Oh, God, this is so horrible. *Please* read [long and rambly]

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 months now. I know that doesn’t sound like a long time to many people, but we’ve been really happy and open with each other, and have felt like we have a really good connection.

So starting hormonal birth control was the worst decision I’ve ever made. Ever.

I went to the gyn to get (my first ever) exam, and wanted to discuss birth control with her. I didn’t want the patch or pill, and had heard good things about Nuvaring ( http://www.nuvaring.com ). She agreed and gave me a prescription. I waited till the appropriate time in your period to start it, and on Sunday, Oct. 17th, I put it in in the evening.

Okay, I knew there were a possibility of side effects. I also knew that I’d probably really have to get used to it because I’ve never been on hormonal birth control before. But I had heard people (like a friend of mine) say they had really good results with the ring.

By Wednesday I was definitely more irritable towards my boyfriend. By Friday, this increased to sadness and worrying. By Saturday, I realised that a big chunk of what I felt was depression. This actually helped my mood for a little bit, because I’ve been depressed (with times of okay-ness) since high school (I’m 22), and I sure as hell didn’t want to go back to how I felt then. By Sunday… Oh god. Sunday evening I was crying, completely freaking out, and I had my brain taunt me with, “Chris isn’t right for you and you know it! You’re going to break up with him! You’re gonna break up with him!” over and over and over. I was near hyperventilating, sick to my stomach. An internet friend actually gave me her cell phone number so she could talk to me in person to calm me down, that’s how freaked out I was. :frowning:

I called the doc’s office on Monday (Oct. 25), and they advised to take the ring out, and call them 2-3 weeks later after I’ve determined whether or not it was the ring that did this. So I took the ring out between. 3.30-4pm.

Okay. Now, I’m a person who not only thinks too much, but also worries far too much. And when you have this kind of stuff in your head, worrying about it makes it about ten billion times worse. I know that. But I still worry, which makes it worse, which makes me worry, etc and so on. I’ve managed to do this when I wasn’t under hormones and was just, say, freaking out about a test, or a paper I have to write. This is far worse, though.

Overall, I am better than I was Sunday. But I was worse yesterday evening (Wed, Oct 27th) than I was on Tuesday. I was nauseous and worrying and feeling terrible (my feeling bad/worries/etc have been worse at night since I put the ring in). And I feel worse this morning than I did yesterday morning.

I know that a big part of it is probably precisely because I’m worried about it. I mean, hell, I’m only on the 3rd day of being without the Nuvaring and I had it in for 8 (and the doc’s office basically said to wait a couple of weeks, not days). It’s just that my brain is saying, “it’s not going to go away, it’s not going to change. It’s right and you know it! Hey, your friend Brad… You really like HIM, not Chris! Even though you’ve been really happy with Chris until you put that ring in, it’s obviously that this is just enabling you to see the TRUTH!” Each time I think that, I feel sick to my stomach.
The thing is, that I had none of these feelings whatsoever before starting the Nuvaring. Zero, zip, nada. In fact, Chris himself has been the major factor in helping me get out of my depression. And my feeling okay kind of phases in and out, these last couple days. And when I’ve felt okay, I can tell that my freaking out is just… weird, y’know? That it doesn’t have any real basis. But when I’m worrying, I can’t see that anymore, and saying “it’s not real” is the equivalent of, “you’ll understand when you’re older”. It’s the strangest thing to be able to experience both of those things.

I feel so sorry for Chris. :frowning: He’s trying to be here for me and help in any way he can, which makes me feel worse, in a way, because I think, “he’s being so sweet and caring and you’re not getting better and still worrying about the relationship. What is wrong with you, you horrible person? Those worries must be right! See???” And it starts again.

This sucks SO bad. Each time I think something (I call them “my worries”), I feel sick to my stomach. It seems clear and obvious that if I feel that horrible about it, it’s just some worry that has no basis in reality. And all I can think is, “it’s not going to change”, and I get so scared and sick-feeling. :frowning:

I don’t know what to do anymore! I know it’s only been 2.5 days, but I’m so scared!

