Daily Struggle

Where to begin? I guess I want to start off this post by saying I felt the need to write this simply because I know other people are going through the same thing. Ok, maybe not exactly the same thing, but you know what I mean.

As I mentioned before I have been going through some *issues* as of late. Both physical and mental health issues. It all started with my stomach feeling weird about 5-6 weeks ago. I went into the doctor (not my PCP) a few times, was prescribed two antibiotics for a possible infection (was running a low fever) and also an acid reflux pill for a possible ulcer. During all this I developed anxiety and was given an anti-anxiety drug. It worked really well in calming me down, but can be highly addicting so I didn’t take many. Also a side effect is depression. A few days after the anxiety came a crushing depression. A depression the likes of which I have never experienced. I had no motivation. No interest in anything. Completely exhausted all the time. Couldn’t concentrate. Loss of appetite. I just wanted to sit on the couch wrapped in a blanket and cry.

Let me backtrack for a second.

I took the birth control pill for 20+ years and never had any issues with it. Things were glorious. Then January of this year came and for some unknown reason my ob/gyn prescribed me some other pill I hadn’t been on. Two months into taking this pill I started getting what I now know are ocular (or aura) migraines. They don’t actually hurt like a typical migraine for me, but they make me feel dizzy and weird, and blur my vision. I freaked out, thought I was having mini strokes. Went to a neurologist, had MRI’s of my brain and neck and everything was fine. So they are definitely ocular migraines which could have been related to the pill I was on. In May I went off the pill following the advice of my primary doctor and neurologist.

Two months later is when everything else started. So now we are back to a couple weeks ago and I went to see my primary doc about the depression. After talking to my good friend who is an RN and other people (and reading a ton online) I realized it was highly likely that the anxiety and depression could have been at least partly from hormonal issues. My doctor agreed it could be related and so she prescribed me a low dose of an SSRI anti-depressant to hopefully help. The same day I also went back to my ob/gyn and talked to her about it to get her opinion. She agreed with me and my primary doc and thought if the SSRI didn’t help after 6-8 weeks, she could put me on a low dose progesterone pill. And then she tells me one of the side effects could be depression. Sigh.

So I decided to start the SSRI first to see how I did. The first pill was fine. With the second one I started feeling that weird restless mind feeling many people report when they start or stop SSRI’s. By the third one I was getting really sick (I’ll spare you the details). By the fourth I thought I was having a severe allergic reaction to them so I called my doctor on a Saturday. She told me to stop them, so I did. By Monday I was even worse, so I went into see her. She ran some tests and I came up positive for a bacterial infection (called Clostridum Difficile) which is pretty prevalent in hospitals (I was in one in July for a kidney stone shock wave treatment). Oh and also when you take antibiotics, especially two (which I had been put on) AND an acid-reflux medicine (which I had also been on) it makes things worse. So now I am back on antibiotics (which ironically is the course of action) and taking probiotics. During the week I was physically sick, I actually felt ok mentally. No depression. And now physically I am feeling much better.

However.

Yesterday I started feeling that creepy creeper feeling of the depression kicking in again. Slowly but surely. Again I’m having a really hard time concentrating and severe lack of motivation to do anything but sit and stare into space. Then I realized today that my period should be coming soon. This is why I really think in my case this is all hormonally related. I never had any issues with PMS or PMDD up until I went off the pill. Granted there have been many stressful things going on in my life over the last year, but this seemed to sneak up so quickly and seems to be moving in this particular cycle. Or it could be that I have been depressed because I have been sick. It’s really hard to figure out what is causing what at this point.

Next steps? Well I am finished with my antibiotics this weekend, but plan to take probiotics for at least 3-6 more months. I am writing every single thing down in a daily journal to track both the physical and mental things going on. Seeing a therapist. I would really, really like to NOT have to take an anti-depressant if at all possible. I would rather try the birth control pill again to see if that helps. After all this I am extremely weary of taking anything and would rather be as free of meds as possible.

So basically it’s been a daily struggle for me since August and I want to thank you guys for hanging in there with me. Many of you have written me emails and let me know I am not alone and I am very grateful for that. Thank you.

-Kelly

 

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88 comments

  • September 26, 2012

    Oh noes Kelly, that sounds horrible, not knowing what exactly causing is what problem! I hope you’ll be fine soon. Suffering depression is very hard, but I know a lot of people who went ouf of this stuff stronger than they were before and they’re feeling very well know. I’m sure you’ll be able to do everything you like again very soon! :)
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  • September 26, 2012
    ringthing

    Kelly, I am so sorry you have to go through this. I’ve had similar physical and mental experiences and I know how bewildering it is to figure out what causes which symptoms and to find the best treatments. Be patient with yourself and just know that this will pass eventually, but it’s not fun in the moment. Cats help, for comfort and distraction :)

  • September 26, 2012
    Kristin

    I am sorry to hear all of these horrible things that are happening to you and I hope that you get some relief very soon.

