How Could The Pill Be Contributing To Depression
There are several mechanisms at play and more research is needed to understand the far-reaching impacts of the pill. What we do know is the pill depletes nutrients crucial for brain health, disrupts thyroid hormone, causes issues with your adrenals, and inflammation in your gut. Any of these can cause someone to feel depressed.
But more recently there has been evidence showing that pill users experience a decrease in neuroprotective molecules and have increased levels of neurotoxic chemicals compared to women who are not on the pill. That means being on the pill can be bad news for your brain.
How does this happen? It all comes down to how the amino acid tryptophan gets processed while on the pill.
Read Also: 3 Stages Of Schizophrenia
Dashdividers: : 500x: 3
I think she gave me Dianette just because I have PCOS rather than to alleviate any specific symptoms. I never really felt anything but could not stop crying. Colleagues got used to me crying at my desk and stopped asking me what was wrong.
The pill has always been prescribed to me as a catch-all for hormonal dysfunction and gynae issues.
The pain and misery endocrine disorders can cause is often minimised and people accessing care are treated as hysterical women exaggerating pain or discomfort, often regardless of whether they’re women, non-binary people or trans men.
It’s so frustrating that the gynaecologists I’ve had aren’t able to really talk seriously about mental health I feel like I can’t trust their advice.
*Some names have been changed for privacy
Should Women With History Of Depression Avoid Hormonal Birth Control
Studies are still not clear if hormonal birth control pills make depressive symptoms worse in women.
For instance, the 2017 Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that depression is not considered as a contraindication to hormonal contraceptives for women suffering from depression, citing a lack of enough evidence to prove the relationship between the two.
The CDC, along with the World Health Organization, also added that the use of combined hormonal birth control, the implant, the IUD, and the shot is not linked to worsening depressive symptoms among people who were previously diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder.
In contrast, a different study concluded that women who take progesterone-only minipills or combination oral contraceptives were more likely to receive prescriptions for an antidepressant compared to women who did not use these types of contraceptives.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Chest Pain From Anxiety
Is There A Link Between Birth Control Pills And Depression
Depression and mood swings are commonly reported side effects of birth control pills. Researchers have been unable to prove or disprove a link. The research is often conflicting.
A pilot showed that depression is the most common reason women stop using birth control pills. It also found women using combination birth control pills were significantly more depressed than a similar group of women not taking the pills.
Despite the lack of a definite link, many women report feeling depressed while taking birth control pills. According to the AGO study, this may be due to the inconsistent use of the word depression. This could also be due to variance in pill formulations
The perceived connection may also be due to a large number of women with depression. Approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year. Although exact numbers cant be confirmed, its likely that many of those women take birth control pills. In some cases, the timing of depression may be a coincidence.
One showed birth control pills may improve mood swings. The study used data from 6,654 non-pregnant, sexually active women ages 25 to 34 taking hormonal contraception. These women had fewer symptoms of depression and were less likely to report a suicide attempt than women using less effective contraception or no contraception.
Behavioral Changes Can Help You Manage And Prevent Anxiety
Although it may come as no surprise, behavioral lifestyle changes are the first step to better controlling anxiety. Hormonal influences may make this difficult at certain times, but healthy changes will never hurt. Increasing sleep quality, reducing abuse of substances, and reducing stressors are helpful ways to cope with anxiety and depression symptoms. Exercise , limiting caffeine intake, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol use, meditation and relaxation have also been shown to be effective modalities.
There are also things you can do to boost production of oxytocin, the hormone that helps reduce stress and anxiety. Outside of childbearing, oxytocin is released during contact with loved ones and promotes relaxation and trust. Natural ways to boost oxytocin include showing generosity toward others, cuddling with a loved one, and petting an animal.
Also Check: How To Get Over Hangover Anxiety
Is There A Link Between Birth Control And Emotions
Women have complained about mood-related changes like depression and anxiety ever since the pill came out in 1960. The newest generation of pills have lower doses of hormones. Even so, a sizeable number of women still quit the pill because of side effects.