Please call your doctor back ! It sounds like you MAY (IANAD) be having some pretty bad anxiety attacks going on there. Surely there is SOMETHING they can do to help you.

I am thinking that you might want to talk to someone like a professional and soon!

I have also suffered from depression for decades and messing with my hormones (with oral birth control) was a near disaster. One time I almost put a spiked heel through Hubby’s medulla oblongata for telling me I looked nice when I knew he was lying. (He wasn’t.) After suffering badly for 3 months I found myself crying one day. I asked myself ‘why’? What I answered was, ‘I miss myself’. Then I started looking at a can of solvent and thinking about drinking it.

Suddenly I knew I had a problem. I called the doctor right then and explained what was going on. They gave me a couple of options (including diuretics in case I had some swelling on my brain causing depression, WTF?) but it all came down to stop the birth control pills. I did and felt better in about a week.

Some of us cannot tolerate shifts in our hormone levels. They are too precariously balanced (and probably out of whack) for any radical changes. Many people will tell you to ‘just stop worrying’ but that’s not helping. You need to rest and get your chemistry straightened out so you can think straight. Sounds like boyfriend is honestly concerned about you and that’s a great thing. Let him help you and talk to a professional.

I wish you luck. Let us know how it works out.

I went through a very depressed period for about six months when I started BC pills. Eight years later, I have no problems.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. No advice, just sympathy. Good luck.

If it helps at all, my best friend tried the nuva-ring and it completely fucked with her head, too. I’m not sure how long it took for the effects to wear off but she also removed it within a week or two of starting. She also had depression and anxiety and extreme mood swings from it. So I’d tend to say it’s not you, its the hormones. Wait a week.

It’s just so hard, y’know? It’s taken me so long to finally get my head ‘working right’, and I’m so pissed that I basically took that time and chucked it out the window (even if it’s only for a little bit, and even if I didn’t really KNOW that would happen).

My worries are absolutely rediculous. I’ve even had “what if you’re gay and don’t admit it!”. Sheesh! It’s like my brain is just actively looking for random arguments to freak me out. A friend recommended I call the office and see if they can give me anti-anxiety meds for a week or two (although heavens knows what that would cost * ). See, I’m very very very very good at worrying. I could be a professional worrier. I know that only exacerbates the problem, but would something like Xanax (if offered, obviously) help me to not worry in the first place?

  • Insurance is not an option, because, being a full-time student, I’m a rider on my mom’s insurance. I couldn’t have any birth control covered by insurance because she would find out via the insurance and have a conniption (not joking). So I can’t exactly have anti-anxiety meds show up either.

I know that progesterone can stay in your system for a long time. I was on Depo-Provera for 3 years, then got off because of depression. It’s been 14 months, my menstrual cycles still aren’t back to normal (it usually takes 12-18 months), and I’ve just started to do okay without antidepressants.
You definitely need a psychiatric professional to help you through this. In the meantime, the worst thing you can do is sit at home doing solitary activities. Depression feeds off itself, and thrives on isolation.

What I’ve learned is that just because you have an anxious or depressed though doesn’t mean you have to entertain it. Acknowledge it, take a deep breath, and let it go. If you have someone that you can call to distract yourself from… well, yourself, so much the better.

Good luck with this. You are not alone.

PS: I’ve been on a low-dose oral birth control for about 3 months now, and I’m having no mood-related side effects. Sometimes you just have to find what works for you.

PPS: most communities have a state-sponsored birth-control clinic in the Public Health building. You will be dealing with a Nurse Practicioner instead of an MD, but that shouldn’t be a problem. They may even have a branch at your school.

As for anti-anxiety meds, Xanax, Valium, etc, are all very cheap if you go generic.
At the pharmacy I work for, it is usually less than $10 per month if you are taking one every day. You can ask the doc for one of these if he tries to prescribe you something expensive. Remember - it’s his job to make you better, not to shill the latest designer drug.

I had to respond because this sounds almost exactly like what I’m going through right now.