    I wanted to share that I was on the pill for about 11 years and decided this March that I was going to stop taking it. I wasn’t having any issues but just thought that maybe my body needed a break. Wow, did my body go haywire! I had been successfully losing weight fot almost a year and have never really suffered from depression and all that went out the window. I began to gain weight uncontrollably. It didn’t matter how much I tracked my food intake and excercised, I would gain. I also started to get very depressed. I didn’t know what was bothering me or how to get out of the funk and it lingered for months.

    I did a lot of research and found that an alarming amount of woman have issues such as mine, or even worse, when stopping the pill. My frustration comes from the fact that doctors do not expalin all the consequences of taking the pill. Every doctor I have ever been to says “The pill is safe, you have nothing to worry about” but the fact that I have watched my body go crazy for months proves to me that it does a lot more to our bodies than we know. I have now taken a stand to be more pro active about my health and arm myself with as much knowledge as possible instead of just believeing everything my doctor tells me. I am learning more and more as I get older that doctors are in a business to make money just like anyone else and they don’t always have your best interest at heart when prescribing meds.

    Needless to say, no matter how long it takes my body to balance itself out, I will NEVER take the pill again.

    • September 26, 2012

      That’s awful, I’m sorry you are going through that. I totally agree about doctors acting as though it’s no biggie to go on of off birth control. It also really irks me that now that I have this depression, they’re like “oh yep, could be related to that”. But they never mentioned it BEFORE. But my RN friend reminded me, they call it “practicing medicine” for a reason. :/

  • September 26, 2012

    That’s some scary stuff. I’ve been on the same pill for at least 10 years now. I can’t imagine what would happen to me if that same continous dosage I’m used to changed. I really hope u start feeling back to your old self or a close to that as possible, soon. :)
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  • September 26, 2012

    So, so sorry you’ve had all this to deal with – it sounds awful. I have also struggled with depression, and it’s just, I don’t have the words. So soul-sucking. I think your openness is fantastic; there’s such a stigma around depression, but it’s really just an illness like any physical illness. It can be caused by hormonal factors or other things.

    Sending best wishes.
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  • September 26, 2012
    beth

    Hi Kelly – thanks for sharing! I actually went through a similar deep depressed in Jan-Mar of this year. I was crying in the shower, taking everything very seriously, and overall just not able to handle any stressful situations. I FINALLY linked it back to a switch in pill after talking to a friend that went through something similar. The Pharmacy had actually switched me to a generic without me realizing it was an issue, and that alone changed my entire demeanor. And it was supposedly the same hormone levels – but clearly not!!! My OBGYN wrote a note to the pharmacy to put me back on my original pill, and I did go back to normal. I’m still on that pill, and perfectly fine. Maybe you could go back to your original pill and give that a try? Not sure if you did that, I couldn’t tell from this… Good luck – many of us have been there!!!!

    • September 26, 2012

      Glad that switch back worked out for you! I don’t think I can go back to my original pill because they don’t really want women who get ocular migraines on “normal” pills. It can up your chances of a stroke. But the progesterone one *may* work.

      • September 26, 2012
        Michelle

        This is why I can’t be on any bc with estrogen, too. Stupid migraines with aura. I’ve been on the depo shot and it has been great, but I know a lot of girls have trouble with it, too.

        Good luck with everything :)

      • September 28, 2012
        Janice

        Don’t take the progesterone pill! I was put on it for a year and it didn’t help at all. I gained 25 lbs instantly b/c of it. My problem was solved with surgery. Aren’t you 40? You’re not supposed to take any BC pill after 35.

  • September 26, 2012

    Hi Kelly!

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I always hate when my best friend says this to me but “this too shall pass”. Not sure if you’d at all consider alternative therapies….but a few years ago I was going through some very dark times with my child and was severely depressed and anxious. Doctors precribed antidepressants but I’m one of those minority people that if there is a “bad” side effect…I’m going to have it. So after trying a few things and all of them have aweful side effects my therapist actually suggested I try accupuncture. And boy am I glad I took her advice!! Not only did it work for my depression/anxiety issues but there were a lot of different things it helped me with. It helped with backpain issues I’ve had all my life, digestion issues, migraines, low energy, concentration even helped shorten the occasional seasonal cold. And the only side effect was the occasional tiny bruise. To this day…I swear by it and will even go to my accupunturist for a treatment when I feel a little under the weather. If it’s something you’re interested in there is a plethora of information on the internet. It’s not an instantaneous relief but it did work for me.

