stigma talking about symptoms and impacts.

The length of your diagnosis journey can contribute to how you feel. You may feel empowered and relieved with a diagnosis, but your experience and circumstances may also mean you experience stress, depression, and/or anxiety.

Common emotions with endometriosis

There are some feelings that are a big part of having endometriosis and other chronic conditions. These feelings are ok to feel, they are normal to feel and you are not alone in feeling them.


It is common to feel:

  • Frustration at your body, the limitations, the symptoms, and the changes your illness causes.

  • Anger about living with a difficult condition, feeling resentful about it, and asking "why me?"

  • Fear of being out of control of your own health and how that might change in the future.

  • Guilt for not being able to show up as often or participate.

  • Jealousy of non-chronically ill people and wishing you had their health and ability level.

  • Anxious about your symptoms and the impact each day.

  • Loneliness, feeling distant, disconnected, isolated and withdrawn from others.
  • Sadness about life with your condition and wishing things could be different.
  • Lost, feeling like you aren't sure where your life is going or who you are because of a condition's impact on your life.

Chronic illness is also surrounded by uncertainty - will my symptoms flare today? What if I feel worse today than yesterday? Why isn't this treatment working? What treatment options do I have?

Uncertainty causes emotional distress, anxiety, and depression and it can worsen perceptions of pain and stress.


Find out ways you can cope with uncertainty +

For those with endometriosis and other chronic illnesses, changes in health and lifestyle can cause a feeling of grief and loss. 

Read more about grief and loss when you have a chronic illness +


Some people with endometriosis are diagnosed with depression. This can be for many reasons including:

  • endometriosis diagnosis journey

  • changes to lifestyle

  • dealing with chronic pain and other symptoms

  • hormonal treatments that can affect mood and emotional wellbeing

  • unsuccessful or recurring treatments

  • dealing with fertility problems

  • the lack of support or understanding

  • financial implications, such as treatment costs or taking time off of work for surgery or due to symptoms.


If you’ve constantly been feeling down, feeling hopeless, or have little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy, you could have depression. Other possible signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • irritability or restlessness

  • feeling tired all the time, or a general loss of energy

  • feeling empty, lonely

  • sleeping problems - too much, or too little

  • losing or gaining weight

  • feeling bad about yourself or things you have done

  • problems with concentration

  • reduced sex drive

  • thinking about death a lot

  • thoughts of harming yourself.

Discover things that others with depression have found helpful +


Feelings of anxiety with a chronic illness are very common and can be for many reasons such as:

  • the diagnosis journey

  • coming to terms with the diagnosis

  • dealing with chronic pain and symptoms

  • hormonal treatments

  • unsuccessful treatments

  • fertility problems

  • lack of support or understanding

  • financial problems such as treatment costs or taking time off work due to pain or surgery.


Feelings of anxiety are quite intense and can last for weeks, or months or can keep going up and down over many years. Anxiety negatively affects your thoughts, behaviours, and general health and can leave you feeling distressed and not enjoying life.

Find out more about anxiety symptoms and how anxiety can make you feel +


If over the last two weeks, you’ve been constantly worried, afraid, or panicking about things that might happen or for no reason at all – you may be experiencing clinical anxiety. ​Reach out to someone in your life you can trust, or visit for organisations that can help.

Coping with depression and anxiety

Knowing when to ask for help is important. Even when it seems you can’t control your feelings, you can control what you do about things. Just taking a small first step is enough to get you on the path to enjoying life again.

Start by talking to someone

A good way to start dealing with what’s going on is to share how you’re feeling with someone you trust or someone who understands what you are experiencing. This could be someone in your family, your partner, a friend, or anyone in your community who you feel close to.

When you are dealing with stressful situations don’t try to cope on your own, turn to family and friends to provide emotional support. They may also give you advice and share information, as well as provide practical support.

Things you can do yourself

There are many self-help strategies that you can implement yourself to help cope with depression and anxiety. You are the expert in your own mental health and wellbeing.  


When you have depression, it can be hard to find the energy or motivation to look after yourself. Start small and slowly build up to bigger things and try to notice what makes you feel better. Make a list of things that feel good and keep it on your phone, in your diary, or on the fridge. When you’re struggling, check your list and pick one thing you can do right now that might help.

You can take charge of your recovery and do things that make you feel better, stronger, and more in control.

Health professionals and services that can help you

If it all seems overwhelming, don’t forget you don’t need to face these issues alone. If you need support, there are people trained to help with depression and anxiety, as well as those with lived experience who understand what you are going through.


Reach out to your GP, nurse, for help through a helpline or locate support through community organisations.

Chronic pain and looking after your mental wellbeing

Research has found that chronic pain (pain that is persistent or recurring and lasting longer than 3 months) can have significant impacts on quality of life.

Living with chronic pain can affect your mood and in turn, affect your perception of pain. It's often described as a cycle where your pain causes feelings of anxiety, low mood, fatigue, and sleeplessness, which can amplify pain.

Find out more about the pain cycle here +

There are ways to break the cycle and reclaim your sense of wellbeing. Some combination of the following tips may help manage your pain and reclaim control over your life:

Practice mindfulness​

Mindfulness reduces stress, tension, and anxiety. It can help you to avoid focusing too much on your pain as well as direct your thoughts in a way that is helpful for managing your pain.

Self-care when you have endometriosis

Endometriosis changes your life and can impact you physically, your study or work, friendships, and relationships.


Taking intentional steps to take care of your emotional, physical, and mental health can make life a little bit easier.


Self-care is so important for everyone and it can look different for each person. There are six types of self-care - physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, and sensory.

Physical self-care

Physical self-care is about taking care of your body. The key to physical self-care is it should be something you enjoy, and not feel like an obligation

When feeling stressed or anxious you can try a self-soothing act, something simple that you can do to help calm your mind and body. Self-soothing acts help you to become more present and less lost in thought without shutting down your feelings or forcing a positive attitude. Think of self-soothing as a really good hug: it helps you to feel a bit more safe, present, and supported.

Here are some ideas of things you could do that improve your health, reduce your stress, and bring you enjoyment:

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Visit our Info Hub

You can also download all of the information on this webpage in our FREE information guides, visit our info hub for the full range of guides. 

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Join us in our mission to empower people with endometriosis and improve the lives of thousands in Aotearoa New Zealand

We rely on the support of our community to provide the resources and support that people with endometriosis need. There are many ways to get involved and make a difference, from making a donation to volunteering your time.

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