I’ve been on the pill (Alesse) for 1 year now. For most of that year I was fine. I would get anxiety occasionally about stuff like work or school, but it always passed rather quickly and never bothered me that much. But over the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been suffering some bad anxiety, which I’ve never experienced before. The worst is all the negative thoughts that go through my head that I can’t control. I always feel like something bad’s going to happen, although it’s nothing concrete I can put my finger on. I also get an upset stomach and I feel like I’m going crazy.

If it is the pill though, I find it weird that I would start having problems now. My fiance has recently left the country for 6 weeks, and that has probably caused the stress to come to the surface. Logically, I don’t know why I’m freaking over that because it really shouldn’t bother me that much, so I tend to think that the pills are making it worse.

The only way I get through the anxiety is to tell myself it’ll be over soon. No matter had crappy I feel, I always feel better eventually. It’ll pass. Like you, when I feel fine, I can’t imagine feeling the way I do when I’m freaking out, it just seems crazy.

If it doesn’t go away, I’ll probably have to stop the pill too. Right now I’m going to wait and see.

I can’t really offer any advice, except to say that you’re not alone.

Heh. One of the possible side effects of Xanax is depression. Man, wouldn’t that be “funny”? (If you can’t tell, I’m feeling rather wary of prescriptions at the moment).

I’m on campus right now (working, but…) (well, “working” since I’m on the SDMB, heh), and considering seeing one of the counselors. At the very least, she might be able to give me some stop-worrying tips. I know right now that the main thing is my anxiety and worry/fear that it won’t go away, even though it IS (so it’s kind of feeding the problem).

Man, I’d rather have a broken leg or something. :confused:

This is another whole underlying problem which is giving you more stress and anxiety. You are on your mother’s insurance rider and presumably having your mom pay partially or mostly for college. In her mind you are a still a kid and by your own admission, you feel that you cannot tell her you are sexually active & having problems with the birth control.

You are adding to your anxiety. I don’t know if you are a natural worrier or if it is birth control hormonally induced, but allow me impart something: worry serves no purpose. It is a big ugly monster with an unsatiable appetite for Worse Case Scenarios. It feeds when you are at your most vunerable and insecure. It will ruin your life if you don’t stab that monster in the head/neck/chest and nuts and kick it out of your life right now.

If you are old enough and smart enough to use birth control and go to college, you are old enough to tell your parent(s) when they ask, that you are on birth control because you want to be responsible and not screw up your future.

The hardest part of talking to a parent are just getting the first words out. Some people can have the easiest time bringing up sensitive conversational land mind with their parental units. I, myself, started out with Blurting, ’ So, I’m not a virgin anymore…ahhh,…what’s new with you.’ approach. It does get easier as you get more Life Experience ( pain, misery, debt, fat) and more confidence ( with the knowledge that after you move out of the house you can’t be grounded or intimidated by the stare anymore.

Yes, your mother will have a conniption fit. Either for moral reasons that she is afraid you are going to burn in the Eternal Fires of Hell YAY! or, much worse, fark up your life and educational plans because of 1) love it’s a phase…you’ll get over it…she is thinking. 2) Getting farked over by some guy she probably doesn’t know 3) Become pregnant and all that entangles. 4) Drop out of college to support baby after father ditches. 5) Appear on Maury Povich. Your mother is still probably trying to come to terms with you being in college…when just yesterday you were smearing poo all over the walls in your room from your diaper. You grew up faster than she could handle it, damn you.

Frankly speaking,Here comes the guilt your mom has alot of emotional energy wrapped up in you. She also has gobs of money invested and you are very near the finish line in life before you take the reins on Your Life. Yeah, you are not quit there yet, so hold your horses. She (hopefully) is raising you to be better, do better and go farther than she has in her life without crushing your spirit. To not make the same mistakes that either she or her friends or friends kids have made.

Ergo, in order to be treated like an adult, one must act like an adult and all the fun sundry that entails. ( owning up to ones faults and foibles, eating crow…things like that.)

If you fuck it up now ( biblically and metaphorically) it will cost her more money and , the hardest thing of all, wrinkles, of which she has to contend. Do you want to give your sweet mother more wrinkles?