    I wish you the absolute best.

    • September 26, 2012

      I actually tried acupuncture when I was having a tailbone pain issue about 5 years ago. It didn’t help me with that, but I am definitely open to more natural or holistic options now rather than medicinal.

      • September 26, 2012

        I did a lot of research before I tried accupuncture. The place I went to was a clinic that specialized in accupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. I think it worked for me because I did both accupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. I also very quickly learned that it depends on who you go to and what their experience/expertise is. Accupuncture not for everyone and it’s not a cure-all, but what I liked about it is that I was not on any medications. Being on medications and having those side effects really scared me.

  • September 26, 2012
    Icequeen81

    We are here for you some of us have been there or are in there hanging. keep a journal say what u feel. and keep yourself busy with things that can make u happy

  • September 26, 2012
    Beth

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s incredibly courageous of you to let us know what you’ve been going through.

    Do you think it might be early Menopause that’s causing the hormonal issues? It might be worth seeing your OB/GYN or an endocrinologist to rule it out.

    Being a woman sucks sometimes. I hope you get through it soon!

    • September 26, 2012

      I have thought of that, but just turned 40. Seems so early but you never know… An endocrinologist might be in order at some point though!

      • September 26, 2012
        Teiva Campbell

        I am 37 and have had a huge increase in my anxiety that is hormone related. I was told that perimenopause can start up to 10 years before actual menopause and can really throw you out of whack.

      • September 28, 2012
        Janice

        Oh and being over 40 isn’t bad you just have to change your eating habits. I gave up sugary treats, soda, caffeine, etc. I feel so much better just doing that.

  • September 26, 2012
    Elizabeth

    I started Nuva Ring and within two weeks became severely suicidal. My primary care was so concerned he forced a psychiatrist friend of his to open an appointment for me. The psychiatrist would have hospitalized me had I not been living with my parents with my mother a housewife and my dad working from home. I stopped Nuva Ring and the most serious symptoms abated quickly, but I was left with crippling anxiety and lingering depression for a year.

    Messing with hormones terrifies me because of that experience. Oh, and did I mention that because of the anxiety, my throat would close up when I tried to swallow a pill, so half the time my SSRI wound up partially disintegrating on my tongue and causing me to vomit. So I really feel like I know what you’re going through.

    Hang in there. It takes a while, but you CAN get back to normal. A supportive partner/family can make all the difference and it seems like you have that, luckily.

    Good luck. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • October 1, 2012
      Caterina

      Oh no, I can completely understand you, Nuva Ring did more or less the same to me, it was such a shit period, I was crying all the time, sayng that my life was shit, when obviously it was not true, I have a fantastic family, I fantastic boyfriend and a fantastic work… But I was not seing all this, I was just seing all that is bad in life, probably making it up also…
      I just felt so depressed, it was like I had no reasons to live, I spent entire evenings just sit on the bed looking at the ceilig…
      Moreover I was gaining and loosing more or less 5/6 kilos weight every month, I felt awful…
      I did not realize that it was Nuva Ring doing this, I went on like this for 3 months!!!! when I realized and stopped it luckyly everything went more or less back to normal, still I have some lingering issues (this all happened last march-april) but I am definetly doing so much better now… Thank you for sharing your experience, it makes me feel less alone…

  • September 26, 2012

    Thank you for sharing. I have suffered from depression/anxiety off and on for years. Please know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sending positive thoughts and energy your way!
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  • September 26, 2012

    i completely get the hormonal roller coaster. i had severe pmdd in high school combined with hormone related migraines. as i grew up & out of the puberty phase, everything sort of self regulated, until i had my daughter & got put on birth control. because of the migraines, i had to take a low estrogen dose pill, but it wrecked me, moody, no sex drive, depression. i decided to go off the pill & once again, everything self regulated. about 3 1/2 months ago, i had a miscarriage & am once again in the throws of hormonal irregularity. i am starting to see a tiny little light at the end of a long dark tunnel & hope to gain some semblance of normalcy.

    hang in there girl, it gets better! hugs!
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    • September 26, 2012

      So sorry, I hope you get through everything. Sometimes being female SUCKS.

