Tag Archives: Birth Control

Mood Swings

Success! Nicole sent us an e-mail with a post. Thank heavens for her; I’ve been slacking off like crazy here. In all fairness, this has been an absolutely awful week. I learned that I need to find myself a new job, I missed a birth control pill so now I have my period for an extra week and a half, Slayer postponed their show here, and I have swine flu. Well, that’s debatable – but calling it Swine Flu makes my boring, everyday cold sound kind of exotic, no? It’s a really bad cold, though. My father just asked me if I have “H1N2N”. Anyway, Nicole wants to talk about mood swings, so here we go.

whatshapThis is an extension of Melissa’s post about weird panic attacks because of the pill. So for the past while, I guess about a year or two, I’ve been getting really terrible, sometimes unmanageable mood swings. I used to bottle them up and not let anybody know about them, but for the past year, it’s been really hard. If someone is pissing me off, I have a hard time not getting snappy with them. It gets to the point where I have to avoid their gaze, clench my jaw as tight as I can, and just keep my mouth shut, because I’m afraid of saying something that I really shouldn’t. The person this happens most with is my mom. I love her dearly, but she’s the one who gets on my nerves the most. Is that normal? Sometimes I wish I could just tell her to fuck off and leave me alone, but she’s always too emotional for her own good, and it makes me the bad guy, in every situation.

I’d like to know if this happens to anyone else, on the pill or not. These mood swings make me really uncomfortable in many situations. And they come on unexpectedly, like I really don’t know when in my cycle I should expect them. I know during my cycle I have hormonal fluctuations, and peak periods, but these swings don’t seem to follow a specific pattern. I have strong emotions and sometimes anger management is out the window, as in I have very little, if any, control over my rage. It’s gotten my into trouble many times in the past, and although I try to control for it, I don’t see it getting much better anytime soon.

Anybody have any suggestions? What pills and/or birth control do you ladies use? I’m on Yasmin 28, and I’m wondering, since it’s the highest estradiol level pill (apparently) if it’s totally screwed my hormones and sent them out of whack.

Ahhh.

-Your much loved guest speaker.

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Panic Attacks

Wikipedia says that, “Experiencing a panic attack is said to be one of the most intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable experiences of a person’s life.” That’s completely true. I can’t even find the words to describe how bad panic attacks feel. It’s almost like you’re stuck in a different dimension and you’re trying to escape but an intensely strong, invisible force keeps pulling you back in. For lack of a better description, it’s total chaos.

I had my first attack about a year and a half ago. I can’t even remember how I handled it. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I went from happy to scared shitless within seconds. It’s as though a layer of fear wrapped itself around me. I felt totally trapped. I was dizzy and couldn’t breathe. I tried to take long, deep breaths but my lungs wouldn’t let me. My heart felt like it was gonna jump out of my chest. Worst of all, I felt like I didn’t have any control over myself.

I’ve suffered many, many attacks since then. My episodes have gotten less severe, but they last a lot longer. I had one last night over several hours. I got up this morning, showered and got some green tea, hoping that these things would make me feel better. They didn’t. I still feel like my body is reeling from the worst fight-or-flight reaction it was ever faced with.

I used to assume that my panic attacks were caused by stress. I’ve always been the type of person to worry for no reason. I also juggle more commitments than I can handle. Still, as stressed as I can be, I’ve always dealt with it really well. So I decided to conduct an investigation of sorts. I started keeping a little panic attack calendar. The results were startling! I realized that my episodes are most likely caused by something other than stress: the pill.

I can pretty much predict my panic attacks nowadays. They happen after every period, when I switch from the placebos to the regular pills. They always happen in the middle of the night, too, presumably because I take my pill pretty late (around 9 or 10 p.m.).

I looked it up and it seems as though this is happening to a lot of women. The pill apparently heightens anxiety, which can trigger panic attacks.

I’m not sure what to do at this point. I almost want to get off oral birth control. I could switch pills, but it’ll be the third time I do that. I’m fed up. The panic attacks were all pretty traumatic for me and I really, really don’t want to have another one. At the same time, how do I know that when I get off the pill, the attacks will stop? Maybe I’m fucked for life. I don’t know. I’m freaking out.

Coincidentally, I’m seeing my gyno soon (I hate him but whatever). I’ll ask him about all this. In the meantime, have any of you ladies ever suffered from this? What do you think I should do?

-Melissa

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Adventures In Birth Control Land

birthcI’ve been on the pill for two years and a few months. I originally got on it because I don’t want babies and hate condoms. If you’re in a committed relationship and both you and your partner have been tested, I would definitely recommend taking the pill as your preferred method of birth control. Wait, would I? Hmm. Let’s see here.

The pill is really good at one thing, and that’s not getting you pregnant. Other than that, it kind of sucks. A lot. The list of awful side effects is long, but here are the most common:

It makes you fat
The first thing I noticed was how much my boobs grew. This happened after a mere few days. I know that sounds awesome but they were all swollen and tender. It hurt when I put a bra on. Eventually, the pain went away and an unpleasant situation became an unexpected bonus. I realize how lucky I was, though. Some girls gain a lot more than just a little boobage. I read one lady’s story online about how one of her feet go so swollen that it busted a strap on her shoe! That sucks. And all that extra weight is a bitch to lose.

It kills your libido
This actually happened to most girls I know who’ve gotten on the pill, so beware. Your libido could potentially go from raging (Spring break in Cancun-style) to inexistent (nun in a convent-style). I felt my sex drive dwindling so I tried switching to a pill with a different hormone level, but the problem persisted. I kind of just live with it now. It’s ironic that I got on the pill in hopes of having more sex.

It doesn’t cure your cramps
When I was a teen, my doctor advised me to start taking the pill. I wasn’t even sexually active yet, but he claimed that an oral contraceptive would ease my horrible menstrual pain. Turns out that was a load of bullshit. Know what helps my cramps? Three Advils, a cup of tea and the fetal position. Not the pill.

It gives you insane mood swings
I have literally gone from laughing to crying my eyes out in less than a second. I cry when I eat the last Sausalito cookie in the bag, I cry when I watch Destiny’s Child videos and I hold tears back when I see adorable puppies. I’ve snapped at my mother for buying cheap toilet paper, when, at 24, I should be ecstatic she even buys me TP in the first place.

You’ll forget to take it
For the pill to be its most effective, you’re supposed to take it at the same time every day. Well, that’s almost impossible. One time, I forgot to take one. I googled it and found a website that said I should take two at once, to compensate for the one I missed. So I did that. A few hours later, areas that are usually dry began sweating uncontrollably and I had to fight a wave of severe nausea that kept trying to come over me. That was last New Year’s Eve. Needless to say, I didn’t have the best time. Thanks a lot, Internet.

Of course, I’m speaking from personal experience. You might not feel any of these side effects. You might be one of the lucky ones (I hate you). It’s gotten to the point where I kind of want to get off the topsy turvy roller coaster the pill has put me on, but I can’t bring myself to. It’s worked itself into my daily routine, but more importantly, I’ve never so much as had a slight pregnancy scare while on it. So I guess I’ll tough it out. For now, anyway.

-Melissa

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