Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

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!

10 thoughts on “Words on Wednesday

  1. I haven’t heard much about the link to mental health and the pill, but it just adds to the reasons why I’m thankful I’ve never needed it. My periods and cramps have always been manageable and I don’t have sex so no risk of pregnancy lol! But if it’s doing so many things to our bodies, it’s a wonder why women keep taking it!

    I have resolved that even after I become sexually active i won’t be taking it. The stories of difficulty getting pregnant, multiple miscarriages, EXTREMELY premature babies – all from friends who have been on the pill! And their friends too! I just had one friend yesterday: she was on the pill before wanting children as a responsible sexually active woman. She got pregnant with her husband and their baby due in February 2020. He was born late October and lived 26 days. This isn’t the first of my friends to experience such an early birth. The first to have the child die (if it survived birth) but still. I can’t help but wonder if it’s linked to the pill.

  2. Hi Suzi, I read this post with interest. I was on the pill from about 15years old due to irregular and painful periods. I was never told about the negative side affects, mind you I am talking 51 years ago…OMG is that possible? Sadly yes it is! I did have two early misscarrages one of twins and both put down to as the drs saying ‘my body was having a practice run’ I had three boys all prem but not massively. I was also prone to stress and depression. I have been off the pill now 20years I still get stressed and mild depression. It could be associated with the pill or it could just be me. Anyway I always believe it’s best to know the side effects of tablets.

    1. I totally agree with knowing about the side effects of any medication, the scary part is that the side effects of the pill are so varied and no one has really talked about them before. The book is well worth reading (or listening to) as there is so much information in there that is mind blowing xxxx

    1. That is really good to hear! In the book she talks about the positive effects as well as the negative so it is worth hearing from others about both sides of the coin! xxxx

  3. Grateful though I am we have ‘the pill’, there obviously can be side effects, and I wonder if GPs alert their patients to these orperly in all cases. My (non medical!) understanding is that in the early days, the oestrogen levels were high, creating greater side effects, but have been loiwered. Still, there are iindividual responses to any drug.

    1. My GP, when I asked about going back on the pill over a year ago (after having my contraceptive implant removed) just wrote me a prescription and sent me on my way, he didn’t even go through the types of contraceptive available to me which was not what I was expecting. xxx

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