During a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, estrogen levels reach their peak around day 14. Thatâs when many women feel best emotionally and physically. Most hormonal contraceptives smooth this mountain-shaped hormonal cycle into an even line for the first 21 days. Then the levels of estrogen and progestin plunge during the final 7 days.
Limited research suggests that compared with women who donât use hormonal birth control, those who do are more likely report feeling depressed, anxious, and angry. But those symptoms donât make the list of common side effects. Other studies have turned up no significant link between hormone combinations or concentrations and differences in mood. Still more research has found that women on the pill and those taking dummy pills report similar symptoms, suggesting that any effects they noticed were unrelated to the actual pills.
How Birth Control Can Impact Your Mental Health
For some women, hormonal contraception seems to affect different areas of both their mental health and their libido. It might affect sexual appetite, ability to handle stress, and mood. While altering levels of hormones does have a potential link to mental health, its just unclear right now if theres a true link between the hormones in birth control and anxiety.
Birth control can affect mood and anxiety symptoms because hormones like estrogen and progesterone impact the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain system circuits. There are a lot of birth control options available nowadays to choose from, and anyone whos prescribed medication for mood and anxiety can ask their prescriber to check the interactions between medications and guide you on how that can impact anxiety or mood symptoms.
Read Also: How To Manage Work Stress And Anxiety
Depression Scores And Metabolic Parameters
We divided the patients into three groups to evaluate potential differences of metabolic parameters in patients with and without depression Group 1the patients who developed depression and who showed no improvement in depression , Group 2the patients who showed improvement in depression and Group 3the patients without depression . Fasting insulin and HOMA-IR levels showed no significant change in any group at 6 months. There was a significant increase both in the FPG and 2 h plasma glucose values in Group 1, whereas glucose values showed no significant change in Groups 2 and 3 .
Can Birth Control Cause Depression Experts Break Down The Correlation
Many people who use birth control experience unpleasant side effects like nausea, breast tenderness, and changes in sex drive. But not all side effects are physical doctors say birth control can also affect your mood, noting that studies have found a correlation between hormonal contraception and depression. So, could your birth control be to blame for your symptoms? Experts say that, while theres a link, its a bit more complicated than that and other factors certainly play a role.
Kim Langdon, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn in Ohio, told POPSUGAR that the hormones in birth control could worsen a mood disorder or unmask a latent depression or anxiety disorder. However, Dr. Langdon explained that its unlikely birth control is the sole cause of depression or anxiety because these conditions are caused by low neurotransmitters in the brain which are influenced by many factors, including genetics.
Theres a complex interaction and balance of serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and norepinephrine, or the happy hormones in the brain, Dr. Langdon said. Low estrogen and testosterone play a role in depression and, as Dr. Langdon explained, even though birth control pills contain hormones, actually lower the overall production of hormones from the ovaries by stopping ovulation. She added that, conversely, too little progesterone is linked to anxiety because progesterone has a sedating or calming effect.
Also Check: What Is Social Anxiety Means
Changes In The Scores Of Questionnaires After Treatment
Table shows the scores of questionnaires at baseline and after treatment. No significant change was found in the weight domain of the PCOSQ. As expected, with the improvement in mFG scores, a significant improvement in the domains of emotion and body hair was observed . On the other hand, a non-significant trend in improvement in the scores of menstrual problems and infertility domains was observed with the regulation of menstrual cycles . The change in body hair domain scores of PCOSQ was negatively correlated with the change in serum DHEA-S levels . The change in the emotion domain of the PCOSQ was negatively correlated with the change in mFG scores . No other significant correlation was observed between the changes in androgens and the changes in the scores of HRQOL.
Subgroup analyses were performed among patients with hirsutism scores 7 , and among patients with oligomenorrhea . Similar to the whole group, a significant improvement in the domains of emotion and body hair was also observed among hirsute patients . The change in the body hair domain score was negatively correlated with the change in DHEA-S levels . The change in the emotion domain of the PCOSQ was negatively correlated with the change in DHEA-S and testosterone levels and hirsutism scores . Patients with oligomenorrhea showed a significant improvement in the emotion domain and a trend for improvement in the menstrual problems domain at after 6 months of treatment with OC.
