Hormones and Havoc

Let’s be honest here. For too long women and girls have been criticized for their emotions and their intensity. Stop being a drama queen,relax, take a pill; all of these and more we have probably heard a dozen times. My question is, has anyone considered if these emotions are so common among women, why the hell are they a of putting women down? Clearly there is something going on. A recent experience I had showed just how serious these emotions can get.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety for years. I pretty much know the in’s and out’s on how my mental illness affects me and how I feel on a daily basis. What I didn’t really expect was, birth control exaggerating my symptoms to a new level of low; even for the girl who has seen very dark times. Of course I knew birth control contains hormones and these could very much a take a toll on you. I guess it was my ignorance that led me to believe I would be fine in all aspects if I got a birth control implant in my arm ( nexplanon).

It sounded great. It would give me protection for 3 years, I don’t have to remember to take the pill, there was a low % of acne and weight gain, and had typical symptoms of all other birth control methods.

WRONG. I didn’t have to remember to it okay, okay that was nice. However my 40lb weight gain and face of a teenager in puberty didn’t sit well with me. I took these symptoms in stride for about 6 months. It wasn’t until my second ultimate low/breakdown that I began to feel I was losing my mind, that I made a discovery. On top of having depression and anxiety, I believed I had PMDD. PMDD is a medical condition that is PMS symptoms x100 to put it simply. If that wasn’t enough, my late discovery put together the pieces of my recent hospitalization for my mental health.

The implant was put in late Aug. I did not get my period until  beginning of January and then again in mid April (about every 4 months). Each of these times my symptoms multiplied (one resulting in my hospitalization). Severe depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, high level of anger, uncontrollable fits of crying, all increased when the time of the month came.  Research on my implant also confirmed these side effects, along with other physical symptoms I have had; such as warm tingling left leg that would wake me from sleep, extreme sensitivity to lower extremities. The implant also had a disclaimer to patients who have had a history of depressed mood.

My findings: My history of depression/anxiety, PMDD, and birth control implant do not mix. There are other factors but a huge part of my mental set backs had something to do with this implant.  Now some of you might be thinking well didn’t you talk to your doctors about this before you made this decision?

Yes. Three different doctors. My regular physician who told me she has never seen bad effects from this implant and I’ll be fine. Also that my leg symptoms were 100% not due to the implant. My weight gain was due to my lack of physical activity.

Me- Just because you’ve never seen “bad” effects doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You should know effects of all drugs that you prescribe.My leg symptoms resided 24 hours after getting the implant removed. And 10,000 steps a day is the recommended amount of steps to maintain a healthy weight. I would get my 10,000 by noon almost everyday and reach about 14,000 by the time I went to bed. But sure, I wasn’t active.

My OBGYN. Had my history of mental health and confirmed that it was a good choice for me.

Me-While you’re not a mental health expert, you should know the effects of all birth control methods you supply to your patients.

My Psychiatrist. Who also told me that birth control shouldn’t be affecting my overall health status.

Me-Blows my mind that a doctor that I literally see for maybe 3 mins max every appt, who gets a $75.00 fee if I miss an appt, somehow missed this connection.

So my point is this. Do your own research before you consult with a doctor. Tell me all your concerns, because honestly the doctor may not know what’s best in all aspects of your health.

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