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Wellness

The Importance of Listening to Your Body

A few years ago, I started taking birth control. I started out on the combination pill, which is a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. I had to start birth control because I was taking Accutane and was required to be on the pill alongside this medication. My doctor had warned me about the side effects of Accutane being mood swings, but she dismissed it and told me that this side effect is rare. However, I started realizing that something was off. I started to experience anger issues and I felt out of control. I finally stopped taking Accutane and my anger issues and irritability gradually stopped. 

 

While I had stopped Accutane, I kept taking my birth control. Junior year of high school, I was hit with a major wave of depression. I quit sports, something that I used to enjoy because I simply did not care anymore. After school, I would just go to sleep and isolate myself from my friends. In the summer while my friends were out having fun, I was either working, sleeping, or lazing around in my house. I was even making excuses to not hang out with my friends because I wanted to isolate myself. I finally took the initiative to get help from therapy and antidepressants. While these things worked some, I still didn’t feel 100%. I eventually started to feel a little better and went off my antidepressants, but I never really felt like my mind was in the right place. I considered that my depression and extreme PMS-related mood swings were a hormonal issue and that I needed to do something about it. 

 

This summer, I had a chat with my doctor. While I didn’t want to go off birth control, I wanted a change. She suggested I get an IUD (intrauterine device). I went through with it and I can confidently say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. She said since the combination pill has so many hormones, it can affect the user’s mental health. The IUD has only a very small amount of hormones, and I have been feeling so much better since. I wish I had known this before because for years, I had suffered from depression, not knowing it had anything to do with my birth control. While there’s nothing wrong about taking antidepressants, I had to look deeper into why I was feeling this way.

 

The moral of the story is that it is so important to consider the side effects of a medication before using it. I didn’t know that something like birth control pills would have such negative side effects on my mental health. Now, I am more mindful of what I put into my body. 

 

Lucy Jones

SMCVT '22

Sophomore Business major from Rhode Island Writing just for fun :) Hot Cheeto enthusiast
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