What Are Other Birth Control Side Effects
The hormonal changes brought about by birth control can also inspire a number of other side effects besides anxiety, such as:
- Changes in the menstrual cycles
- Tenderness of the breasts
- Changes in mood
The side effects are generally rare, and those that do appear tend to go away after several months of use. As the body gets used to the increased hormone levels, the side effects will become rarer and less severe.
There are a handful of side effects that are extremely unlikely to appear but can be an indicator of a more serious issue. If you experience any of the following side effects while on birth control, contact a medical professional immediately:
- Severe pain in the chest or stomach
- Difficulty seeing, blurry vision, or visual apparitions
- Severe headaches
- Pain and swelling in the legs
Most women who take birth control will find that the adverse effects are few and fully manageable if they even appear at all. Still, it can be difficult to know beforehand what the right choice may be. If youre still unsure, contact one of our experts here at Nurx today to learn about what options may be available to you.
Recommended Reading: How To Soothe Anxiety Naturally
Is This Anxiety Im Feeling
When youre anxious, you most likely will experience some of the following:
You cant get any Zzzs.
Anxiety and sleep is inextricably linked, and insomnia or trouble sleeping is one of the most obvious signs youre suffering from anxiety. Are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Anxiety could be to blame.
Youre feeling unexplainably scared.
Youve heard of the flight-or-fight response, right? Well, it goes into high gear when youre anxious. Why? Your fear switch is turned on. Fear is at the core of stress and can become a vicious cycle: youre anxious and suddenly everything becomes scary and stressful, and because everything is scary and stressful, you become anxious, and because youre anxious, everything is scary and stressfulyou get the idea. When youre anxious, youll feel like youre constantly running from lions, even though there are none.
Youre worried about nothing in particular.
Not only are you afraid, youre worried, too. You may begin to worry that you wont get to work on time or that you wont finish a project by the deadline or that your date didnt like you as much as you liked him. These are totally normal worries, but if they become intrusive and start to affect your daily life, they may not be so normal anymore.
Youre getting annoyed with your friends.
You cant stop fidgeting.
Your tummy hurts.
What Studies Show About Hormonal Contraception
As weve noted, research about birth control causing anxiety is limited. According to some studies, the use of hormonal contraception has been linked to a future depression diagnosis and the eventual use of antidepressants. This seems to be even more likely among adolescents. These findings suggest that symptoms of depression could potentially be an adverse effect of hormonal contraceptives.
Still, more work is needed before we can fully understand what and how much, if any, connection there is between hormonal birth control and anxiety.
In 2015, researchers from the University of Michigan noted theres a general lack of attention regarding mental health and family planning. They went on to say that substantial research gaps exist, preventing us from truly garnering a deep understanding of the best way to approach birth control and family planning for women already living with anxiety and depression.
Read Also: What Is The Meaning Of Anxiety
How Is The Contraceptive Pill Affecting Your Mood
A new citizen science project is helping people understand how their menstrual cycle and hormonal birth control affects mood, wellbeing and behaviour
Yaz. Yasmin. Isabelle. Diane. Brenda.
There are more than 30 different brands of contraceptive pill in Australia alone, and while they dont all have cutesy condescending womens names, they are taken daily by more than 100 million people worldwide to protect against unwanted pregnancy, resolve hormone imbalances and improve complexion.
A new study now indicates that the pill also affects patterns of activity in areas of the brain related to stress, memory and emotional processing. In line with previous research, changes were seen in both brain structure and function, with some greater differences among women who started using the pill in adolescence.
The study compared two groups of 18 to 26-year-old women: those who were currently using and those who have never used the oral contraceptive pill.
Participants completed a social stress test, which involved cortisol sampling, public speaking and a mental arithmetic task.
They then completed questionnaires assessing anxiety and depression, an emotional memory task and a structural and functional MRI brain scan.
Pill use was linked to increased activation in the prefrontal cortex during working memory processing for negatively arousing stimuli, such as images of a car crash or gun. This suggests that the negative images were having greater impact on them.