The “Pill” made me a different person
Most of you women reading this know other women who say they have struggled with birth control, they have had “terrible reactions” such as mood changes, weight gain or loss, hormonal acne, migraines or insomnia. We hear and say “The pill makes me crazy” or “The pill changes me” and you aren’t wrong.
Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are extremely common among women who are on the pill. Half of women stop using the pill within the first year because the side effects are unbearable and created unpleasant mood changes. When using the pill, it changes the natural level of hormones in your body and can cause changes in your mental health (anxiety or depression).
How the pill works
Today the birth control pill comes in two categories: a combination and the mini pill. The combination pill contains estrogen and progesterone. The mini pill contains only progestin (a form of progesterone). Both of these hormones can affect moods and cause changes. Women who suffer from PMS experience intense impacts on their moods. Adding chemicals to the body can impact you further and be detrimental to you. Fluctuations in progesterone may cause depression while estrogen can cause both depression and anxiety.
These changes can look different to everyone. You may experience sudden outbursts of anger, enhighented fear and anxiety, lack of joy and sadness. Feelings of fog, fatigue and feeling groggy, dull or depressed are all signs of hormonal imbalances.
Feeling alone and misunderstood
From my experience and hearing others stories about their struggles with birth control, I have learned that going off the pill and cleansing my body was the best decision. I was constantly on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. I was experiencing extreme migraines, weight fluctuations, acne and irritability. I was unable to sleep, constantly pacing and waking up all hours of the night. I no longer was getting my period. I went years without my period, trying multiple different brands. I was going to therapy for trauma and was constantly told by doctors that my past trauma was not yet dealt with and this was my body and minds way of “dealing” with past experiences. Every doctor denied my feelings and would prescribe me a different medication or increase the current medication I was on. I began taking Seroquel as a “heavier” medication. I was mentally ill. I was suicidal and extremely depressed and anxious. My mood changes were so intense, I was unable to work, attend dinners or see family and friends. After months I went off all medications after being advised not too. After a year of being off all antipsychotics and birth control I no longer suffer from Anxiety or Depression episodes. I don’t suffer from panic attacks or uncontrollable sobbing and mood swings. I don’t get regular migraines every other day, or break out from hormonal acne. My skin and hair are glowing and clear. Everything that I struggled with “cleared up” after going off the pill.
After quietly doing this on my own and testing it out. I began speaking to other women in my life about the side effects I had experienced and how much better I was feeling. I was in shock when they too had similar symptoms and had recently went off the pill or removed their IUD. We no longer felt crazy after years of being dismissed. We were all so relieved that we were no longer alone.
Now as a Child and Youth Worker, I have spent years learning and being educated on mental health. I do believe in medications when your mental health is caused by chemical imbalances and trauma. I do believe that these medications can help many when all else has been tried. However, with many women including myself, I do believe my mental health and physical health issues were directly caused by being on birth control. I feel free now. I feel healthy. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer feel like I live my life in a fog. I feel clear.
If you are struggling with any mental health or physical health issues, I recommend booking an appointment with a naturopath. They can do a blood test, see if you may be lacking any vitamins and minerals. Then they can prescribe natural remedies to try and balance your body so your mind can too be balanced. St.John’s Wort has been used to help with depression and is a natural plant. Chaste Tree Berry can aid in premenstrual cramps, balance your cycle, and normalize estrogen and progesterone. Vitamin B12 can help with pain and discomfort. Getting off the pill is the easy part, it may take years to reset yourself but it is so worth it in the end.