My Experience with the Pill

Here is my journey with taking birth control last year and the harsh side effects. Remember to always talk to your doctor about the side effects and choices you have on birth control and contraceptives. Enjoy! 

 

For as long as I can remember, my period has not been a regular lady. She would never come consistently every 28-30 days but was either late or early by a week. Some months I wouldn't even notice the cramps and other months I couldn't manage to leave my bed. Then in high school, I ran track and cross-country and for those who don't know, running messes up your menstrual cycle. So all of my symptoms got worse.

By the end of my freshmen year of college, I was over it all. I stopped running and exercising in general so I thought that would help but I was wrong. I forgot the added factor of the stress from being in college. My period continued to skip months and the cramp pains were so bad that I felt like I was going to vomit and pass out. 

So I went home that summer and told my mom that I just needed something to help regulate my period and make my life a little easier. We went to my doctor and she prescribed me a birth control pill. I went with the pill because it was easiest to do a trial run with and it seemed less scary.

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In August of my sophomore year, I started taking the pill. Honestly, I was excited to finally have a better relationship with my cycle. Within a month, I just felt different.

Yes, my period was very light and the symptoms of it had decreased but something felt a little off. I went out salsa dancing with my friends and had a fun time then came home and cried my eyes out for reasons I couldn't explain. I felt lonely and that people hated me even though I knew I was surrounded by people that loved and cared for me.

I also started to get headaches in the middle of the day. Then after class and work, I would just lay in my bed and sleep the rest of the day. I wasn't taking care of myself and gained 20 pounds. I failed my first class. My anxiety would spike randomly and then I would crash and have to lay down the rest of the day. Mentally, I had no idea what was going on.

It took me a semester to understand and admit that I had signs of depression. I was scared to say it and let alone talk about it. I don’t know why because I am a big advocate for mental health and the importance of talking about it. It was scary what my brain was capable of making me feel.

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Once I had a grasp on what was going on, I wanted to figure out if I was depressed or if my birth control making me depressed. So in March, I talked to my parents. I told them what was going on and decided to stop taking the pill.

This summer I felt so much better. I felt more like me and had more energy and drive. However, my period did not change so I talked to my doctor about my side effects. She prescribed me a low hormonal pill and it has been working great so far.

It crazy to think what a little pill of hormones can do to someone’s body and mind. I was lucky to have noticed the change within myself and that I was able to find a solution. Some people that fight depression every day do not have that luxury. So be patient and loving to your friends, because they are figuring it out too.

- Julie

[Gifs courtesy of giphy.com]