Does the Pill Cause Depression and Anxiety?
Many women who have gone on the pill will tell you “when I went on the pill, I started to gain weight, not feel myself and get depressed”!
Turns out thousands of women on the pill have been feeling depressed for years, due to the pill itself!
A recent study of half a million women showed overwhelmingly that the oral contraceptive pill causes an increase in depression, and suicide risks.
If you have felt depression while being on the pill, read on.
You are not on your own and I want to explain why depression can occur and what you can do about it.
This blog is intended to get you thinking, talking and taking action!
I would love you to:
Determine whether the pill is OK for you (or if you are already taking a hormone based pill be aware of the mood changes)
Circulate the information of the largest study ever done in women on the pill
Demand your doctor starts fulfilling their medical accountability around mental health and the pill
Consider alternatives to the pill that are equally as effective and natural!
Stopping the pill is a must if your moods are affected! But of course, by law, I can not recommend this. This is something you must decide for yourself. I hope this blog gives you more information in making an informed decision that feels right for you.
This blog is NOT a replacement for a professional consultation . Notify your doctor! Maybe educate them at the same time.
If you have been offered an antidepressant whilst being on the pill to help with depression or anxiety, understand this;
Giving you another medication (to counteract the side effects of one medication) with its own serious side effects, potential complications and risks, IS NOT SAFE, NOT SMART and does not MAKE SENSE!
Listen to your body.
Treating a hormone imbalance with a pill that may steal your happiness does not make sense.
If watching clips is more your thing, watch my 40 minute FB live on the topic that I recorded a few weeks ago!
Just click on the play arrow 🙂
My AIMS of this blog are:
To get more medical accountability (mood assessments before dispensing the pills, follow-up consultations before dispensing long term scripts)
To offer a hormone based explanation why depression makes sense in the presence of an already existing hormone imbalance
Why we need to stand up , as women globally, and say something. This may save your girlfriend’s daughters life.
Alternatives to consider that are safe, awesome and perfect for many reasons why women initially go on the pill.
Why are we giving young women a tablet that causes depression?
The latest research from Denmark shows that the hormone contraceptives (not devices or barrier methods like coils or condoms), such as the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) and implanted hormone devices, lead to a whopping 80% increase in depression for it’s users.
When you think about it that is massive. 100% is everyone!
So eight in ten women experience depression on the pill, or put another way, you are almost 100% (80%) likely to experience depression on the pill.
A pill that is widely used to stop conception, but ironically causes depression?!
A pill that is used widely world wide for young teen age girls to treat acne.
The really outrageous part is that millions and billions of dollars going into setting up programs for teenage suicide prevention, early intervention, and research, when the very thing that might be causing it, is the pill they are being prescribed by a doctor?!
It’s quite crazy when you think about it.
How did something so dangerous end up being so acceptable?
Why do women go on the pill?
Women and girls, go on the pill for various reasons, but no females needs the added side effect of depression.
Oh, I should point out that depression and anxiety are very similar and are light/day of the same issue.
Medically anxiety is treated as depression, and vice versa. The standard treatment currently is a SSRI (anti-depressant) or a SNRI (ref 4) (if those drugs don’t work) and maybe some counselling.
Counselling to help you cope with something that has probably been medically induced! Think about this seriously. Have you become depressed, paranoid, suspicious of others since starting the pill? If you have , it could be affecting you in a negative way!
I would like to shed some light in this blog why this is unacceptable, why you should consider other options, and what other options for various conditions are available for you.
I want to highlight why the pill became popular in the first place.
The pill was a revolution back in the 1960s and for the first time, women could control when and to whom they had children.
It was a significant change in human culture and female liberation.
It became quite popular as a contraceptive throughout the 70s and 80s.
Then the market was flooded with different types of pills.
Progesterone based ones, estrogen based ones, testosterone blockers and more.
Most of them working on the premise of over-riding the woman’s natural cycle and preventing ovulation (which means stopping, or overriding your natural hormone cycle)!
It is the prevention of ovulation (stopping the egg from being released by an ovary) that makes it popular as a contraceptive option.
During the 90s, and more so into the new mellenium, synthetic oral contraceptive pills have become first line treatments for women with acne issues, PMS, hormone related headaches, PCOS and endometriosis.
I believe though, that trying to solve an underlying hormone imbalance with a hormone replacement is playing with FIRE!
Why would you not try to balance the hormone imbalance, rather than sweep it under the rug?
