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Women with ADD/ADHD This forum is for women to discuss issues related to being a woman with AD/HD.

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Old 09-17-18, 07:36 AM
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Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

Hi everyone. I'm not sure if there is a better forum to post this, but here we go.

I've been on the same dose (40 mg) of Vyvanse since last December. For the most part it seems to work okay. My anxiety was really high after I had started birth control pills in January (microgestin), and at my 90 day checkup with my psychiatrist we thought the pill might've been causing the suddenly immobilizing anxiety. I quit the pill in March, and also started seeing a therapist during that time, and things really improved. I started dating someone in late April, and started back on a triphasic birth control (trinessa). He's snipped, but I wanted to try the pill again to lighten my cycle and clear up my skin a bit. I was having a lot of spotting, so I switched to Nortrel in July.

I had experienced some anxiety while on trinessa, but at the time I had attributed it to my insecurities that had resurfaced after having been single for four years and now dating a guy who I'm super compatible with and fearing him leaving me (past trauma in relationships). Even so, I don't usually obsess terribly over the sins of past boyfriends, and my current boyfriend does nothing to make me feel scared or insecure. He's really an angel, but for some reason I now experience crying spells and my mood shifts drastically if I see a picture of one of his ex's on facebook, if he reacts to another girls picture, things that I would otherwise tell a friend to not get upset over because it's trivial. I also think it's worth mentioning I have other stressors in my life, like being in law school and having some credit card debt from the summer semester I'm trying to pay down. My emotions are making me miserable though, and I know if I can't get a grip it'll ruin an otherwise great relationship. I used to love school and now question if I want to keep going, and I don't know why I suddenly feel like this.

I thought maybe I was overstimulated, but the only thing that's really changed is my birth control, and it's a stronger dose pill. My psych prescribed a beta blocker to start, and said if that doesn't help, he'd prescribe a low dose of lamictal. He remembered that when he had seen me nine years ago there was discussion of cyclothymia, but I had been feeling pretty good the last several years, minus periods of time where life was stressful. I'm suddenly emotionally flippant, the crying at the drop of a hat over anything, preoccupied with obsessive thoughts. Even thinking up certain scenarios puts me in a flood of tears. I am miserable and although I've always been a feeling type of person, I have not felt this out of control over my emotions in a long long time.

Could it be the birth control? Science seems to be conflicted as to whether it causes moodiness or depression. A lot of patients seem to think it does in their experiences, but who knows if they were experiencing other stress in life. My psych didn't mention an antidepressant, only the propranolol first and then lamictal as plan B. He also said to take a lot of folate and 1000 mg of fish oil to help the comedown. What are your experiences with moodiness, anxiety, depression, etc.? Not that I want anyone to experience this, but I hope I'm not alone and someone has some input. I'm half tempted to call my psych today to just get the damn lamictal because the propranolol isn't doing anything, but I also don't want to be overmedicated. I hate feeling like sh*t.

Thanks for reading
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Old 09-17-18, 09:15 AM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

I was on birth control pills for 3 whole months. It was NUTS. Crying over any thing at any time. Acne, which I have never had except for those three months. Miserable, tired, puffy face, bigger boobs, never ending anxiety and depression. I quit taking them.


Yuck.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:20 PM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

Well this is from a guy ... but a woman I know well told me that her birth control pill definitely led to some depression and weight gain.

She ultimately switched to a different pill ... and no longer has that issue.

Make sure you go to a doctor who is really open to trying out a different pill. My friend was pretty assertive on this matter, and her doctor responded quite well ... and they monitored her moods.

And you might want to try out an antidepressant ... maybe tweak the bc pills first ... get them the best you can ... then add the antidepressant ... but maybe not ... maybe just add the antidepressant and see how you feel.

Am I right that you are not on an an antidepressant right now?
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Old 09-20-18, 07:34 PM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

Hey there,

I have been taking the pill since I was 13, I am now 26. At the beginning of my twenties, I did experience a lot of anxiety that were related to my periods (the week before you get them) and I was really paranoid and cried a lot.