  • September 26, 2012

    I am so sorry. All of this must have made you depressed. If Im not being too nosy, why did your Dr. take you off of birth control? Is 20 years too long to be on it? Also someone in my family has depression and has taken meds for about 10 yrs but he always had depression his whole life and in his family, can anyone get depression without a history of it? I know alot of people get depression from illness and take meds and then go off of them. Sorry if Im not being clear in my questions or if I am prying. I just want to be informed. I know you will get better soon!
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    • September 26, 2012

      They took me off birth control because there is a higher risk of stroke for women on it who also have ocular migraines. And yes, anyone can get depression, it doesn’t necessarily have much to do with family history.

      • September 26, 2012

        Thanks for the info! The person in my family wth depression is not blood and I dont know much about it. The pill was good for me until I went off of it then everything went haywire. It really messed up my skin the most. I know you wll get well soon : )
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  • September 26, 2012
    Jenn

    Even taking some major allergy pills sometimes puts my moods all out of whack – and I am on an SSRI to help with my daily migraine meds. I can’t imagine if I wasn’t on the SSRI what I would be like :( I have refused to be on the pill my whole adult life, but have my own special drawer of meds for crap, so I feel for ya. Getting it all sorted out feels like forever. And people just do not get it. Hug the furries.

  • September 26, 2012
    Heather

    Wow Kelly! You have had one heck of a crappy year! I switched from the birth control pill I’d been on for a decade to an IUD in January this year, and I felt sick and awful through March, when I demanded that my doc remove that awful thing. The hospital did all these blood tests on me and everything, and the whole time, I kept saying it must be the IUD – there was no other changes in my life, and the blood tests showed that there was no other problem. Anyhoo, I’ve used the Nuva Ring since then, which actually worked out great for me. Easier than the pill cause you only deal with it twice a month, and no side effects. But this whole experience really made me appreciate what a huge role hormones play in our bodies. I really hope everything starts getting back to healthy and normal for you soon!

  • September 26, 2012
    Jennifer

    I hope everything works out for you. I feel like I’ve had migraines for many years and just recently switched to a different birth control with less estrogen. My GYN thought it could be related to that. However I still get migraines. Maybe a little less? But I’d love for them to be gone for good. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced ocular migraines though. Who knows.

  • September 26, 2012
    Denise Roman

    Sounds like the root of the problem lies somewhere else… I would humbly suggest you read about Candida systemic infections since it sounds like all your symptoms are related. Hope you feel better :)

    • September 26, 2012

      Just did, definitely not that. I do have C. diff though.

  • September 26, 2012

    Long time reader, infrequent commenter. I just wanted to add another voice of empathy. Resolving these types of health issues is just so difficult! It seems like such an ongoing battle. I was having great success with my anti-anxiety medication until I began having a series of miscarriages this summer. I don’t know what happened, but I feel like I’m just barely keeping afloat.

    Anyway, I don’t mean to hijack this; I just wanted to say that, although I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, I can certainly understand that feeling. My thoughts are with you!
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  • September 26, 2012

    Aww Kelly, it’s heartbreaking to read everything you’ve had to go through. I don’t think I understand everything because I have never been there, but I can see you’ve been having a really rough time.

    Take good care of yourself and I hope everything will slowly go back on track xx
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  • September 26, 2012
    jennifer

    C Diff is the worst. It (literally) nearly killed me last summer, because the first antibiotic they put me on (flagyl) only made me much, much sicker – to the point i could barely lift my head. I had to spend three weeks in the hospital recovering. I am so glad you are doing probiotics as well as the antibiotics. My doctors were so resistant to my doing so. I have actually relied far more on natural medicine since that hospitalization and feel 100% better than I did last summer. I would really encourage you to find an integrated or holistic doctor – one that realizes the value of both modern and traditional medicine.

  • September 26, 2012

    It’s really unfair what our bodies can do to us! That said, you’re being really smart and strong about all of this, and we’re here for the long haul with you.
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  • September 26, 2012
    Mia

    I had the same problems. I have anxiety attacks, migraines and experienced the same issues with changing BC. I got off of BC completely and went with a copper IUD.
    It’s hard to explain medication for anxiety attacks. From what my doctor says, it’s not really effective for treating the attacks unless you take it before you are going to have one and it is highly addictive. Migrane medication can be addictive also.
    Once I got off of all of the birth control I replaced it with vitamins and exercise, as basic as it sounds. That seems to work and I ended up losing 50 lbs. The only reason I was able to know what to do is because I’ve always gone to a holistic doctor.
    Vitamins and exercise work wonders. It isn’t a quick fix though. It takes a while for it to actually begin to work because you body is going to constantly change until it gets into a rhythm. But now I feel normal again.

  • September 26, 2012
    Liz

    Oh goodness Kelly, what a time you have had. I’m so sorry. I’m having a similarly crappy experience at the moment – I have had back to back upper respiratory infections since May and everyone is scratching their heads & saying it must be allergies. Ridiculous. And I went back on the pill a few months ago after a 5 year hiatus and my moods immediately went haywire. I just want to be healthy again! I’m sure you feel the same way at this point.

