Harleen Sethi on how late detection of PCOD affected her: It hits your self-esteem 100 per cent

    Actor Harleen Sethi has confidently led popular series Broken But Beautiful and been part of memorable projects such as Kohhra, The Gone Game and The Test Case. While being a public figure keeps her aware of being surrounded by cameras most of the time, she shares how her confidence was broken during her teenage years after she faced intense spell of face acne, a result of Polycystis Ovarian Disease (PCOD).

    Harleen Sethi’s PCOD was diagnosed at a lot later stage in her life.

    Sharing her struggle with the hormonal disorder, the 32-year-old actor, reveals that since the age of 15, she visited several dermatologists but it wasn’t until the age of 21 that she got the correct diagnosis. It was her mother, who suggested that they go for a hormonal test. For a teenager Sethi, seeing others’ flawless skin brought immense emotional turmoil.

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    “Since the age of 15 , every time I have gone to a new derma, I have broken down. More than body issues, emotionally I have been quite broken. Skin has become such a sensitive topic for me. Every time I would look at women on screen, it wasn’t so much about beauty, it was about their flawless skin. I was like ‘Wow! what a skin. Next life mein mujhe ye chahiye’. I had started living in lack. 100 percent aapki self esteem ko hit hota hai. You start thinking of yourself of not good enough, not worthy.”

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    It wasn’t just acne, PCOD also brought other symptoms, which are often over looked by the society.

    “I think, acne was definitely most visible symptom but because of insulin resistance, you also develop pockets of fat on your body, which don’t go easily. So that was another visible symptom and another invisible symptom was emotional irregularity. Very severe PMS and when it starts, you don’t realise for first two-three days why you are so irritable but when you start crying, it hits you. Those 2-3 days causes a lot of damage,” she says.

    However, it was her will to never give up, which helped her understand her body and balance it with a profession like acting, which is very erratic in nature.

    “Emotionally it has been a very tough journey. These many underlying issues start. What also saved me was generally my attitude towards life. I just never stopped,” says the actor.

    She adds, “I read a quote by Robin Sharma that there are no limitations to success. I know a lot of women with PCOD and issues with pimples who wouldn’t step out of the house. Just because of my skin, I never let that bring me down.”

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