I’ve been listening to the audiobook “How the Pill Changes Everything” By Sarah E Hillwhich is a book about how the contraceptive pill can affect you as a person, from how you think, fell and react to things around you. It has made me think, in depth, about myself and in particular, my mental health. One of the points raised in the book is how the pill can change how you deal with stress and anxiety, sometimes it can have a numbing effect on these things or in other cases it has made these things worse.
I have been on some form of contraceptive since I was around 18, not just to avoid pregnancy, but to regulate my periods, which were somewhat haphazard, all over the place and never regular. Back then, I never really thought too much about the effects it could have on me aside from a mention of the possibility of putting on weight but the other, less talked about effects on mental health and general wellbeing were never bought up and I never even thought to ask about them as they were never common knowledge.
My first round of anti-depressants was prescribed to me at the age of 22 when I was put on Seroxat. I was tearful a lot of the time and was experiencing anxiety attacks, hardly sleeping and felt like my mind was constantly on. I took the Seroxat for around 3 months then came off of them because of the negative press around the medication.
After that I was around 27 when I was prescribed another anti-depressant though I can’t remember the name of it, and now, I have been taking Sertraline for the past year.
Since listening to the book I have realised that there is a link between these periods of anti-depressants and taking the pill. I have no idea whether they are truly linked or if I have just created a link from listening to the book but it has made me think a lot about the contraceptive pill and how I have been feeling emotionally.
I think, the thing that worries me most is that I have been prescribed the contraceptive pill without too much fuss or much questioning from the doctor to ascertain whether the pill is the right form of contraception for me and that I have willingly taken the prescription, collected the medication and taken it without much thought about what it could be doing to my mental health.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so let me know in the comments!