    I sincerely hope everything goes back to normal for you soon so you can enjoy your life again without having to worry about your health.

  • September 26, 2012
    Emily

    I have the same migraines and they are awful….I can’t imagine having to deal with those on top of everything else you’re going through. Take your time and I hope you get better and feel back to normal very soon.

  • September 26, 2012
    mellinail

    Hugs! Many of us have been through similar things, so know you are not alone. The pressures of daily life, hormones, illness, family issues, take a toll on us. I hope that everything returns to a level of normal again for you. Take care of yourself!

  • September 26, 2012
    Vanessa

    Kelly, (((hugs)))

    It’s been an on and off struggle for me for almost two years. I have very high anxiety and panic disorder, which gives me depression sometimes because I get so tired of dealing with it all. I’ve tried a lot of things and stopped taking SSRIs because I wanted to try to get better with therapy and no meds.

    Well, a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t do it anymore – I was freaking out about every little thing – every noise, every twinge or pain or twitch in body was scaring/startling me insanely. I couldn’t even leave the house for a few days and driving was out of the question. My therapist and I decided that I should get back on anti-depressants, so I’ve been taking them (again) for about a week. I don’t usually get side effects, which is I guess something positive to focus on, but now I feel completely incompetent and defeated because I couldn’t do it without medication.

    I’ve been having an extremely hard time adjusting to this situation. My therapist and my gynecologist both think that this (the anxiety, depression, etc) is hormonal, so that’s a bit similar to your situation. I agree with them – birth control or no birth control, I get very bad PMS and my anxiety heightens around that time. I hear that it gets better, so hang in there! I thought I would share some of my story with you because it’s always so much better when you know you’re not alone.

  • September 26, 2012

    Man, you really are getting hit hard this year. The previous antibiotics you were on killed your gut flora and allowed c-diff to take over. C-diff is difficult to kill because of antibiotic resistance. That sucks.

    Diet and exercise will get you through just about anything by strengthening your immune system. And taking probiotics will get the good bacteria back into your intestines. I’m so glad that you are journaling through this.

    You really are going through a lot and it doesn’t help with the hormone issue either. Try Yoga, exercise, diet , Bach rescue remedy and see an acupuncturist before taking any more meds though. Stay as positive as you can.

    This is just a temporary bump in the road. You CAN get through this.
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  • September 26, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this, Kelly and I hope you feel better soon. I feel so bad that you are going through this, but sharing this information is definitely helping me make a choice on whether or not I should go on the pill. Also, reading a lot of these comments are helping as well. I appreciate how you are able to open up about your life for people to read because it helps with people who relate to it and people who are thinking about doing something that you have gone through w/ personal experience. Seeing that many people have experienced the same thing, I am definitely thinking twice about it now. Feel better soon! *hug
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  • September 26, 2012

    I’m really glad ur getting this figured out. Hope u feel better. Much luv to ya!
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  • September 26, 2012
    peachgirl

    I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I know first hand what it’s like battling mental health problems as well as chronic pain. You are brave to post this and talk openly; there should not be any shame in this even though I’m sure many of us have encountered our fair share (and then some).
    If you do find yourself in need of something to ease the depression/anxiety do not hesitate to try. Yes, certain drugs have the potential to cause addiction but for this to occur you need to use them regularly and for a good amount of time. I’m sure a doctor can help guide you to one that won’t add to the current problem.

    I know this is cliché but give yourself time, and don’t be hard on yourself; you have gone through a lot and the body needs to heal, as does the mind. I hope you feel better soon and don’t forget you are not alone
    *hugs*

  • September 26, 2012
    AndreaC

    Hi Kelly! I’m so sorry to hear that you haven’t been well. Like so many women I also have had issues with BC pills and I do have migraines as well. I’ve been off and on BC for over 20 years. But I did notice things got worse after I turned 40. (I’m 41). I would think your doctors have asked for blood tests, right? In any case I was wondering if you have checked your hormonal levels and also your thyroid function. Please keep us posted. Feel better soon! Xoxo

  • September 26, 2012
    Melody

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been depressed. I’ve been struggling with depression for about ten years now and it is one of the most horrible feelings. Or even a total lack of feelings. It just steals all of your energy and lies to you about who you really are and how the world is. I hope you can find an effective treatment. Take care of yourself!