Where is the evidence-based-medicine (EMB) that treating a major hormone imbalance (such as PCOS and Endometriosis) with a pill that has been shown to increase suicide attempts, depression and anxiety leads to hormone balancing?!
It’s bordering on being negligent.
Fortunately there are many alternatives both for contraceptive uses, and for health conditions often attempted to be “treated” by the pill.
The exciting NEWS is that all of these hormone imbalances can be managed naturally.
That is right!
Through cleaner eating, stressing less, managing your time better, your body will balance itself.
When I hear the medical profession say they “don’t know what causes PCOS or Endometriosis” I get a little miffed?!
Obviously, any educated person can reflect on social and lifestyle changes over the last 20 years and see that the female explosion into the work place, into senior roles, into traditional male roles has lead to a hormone shift.
The increase in stress levels in women, juggling work and also being a home maker is massive. Increased stress and commitments lead to an increase in cortisol, testosterone and estrogen. All of these hormones affect women.
Many of us (insert here , female warrior) are stretched to the limits.
It isn’t an infinity pond like the dream we were sold.
I discuss it more in my best selling book Beauty & the Beast Within.
Hormone imbalances, I believe, are best managed naturally – through foods, lifestyle, stress management, helping your liver metabolise, and gut excrete the used hormones. Medicine doesn’t specialise in these – naturopaths do! I discuss PCOS and endometriosis, the causes, natural treatment options. Get my book!
Cortisol affects belly fat, the ability to relax and feel calm.
Testosterone is the leading hormone behind PCOS, anger, acne and infertility in women.
Estrogen in high levels may lead to acne, cellulite, depression, anxiety, headaches, migraines and infertility.
Giving a woman a tablet with MORE ESTROGEN to treat an existing high estrogen state DOES NOT ADD UP!
What does the research show about the pill and depression?
In multiple studies, but in particular longitudinal data (information collected over a long period of time, with thousands of women), a Danish study has found staggering information. Information that we ALL need to know about.
The research conclusions found that:
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use. Ref 1
Scratch a little deeper and this study published in the American Journal of Psychitary ( published in June 2017, tracked over half a million women between the years 1996 – 2013) found that :
Conclusions:Use of hormonal contraception was positively associated with subsequent suicide attempt and suicide. Adolescent women experienced the highest relative risk. Ref 2
We – the world – can NOT ignore this any more. Young woman are suffering with depression and anxiety, some trying to take their lives! All because of a contraceptive pill. It is not worth it.
Please stand up! Say something!
Tell your friends.
Question why you are still taking a pill?
Is there another way?
Are you taking the pill for a symptom that you could manage naturally? Like improving your eating, stressing less, sleeping more??
If you need a coach, find a naturopath! Come to me! I just want to see an end to all of this!
Here are some stats to shake you!
The study showed that the oral contraceptive pill (OCP):
- Doubles suicide risk (ref 1)
- Increased depression by 80%! (ref 2)
- Increase the risk of blood clot 10 times! (Ref 3)
The hormone, the oral contraceptive pill, causes depression, increases suicide risk and can lead to blood clots!
Yet the alarming figures still haven’t stopped doctors prescribing the pill, nor mentioning the risks to innocent girls who may simply want an end to their acne!
The study has been pivotal in understanding the dangers of the oral contraception pill yet, after the first week of media releases, the findings have been swept under the carpet.
I want to see with the prescription the oral contraceptive pill, especially progesterone ones, implannon and the patch, a mood assessment conducted.
A simple 10 minute assessment of a person’s entry “happiness” and moods before they start the pill makes sense.
Asking the woman to do an on-line assessment like this one. (ref 5) gives everyone a baseline.
Once this has been done, practitioner and patient has a baseline.
Bring the recipient back in to the clinic in a month, then 3 months and conduct the same test. Are they the same? Are they as Happy?
Really simple stuff!
My first preference is always natural.
Not because I am against pharmaceuticals, believe in conspiracy theories, but because it makes sound sense.
If you body is displaying a hormone imbalance, a health imbalance (ie Dis-ease) then resolve it with a natural solution. Because nine times out of ten, it has been caused by an imbalance in your lifestyle or food! It doesn’t need the extreme lengths of a pharmaceutical pill, or synthetic chemical agent. Try to manage it yourself FIRST!