No mom wants to see or even entertain the thought of their daughter having sex and the possiblities of her education and REST OF HER LIFE getting derailed because of a baby, disease, Some Man Done Her Wrong…etc. Promise her you will not live your life like a DramaQueen Mini Series on A& E. It can only help.

Remember, your mom was young once. She got jiggy with it. As painful as it is to conjure up your mom doing da nasty with someone, at one time she was a teenager who was hot and heavy about sex and trying to figure it all out. If you handle yourself in an adult like manner, chances are, once she peels herself off the ceiling over your news, she possibly will come to grips that she has the rest of her life to get over the fact that her baby is making decisions for herself and, fortunately, using common sense.
If you are old enough to deal with the implications, complications and hazards of sex and any preparation thereof you can be a woman about it dealing with the questions she will have about birth control and anxiety medication. Yeah, it bears repeating.

Pull yourself up by your bra straps, sweetheart and understand that every woman out there with a caring and invasive mom has been in a similar situation.

If you’re a full-time student, for the love of Og get yourself over to Student Health or whatever they call the school health-care center. Your tuition probably includes a health care fee that covers visits to the clinic and some of the meds. At UK, it covered all visits, both physical and psychological, and labwork like chest films, pap smears and basic metabolic panels. It also completely covered OTC stuff like Tylenol, cough syrup and decongestants, and it partially paid for pretty much all other meds. BCP were something like $6/month. Antibiotics and such ranged from $2-$10. All of this was through the school and had nothing whatsoever to do with your insurance.

Check and see what health care options your school offers, and please take advantage of them.

This is a personal question, but why is the pill not an option? The nice thing about the pill is that there are many different versions of it, so if one makes you depressed or anxious, you can try a different one. AFAIK, that’s not possible with the patch or Nuvaring (somebody correct me if I’m wrong here).

I had a problem with depression when my gyn switched me from Ortho Tri-Cyclen to Zovia (my insurance dropped Ortho Tri-Cyclen from their formulary). I switched to another pill. This page was helpful for me on choosing the right birth control pill.

I was worried before I went on the pill that I would forget to take it. In five years of taking it, I have missed exactly three pills, and one of those was deliberate because I had a bad case of food poisoning and knew it wouldn’t stay down. And I’m one of those people who never knows what day it is unless they have a watch that tells them. I don’t know how I do it (my best guess is that I’m very motivated to take my pill so I won’t get pregnant), but I do it.

Have you always been that way, or just since getting the Nuvaring? I had worried all the time about all kinds of things for as long as I could remember. I finally figured out that it wasn’t normal, and saw a psychiatrist. I have something called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’m on medication now, and it really helps. If you’ve always been a worrier, you might want to take a self test like this one and talk about it with a counselor at your school’s health center. I really wish I’d done this when I was in college- I wouldn’t have spent 10 more years suffering from depression and anxiety if I had.

Oh, and I was afraid to tell my parents that I was on medication for depression and anxiety for a while, too. I finally blurted it out to them, and it was a lot less traumatic than I thought it would be.

My uni has no health center. It’s a private university with a whole 4,000 students (only several hundred of which actually live on campus). Even the “health coverage” is a joke. I looked at it before, and you pay out the nose for nothing. No prescription coverage whatsoever. We have a few counselors, but they’re not M.D.s or anything.

Well, honestly, NOW it’s not an option because I am never ever ever taking hormonal birth control again. I am not willing to experiment and see if there’s one that happens to work okay. I don’t care if some things worked for some people, or that this was horrible, but after they tried this and it worked out. I don’t care. I’m never going to put myself through this again, if I can help it (key phrase there: if I can help it).

Oh, I’ve been quite the worrier my entire life. It’s not usually general, but if, say, I have a paper due, I’ll be able to freak out about it a lot more easily (and in a more extreme fashion) than anyone else I know. It has a specific cause, my excessive worrying.
And honestly, I don’t care about if my mom knows I decided to, say, go on anti-depressants. She’d think I was making the wrong choice (she’s very anti-medication, even though she’s suffered from depression, she says so herself, her entire life. :dubious: ). I am NOT telling her I am on birth control while I am still under her roof.