  • September 26, 2012
    Mary

    Thank you for being so honest-I am so sorry you’re going through these struggles. You’re a very talented blogger, and I hope you see some resolution to this soon! :)

  • September 26, 2012
    Teiva Campbell

    I can totally relate to what you are going through as I am going though something similiar and have been for about a year now. Have you considered that perhaps you are going through perimenopause? I am 37 but all of the Women in my family have VERY early menopauses. My Mom’s was when she was 42. I just wanted to throw that idea out there for you…because I am pretty certain that this is also the reason that my anxiety got really bad. Anyway..I think that it is awesome that you are sharing your struggle on your blog as a lot of Women read it and can really be helped by your experience. Even if it’s just reassurance that they are not alone in their struggles. I hope that you start to feel better soon. Anxiety and depression are horrible to have to deal with.

  • September 26, 2012
    EmtDmt

    What a mess of a situation! I feel for you! You are doing the right thing by staying on top of it and documenting everything, in the end it will give you more control and keep you aware of your body and symptoms! I struggled when I discontinued “the pill”; after taking it for so long my body just didn’t know how to behave…and neither did I! I had to readjust my thinking and how I was taking care of my body. That endocrine system is way more sensitive than we think, and when one small thing changes, everything changes! I recommend reading “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Christine Northrup. There are some “out-there” parts, but she is right on with her perspective!
    Sending you my positive thoughts/prayers!

  • September 26, 2012

    I had never had migraines until I had been on Yasmin for about two or three months. I had an ocular migraine and it scared me. I was afraid of either a stroke or diabetes, but my doctor reassured me that it was, indeed, an ocular migraine. I got little sparkles in the center of my vision and after a while I couldn’t really see anything past the sparkles. I never really had any pain associated with the migraine. The worst part was I continued to have the migraines for several months after I stopped taking Yasmin. :(

  • September 26, 2012
    Michele

    I am SO sorry to hear you are going thru this. Occular migraines are horrifying. I got them during my first pregnancy (weirdly enough, did not have them at all with my second) and had no idea what they were at first. I thought I was having seizures! Turns out it was a hormonal issue and it went away in my third trimester.
    I also suffer from regular hormonal migraines every month as well as depression & anxiety so I know how you feel all-around. I’ve read some studies that show people who get migraines are much more likely to suffer from depression so it seems they may be linked.
    Best of luck to you–I truly hope you get better soon and find a med that works. My doctor recently put me on Wellbutrin and I have to say, as far as depression goes, I feel better than I have in years. But YMMV. If you don’t feel better soon, be sure to consult with a psychiatrist and not just a therapist. In my experience, they know alot more about prescribing meds than general practitioners do.

  • September 26, 2012
    Marie

    We love you for being so willing to speak about your health. It might also help somone else. All our support and know that we will always be here waiting for you.

  • September 26, 2012
    Carol

    Oh, Kelly, as I read this post the hair on my arms stood up. Chills went down my spine. It was like *I* was the one writing your post. We are sisters in our daily struggles and I am with you all the way. Keep hanging in there, get off any meds as fast as docs say you can, and feel me in your heart. Carol

  • September 26, 2012
    Gina

    So, so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through! I have been through many (but not all) of those things myself – and thought I was alone with my experience, till I just read your post and what your other readers have been through. For my own hormonal imbalance, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy was a lifesaver. Then my insurance stopped covering the majority of the cost, and I could no longer afford it. I’m now using the CombiPatch, which is a little helpful but not much. Thank you so much for sharing, I truly hope your health issues get resolved as soon as possible. :)

  • September 26, 2012
    amanda

    Kelly, I just wanted to say you are in my thoughts and prayers! Reading your blog post, I thought to myself, “Wow, what an amazing woman.” Keep up the fight and your strength and perseverance is such a BEAUTIFUL thing to witness. Thanks for opening up to your readers :]

  • September 26, 2012
    Melissa

    Kelly – I wish you all the best. I was on the pill for many years and then decided to try Nuvaring when it first came on the market. I’ve had migraines since I was 10 so I know the symptoms. But, while using Nuvaring, I developed migraines that caused complete blindness in my right eye. I was terrified and stopped using it immediately. The neurologist that I see for my migraines is very happy that I’m using no hormones because it’s not worth the risk (I’m 39 and a non-smoker but, the migraines are non-stop).

    I can’t believe you got C-Diff. My GP warns me about it each time I need an antibiotic. Because I have Fibromyalgia and just a bit of IBS (why not?), I take 1 pill, 2x per day of Natures Bounty Probiotic Gold with meals. I decided to use that brand and that formulation after researching a lot of probiotics. We give it to my Labrador 2x per day too (he lives in the right house, what with his stomach issues) and it has helped him a lot.