I then stopped the pills for a while and I felt fine, no problem with my mood or anxiety rising before my periods or anything. I had to get back on them again, and it did cause me some problems at the beginning, until we changed it. Now I'm taking it non-stop so I don't get my periods (for health purpose) and I do NOT have those feelings anymore. So, yes, it COULD be the pills that are making you go through all this, since it's hormones!
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Old 09-21-18, 04:21 AM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

i know for women, hormones can wreak havoc on our adhd. I do not know why but it happens.
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Old 09-21-18, 09:58 AM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Missy View Post
I was on birth control pills for 3 whole months. It was NUTS. Crying over any thing at any time. Acne, which I have never had except for those three months. Miserable, tired, puffy face, bigger boobs, never ending anxiety and depression. I quit taking them.


Yuck.
Oh god, thank you for the affirmation. Now I don't feel so alone. I feel like doctors are so dismissive of the effect HBC can have on your mental well-being. They just say that you're not looking at everything else going on in your life that's causing you to feel terrible.

Apparently from some of what I read online, HBC can somewhat block the production of serotonin and dopamine? I don't know exactly, but I did read how it can affect those chemicals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn_h View Post
Hey there,

I have been taking the pill since I was 13, I am now 26. At the beginning of my twenties, I did experience a lot of anxiety that were related to my periods (the week before you get them) and I was really paranoid and cried a lot.

I then stopped the pills for a while and I felt fine, no problem with my mood or anxiety rising before my periods or anything. I had to get back on them again, and it did cause me some problems at the beginning, until we changed it. Now I'm taking it non-stop so I don't get my periods (for health purpose) and I do NOT have those feelings anymore. So, yes, it COULD be the pills that are making you go through all this, since it's hormones!
Thank you for sharing. I was on the pill about ten years ago (Loestrin 24) and I thought it was great at the time, although I was under the care of a psychiatrist during that time, but I never made any connection to my pill. I honestly can't remember much from that time, such as when I started the pill in relation to my psychiatric care, when I stopped and if I experienced a change in mood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
Well this is from a guy ... but a woman I know well told me that her birth control pill definitely led to some depression and weight gain.

She ultimately switched to a different pill ... and no longer has that issue.

Make sure you go to a doctor who is really open to trying out a different pill. My friend was pretty assertive on this matter, and her doctor responded quite well ... and they monitored her moods.

And you might want to try out an antidepressant ... maybe tweak the bc pills first ... get them the best you can ... then add the antidepressant ... but maybe not ... maybe just add the antidepressant and see how you feel.

Am I right that you are not on an an antidepressant right now?
Yes, you were correct, but after placing a call to my psychiatrist Monday afternoon, he's starting me on lamotrigine to see if it helps me at all. I don't know why he went to a mood stabilizer first as opposed to an antidepressant. I've seen people on this forum take Vyvanse and some sort of antidepressant like Welbutrin or Lexapro, but he's starting me on the lamotrigine. I guess because my symptoms are anxiety due to obsessive thinking and rumination, predicting the worst possible outcome when it hasn't even happened (i.e. my boyfriend liked his ex's picture, he must want to get back with her, etc.. I know, I know, very juvenile. I never used to get upset over that kind of stuff), lack of motivation and concentration, loss of interest in school and activities I loved, and the incessant crying spells.
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Old 09-21-18, 11:03 AM
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Re: Stims, birth control, and anxiety/depression

Mood stabilizers can really work much better than anti-depressants for depression in some cases. I had clinical depression in my late 20s and it was Tegretol (a mood stabilizer, which I am still on) that finally beat it, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). By the way, CBT could help with that rumination/stuck thinking, as would meditation (which allows you to see thoughts for what they are, just passing thoughts).

SO two recommendations: "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by Dr. David D. Burns, which you don't necessarily need to read cover-to-cover and will get you going on CBT (for depression, anxiety, and lots of other pitfalls), and if you have a smartphone, which I imagine you do, check out the "10% happier" app, which has guided meditations and mindfulness for "skeptics and busy people", and which I absolutely love and has helped me tons. It has lots of free content, although I finally sprung for the additional paid stuff because it helped me so much.

As for the birth control, I'll stay out of that discussion since I'm neither a woman or a doctor; all I would say is just work closely with your doctor to mitigate side effects and interactions until you find a combination that works!

Daniel
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Last edited by DanielGM1970; 09-21-18 at 11:04 AM.. Reason: Typo - grammar
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