And Shirley Ujest, I appreciate the intention you had with your post, but (maybe it’s just my mental state now) it seemed to come off as a bit patronising, with things like “Pull yourself up by your bra straps, sweetheart”. I’m not a child; I’m 22 years old, working part time while going to college full time towards a double major. She has some parent loans for my college, which I greatly appreciate, but the vast majority of my tuition has been paid for by my academic scholarship and my student loans.

And my mom is someone who is not exactly stable. She has called me a bitch, said that I am “the most disgusting person [she] has ever seen in [her] life” (yes, I remember the exact wording), and has told me that it probably would have been better if she had never had children in the first place, because she knows she’s not the best parent.

And telling her about birth control is not an option at this point in time. I don’t care if it’s the “adult” thing to do. She is a hardcore conservative Catholic (who wants to revert to pre-Vatican Counsel II standards) who literally did not speak to her own sister for two years because my aunt lived with her fiance before her wedding.

I’m still living at home (and yes, I appreciate that she has given me that option, although the idea of me moving out is something she personally hates), and if I am going to cause that much of a ruckus (which I will eventually), it will be when I am on my own.

I understand why you wouldn’t tell her you’re on birth control, but why would you be willing to let her know you were on antidepressants but not that you were on anti-anxiety medications? You wouldn’t have to tell her that you got the anti-anxiety meds because you’d been on birth control.

Have you considered that maybe your avoidance of other forms of BC or treatment for your disorders may spring from your mom’s anit-med stance? I don’t like taking pills either, but when it became a choice between the (literal) hell that is depression and anxiety or a small feeling of shame at needing help, I know which one I chose.

After hearing about your mother, however, the best cure might be to get out of her influence (move away, maybe even switch schools to get out of town). She sounds toxic, and that can’t be helping your mental state any.

Are there any Public Health-type state programs that offer birth control? I know here you qualify for free BC and related sexual health services (pelvic exams, etc) as long as you fall under the poverty level. I’m in a similar situation (22, in school, working), so I can slide under that economic bar easily

Sorry to tell you this, but there is NO form of birth control that isn’t hormonal. See, that’s what birth control does, it adjust your hormones to make your body think it is pregnant, therefore stopping ovulation and lightening periods. Different forms work in different ways, with different levels of hormone and different administrations, but they essentially all do the same thing.

I applaud you for making the choice to take control of your future and go on BC, but I think, from reading what you have written, that there are other issues you need to deal with before you throw yourself for loops by screwing with your hormones. IANAD, but I think the distress you’re under is most likely aggravated, not caused by trying the Nuvaring. I hope that you can find someone to talk to about what’s going on, and once you find someone you trust who seems to be helping you, then think about going back on birth control. Until then, you know, consistant and responsible condom use is almost as effective as most forms of BC.

Another thing that worries me a little is that on your first ever GYN visit, your doctor can’t know you well enough to be able to tell what might be right for you. If you have a doctor you have seen for a few years, he or she may be able to help you make better informed decisions about what treatments would work with your personal chemistry.

I have been through a lot of the same sort of stuff, and I do sympathise with you.

Well… there are diaphrams, sponges, and IUDs, but they aren’t nearly as effective

Are you sure your mom would find out about your pills being on insurance? I’m pretty sure it’s confidential. My parents would have also thrown a fit if they had known I was on the pill, but they never found out through their insurance (over 5 years).

Condoms are a form of birth control. I mean, that’s why I use them, on top of the pill (which I do trust, but better safe than sorry, pregnancy’s my only worry but it’s a biggie).

My only problem with the pill has been headaches during my periods, but that’s not happening on the one I’m on now (the third one I’ve tried). I know some women just can’t handle the hormones in any form, which really sucks. You might consider, in the future, trying a pill or two – they are not all the same by any means, and I’ve heard stories of women having all sorts of problems on one but not on another. I do understand if you’ve been scared off of hormonal BC, though.

I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time, and I’m joining the chorus saying to go see somebody for some anxiety meds or whatever would be appropriate.