Rushing Woman's Syndrome is not a 'real', diagnosable condition, but the ideas behind it are very real for too many of us.
Last week, in the wake of Lisa Curry's appearance on A Current Affair, I wrote about Rushing Woman's Syndrome; that it is not real.
Truth be told I felt torn.
Not because the story didn't need to be told. It was important to make a distinction between clinical depression, hormone imbalance and feeling frayed because of lifestyle-induced stress.
In the hastiness to call out hidden agendas and woo woo cures, an important point was lost.
In between the extreme black and white of clinical depression or hormone imbalance is the nebulous middle ground: the chemical playground where hormones and mental health, diet and lifestyle interact to create problems that are not easily isolated.
Rushing Women's Syndrome is a term used to describe the cascade of hormonal changes that happens when we feel stressed for extended periods. It can manifest in anything from unexplained weight gain to fatigue to mood swings.
Critics however said it was a "marketing term", that the definition was vague and the advice to address lifestyle issues was at best simplistic and at worst dangerous.
The advice to "love yourself", reduce coffee or alcohol, and exercise, Dr Ginni Mansberg said, was "at worst a lethal issue" for those who were seriously depressed.
Dr Libby Weaver, who coined the term Rushing Woman's Syndrome, attempted to explain the biochemical knock-on effects from stress and lifestyle in her 2012 book of the same name.
The problem many scientists - or any specialist in any area,for that matter - face is their ability to explain complicated concepts in an accessible way. Hence the title of her book.
I spoke with to Dr Weaver, a nutritional biochemist, when Rushing Woman's Syndrome was first released.
She was passionate about helping people understand the interplay of various lifestyle factors on our hormones and health. She saw a pattern, she said, of people feeling "tired, but wired" as she put it.
According to US medical research centre the Mayo Clinic: "Long-term activation of the stress-response system - and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones - can disrupt almost all your body's processes.
"This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment."
Stress can be the result of a perceived or a real threat. The body doesn't know the difference between the stress we feel at work, for instance, or stress from the risk of an attack. It only knows that it is stressed and responds accordingly.
The cumulative effect of constantly feeling pressure can create a cascade of stress hormones that is detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Diet and alcohol also stimulate stress hormones. Add in a lack of sleep and you have yourself a heady chemical concoction.
These are problems that affect many of us.
Almost three quarters of Australians report that stress impacts their lives, a measly 5.5 per cent of us meet the daily recommended intake of fruit and veg and about a quarter of us are sleep-deprived.
"So many of the women [I see] kept talking about being so exhausted or so busy or so stressed," Weaver said. "I kept hearing the same issues arising - about menstruation, digestion, sleep and the ability to remain calm and patient and kind ... I kept hearing the word 'pressure.'"
She suggested various lifestyle revisions to help bring the body back into biochemical balance.
These included eating more whole foods, trying meditation or yoga, breathing, prioritising adequate sleep and having an honest conversation with ourselves about the impact of alcohol and caffeine.
Not exactly crazy stuff.
"I thought that was quite reasonable," says John Eden, associate professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of NSW, of Weaver's reasoning and advice. "If we did these things as a culture there would be remarkable health savings, I have no doubt."
He says the majority of his patients are not necessarily suffering a specific hormone condition. Rather, their lifestyles are "out of control".
"I would see 10 people like that a day."
Dr Eden says he teaches many of his patients to meditate.
"Controlling different aspects of lifestyle works," he says.
"Symptomatology is complex... with adrenals and cortisol, we don't block cortisol, we deal with stress, but there is still a 'give me a tablet' mentality."
The trick, though, is teasing out specific and more serious problems - problems that do require a tablet or targeted treatment - from the soup of symptoms that lifestyle factors generate.
"If things have gotten to the point where they're impacting your day-to-day functioning, then it's a problem," says Dr Janine Clarke, a psychologist at the Black Dog Institute.
She warns that while the "effects of stress are quite profound... we need to be careful presenting the idea that it will be better if we just attend to our diet and hormones...
"There is evidence that supports psychological intervention for people who are suffering from stress... the first port of call would be to see your GP."
Dr Eden agrees that a GP, who can conduct tests and refer on, can come up with a health-care plan.
An illness may or may not be caused by lifestyle factors. But we can all benefit from giving our lifestyles a little more love.
So perhaps we shouldn't rush to dismiss the idea. Perhaps the point is that we shouldn't be quite so rushed at all.