You're not alone. Some women grin (okay, or more accurately, cry) and bare it, while others appear relatively unfazed. What's up with birth control and your emotions? Why are some women "lucky" to get through that awkward 3-6 month period of acclimating, while other women simply can't take it. It can be easy to focus on the benefits (yay for clear skin and no babies that we're not ready for!) but sometimes the drawbacks simply aren't worth it (think mood swings, crying spells, weight gain and migraines). Science now knows what's up.
A study released by the JAMA Psychiatric Journal on October 3, 2016 noted the following statistic: "women who used a combination of oral contraceptives, a.k.a., the pill, were 23% more likely to take an antidepressant than than women who didn't use hormonal birth control." The study also suggests that in some cases, women acclimated to their pill use, and stopped their use of antidepressants, while maintaining their relationship with the pill after several years of use.
Some questions we may want to ask for clarity include: Were these women featured in the study on antidepressants before the pill, or as a direct result?
Perhaps women who are already suffering from depression are more comfortable with the idea of medicating their body for other purposes, like to prevent pregnancy, or maintain a regular cycle.If studies prove that otherwise emotionally healthy women became depressed as a result of their oral contraception lifestyle shift, then we'd be on to something.
But another question arises: why is it that women more prone to being sexually active, and take birth control, also be more likely to experience depression, or more accurately, be more likely to treat the condition with medications, or vice versa? Is it a desire to be more in control of what is naturally occurring in her brain or body?
Dr. Cora Breuner from Seattle told Kaiser Health News that, "An unintended and unwanted pregnancy far outweighs all of the other side effects that could occur from a contraceptive." But is that really true? Seems this study is just the tip of the ice berg on the chicken and the egg debate. What came first, the depression, or the pill? If you've ever been depressed, or taken birth control pills, which one came first for you? Do you think there's a correlation?