    I know how feeling intense anxiety and depression can be overwhelming and isolating. You’re doing the right thing by seeing doctors and staying on top of the emotions. I hope that the continuing support of your readers helps you feel understood.

    I hope you feel SO much better very soon and that this craptacular episode becomes a part of the distant past.

  • September 26, 2012

    Hi Kelly, I really hope you start feeling better with the right treatment… And time.
    I think that doctors underestimate the power of hormones and the delicate balance we have in our body. I have ocular migraines and depression when I’m gong to have my period, it’s awful and even if I know that the cause, I still feel bad.
    If you need an extra help with medication, don’t be afraid, sometimes it takes a little time to find the roght one for you. And if you feel that all you can do is curl in a couch and cry, don’t be to hard with yourself, just do what you can, one day at a time, enjoy the better days… And with therapy, your strenght and the help of the doctors, you are going to have your life “back” *hugs*
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  • September 26, 2012
    Kristen

    Hi Kelly. I’m sooo sorry you’re feeling this way. I suffer from anxiety and depression too, and I sympathize completely with what you’re going through right now. It wasn’t very long ago that I went through a bad spell, and I knew exactly how I was acting and affecting my family and that I was thinking irrationally, but I literally had no control over anything that came out of my mouth or went through my head. I, like you did not want to take meds under any circumstances because that was admitting that I was sick and needed help, but my husband finally convinced me to ask for medication. I am now on Prozac. While the birth control pill helps (especially with migraines), and part of what was happening depended on my mental and emotional outlook, the meds allow me to be myself. They allow me to think clearly and control my mind. My husband helped me realize that the meds are not controlling me. They are allowing me to control myself. I am not sick, and neither are you. But I needed help. Please please PLEASE consider medication. I promise that, with help, the clouds will lift and you will see clearly. I’m wishing you the very very best!!! xoxoxoxo

  • September 27, 2012

    A few months ago I was given another birth control pil because they are switching on no brand medication (which is insured altough birth control always has to be paid in full…weird system :S) The no brand pil had thesame amounts of hormones and thesame ingredients but after 2 weeks I was becoming agitated, agressive and more nervous than never before. I went straight back to the pharmacy and demanded my microgynon. The lady told me that my complaints were impossible. Just one filthy look and she backed down and gave my my regular recipe. Seriously, medication a serious matter.

    Hope the depression will move away soon, but keep in mind that fall does tricky things to the mind. I keep myself on track with magnesium (eases not only muscles but also the mind) and back rescue remedy.

    Big hug sweetie. You are not alone. xo
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  • September 27, 2012
    Fiona

    I think it’s amazing how many ladies have shared their stories and their love here. Hormones are responsible for soooo much and it’s a battle to control them. I know we take the pill for various reasons as women but I truly believe its the enemy as much as it can be our friend. I stopped taking it after 15+ yrs of using and it took a year for my system to find its own rhythm. I was up and down like a yoyo! I’ll never take it again. Kelly.. I love your informative posts, ur amazing. Get better soon. X

  • September 27, 2012

    I applaud you for this post.

    Mental health issues are one of the last big taboos we need to break down. I myself have suffered with anxiety issues and I find it really hard to talk about.

    I hope your depression will pass soon, and I’ve heard so many horror stories with changing the pill or other forms of contraception (and had a horror story of my own). I’m dreading ever stopping it.

    I wish you the very best,

    Laura xoxoxoxxox
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  • September 27, 2012

    Keep your chin up, Kelly. Depression is always hard to deal with. I really hope that things are looking up from here on in :)
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  • September 27, 2012
    Di

    Best of luck Kelly. I hope you feel well soon. My fingers are crossed that the C. diff goes away fast – I hope everything goes back to baseline soon! Good to hear you have great care!

  • September 27, 2012
    Dootsie

    If I were in this situation, I would get back on the original birth control, if it’s still available. I really do believe this is hormone-related, especially with the new migraines. I think your body has become used to the same, even dosage of hormones. Obviously, I’m not an expert and I only have my own experience to go on here, but stomach issues and migraines have always come with hormonal changes for ME.
    Whatever happens, I have some really unfortunate advice: it’s going to take some time. I know it’s agonizing right now, but it will take time for your body to even things out. But believe me, you will find a solution! Things will get better!

  • September 27, 2012
    Kelly

    Thank you for sharing what’s going on with us. It’s amazing that just one change that most people wouldn’t think too much about could make such a difference. I really hope that you are able to figure out a good balance soon that will make you healthy and happy.