The common reasons females start the pill are for;
- Hormonal headaches and migraines
- PCOS or endometeriosis
Can I please refer you to your local family planning centre on this one. Not because I don’t know much about it, but because most family planning centres are equipped with awesome, caring doctors who discuss your needs, don’t judge and will help YOU find the best solution for you. Google family planning in your area.
Acne, pimples, cystic skin conditions are soul destroying. They really impact on how we feel about ourselves and continually take us out of our power. Ie people go from feeling OK, to asking ” I wonder what other people are thinking of me?’
The anxiety of acne is often exacerbated as the underlying cause is often a hormone imbalance!
Let’s start with the basics. In my 25 + years in the health industry, acne is usually associated with food intolerances, hormones and a third element (gut health, stress etc).
The common food offenders being dairy, gluten (found in wheat, rye, oats and barley) and excessive sugars eg: lollies and even fruit.
Acne is often due to a hormone imbalance (high testosterone, high estrogen, low progesterone, high cortisol) and these are definitely worth finding out.
The best way to find out your hormone levels is via a saliva hormone test NOT A BLOOD test. Saliva testing is more accurate for picking up the free, damaging hormones. And naturally the best way to treat these is NOT WITH ANOTHER PILL, but to help your body stop over-producing, and help it break them down. More information about saliva testing is here.
Eating more green leafy vegetables, drinks lots of fresh water, stops drinking soft drinks, stop lollies and junk food, will make a BIG impact.
If that doesn’t work add in a probiotic and a topical facial wash.
If that does help, reach out. I can order a saliva hormone test kit for you, help you with some life and stress coaching, of just offer hormone tips in general. Don’t suffer in silence and stop spending large amounts of money on skin treatments, until you try healing yourself from the inside out.
3. Hormone headaches & migraines
Typically a hormone headache or migraine will hit you a week out from your period. Usually when your progesterone drops and your estrogen spikes.
Over riding your body with a hormone pill denies you hormone balance. Please see a naturopath for this one. Not a doctor. Most are well trained, like myself, at uni, and understand why they occur, and how to help your body. A saliva test may very well give you lots of answers and direction in managing these.
4. PCO and Endometriosis
I have various blogs and clips on these conditions. My specialty area.
Both are hormone imbalances.
The causes are not “unknown”. Both are usually due to high testosterone, high cortisol (from stress which then increases your insulin) or high estrogen.
The most powerful way I believe to manage these conditions are using my 4 prong approach (Refeminize, Stress Management, Lifestyle Measures, Biochemical support).
You can read more about it in my book.
This blog has taken me hours to write. Not because I am not short on content, but because I have been challenged to remain a true professional and NOT SCREAM… WHAT ARE WE DOING?!
The pill causes depression. There is no doubt, no questions in my heads or those who research its use.
I encourage and urge you to seek alternative options to your health issues first and look for alternative contraceptive devices.
Alternative health advice might set you back a few hundred dollars or thousand, but compared to feeling depressed, trying to end your life, losing the love of your life, or being infertile later in life, I can guarrantee the upfront money is worth it.
I am only too happy to help, in the first instance grab my book, and always reach out, or share this blog if it makes sense!
Ladies, we need to help each other.
Much love, Sam
PS: In light of this well researched, extensive research I think the oral contraceptive pill should only be prescribed with a proper chat. It’s awesome that people want to safe guard against unwanted pregnancies. I’m all for that. But really unless you are in a monogomous relationship the pill doesn’t offer so much. It doesn’t even offer safe sex. IE sex without condoms still leaves you open to get sexually transmitted diseases (Chlamydia, Herpes, HIV and more…).
I think this is the swaying point for most people and I would love you to weigh it up.
Is it worth the potential for depression, increased suicide risk, blood clots and weight gain?
This is something that can only be answered by you. And your partner.
I can’t answer this for you but I look forward to hearing all your experiences and feedback in the comment below.
Let’s start discussing this!
Ref 1 : The danish study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29145752 American Journal of Psychiatry
Ref 2: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2552796
Ref 3: The lancet study with the pill https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12260274 (10 fold risk of blood clots after being on the pill for longer than 5 years)!
Ref 4: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/treatments-for-depression/medical-treatments-for-depression
Ref 5: https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Mood-self-assessment.aspx
The current advice around the pill is not even accurate: https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/contraception/contraceptive-pills/
My blog about mirena https://www.sambeaupatrick.com/mirenas-weight-gain/
ABC report http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/link-between-hormonal-contraception-and-suicide/9215470