    It’s going to make me think twice about any changes I make in the future about the pill. I would suggest asking your doctor about the progesterone pill. It should hopefully help with the migraines with aura. Ever since I’ve started it, I get fewer migraines. It’s been at least a few months since my last one. Plus, I don’t get the crazy mood swings.

    Thank you again for sharing and all the best.

  • September 27, 2012

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope you find some relief and get back to good health.
    I feel you on the depression/anxiety front. This summer I finally had to seek help for my depression and anxiety. It had spiraled out of control and was putting me in danger. It’s not easy to admit that you are unwell and need help. Gratefully, I have a lot of support.

    I know your husband is there for you and that will help a lot.
    Wishing you the best.
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  • September 27, 2012

    Gosh Kelly, I feel for you. My fiance has a crippling depression right now and I feel totally helpless as I know he does and I sympathize with you and your husband. It is rough. I am glad that you’re getting help and I hope that you can continue to improve. Keeping a journal of how you feel and what you eat is a good idea. Also, you said you’re going to continue the probiotics for 3 to 6 more months. I started taking them about 2 years ago regularly and I have to admit that I have never felt better, I used to have a lot of GI issues and now I simply do not have them because of probiotics.
    Hang in there! :)

  • September 27, 2012

    Hugs! I’m glad that you are hanging in there.
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  • September 27, 2012

    I know it’s frustrating, but it does sound like you are drilling down to the root of the problem. I think the idea of finding a good holistic doctor is worthwhile. My gynecologist is an osteopath, and she seems to have more of a holistic orientation. I appreciate that she has given me more natural treatment options as opposed to drugs when appropriate.
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  • September 27, 2012
    Ninna

    Stay strong!!

  • September 27, 2012

    It sounds like it could have been hormonal! That sounds eerily just like what happened to me a month ago. I was actually on the pill for 7 years and decided to stop taking them, because I had (perhaps TMI, sorry!) zero sex drive and it was becoming very frustrating. I talked to my PCP and she said to go off the pill & see if that helped. It did!

    I read a lot of things online on what to expect after getting off the pill, and thought I was prepared, but the first three months after being off the pill were fine. The only thing I noticed was that I seemed to have less anxiety! A good thing!

    Then last month a couple of weeks before my period, I noticed that I felt sort of sad, moody and somewhat depressed. I’ve been on anti-depressants in the past and recognized the symptoms, so I tried to force myself to stay positive, exercise and just let myself take a break when I needed it. Then I was an emotional wreck for two days straight. I was a crying, hysterical mess that could not be calmed no matter what! It was very scary! I hadn’t felt that way in a long, long time and then the symptoms seemed to float away and I felt perfectly normal and a couple days later, I got my period. I definitely think it was hormone related, which is super scary! It was like a blip in the system or something, because I felt totally fine and not depressed AT ALL afterwards.

    I know how scary it is to deal with depression and the anxiety that comes with physical/mental illness! I really hope that everything gets sorted quickly, and you start to feel like yourself again! I’m with you, I like to be as med-free as possible! Feel better!

  • September 28, 2012
    Aly

    Man, you are so brave. I find it really hard to talk about my problems. I hope it all works out for you hen you finish your medication. Stay strong :)

  • September 28, 2012
    Lesley

    Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry to hear about the multiple issues you are experiencing! I just hope you don’t get too frustrated and can stay strong until things start resolving. I’m sure there will be tough times, but keep telling yourself that things will get better!
    I was on birth control as a teen to regulate my period (not even full-strength birth control, not enough to prevent pregnancy) and it ended up making me kind of bananas mentally (I remember running away one morning and hiding at the school behind our house). Then one day I remember going home with severe back pain and just went off of it. I gained a ton of weight afterward because it was supressing my hormones. I haven’t been on it since. My periods are mostly on-track, so I’m too scared of the side-effects. I think it is a little weird that every time I have an OBGYN visit, they always try to push it on me.
    Regarding anxiety, I started having symptoms a few years ago when my mom got ill. I thought I was having heart attacks. I ended up going on an anti-depressant. While it helped with the symptoms, it came with a battery of side-effects: I slept ALL THE TIME, was generally apathetic, had no sex drive, and gained like 50 lbs. I also always had to take an antacid because they hurt my stomach. Eventually I started having chronic stomach issues, so I got off of it, suspecting that it was the culprit. I was on the lowest dose available, so I didn’t expect it, but I had HORRIBLE withdrawl symptoms…vomiting, constant extreme nausea. I had a hard time going to work and basically just cried all the time I felt so bad. I went to the dr. 5 days after I stopped taking it to ask for anti-nausea medication, and I was crying because I felt so sick, and he said I must be crying because of anxiety and I should get back on it. I was like eff you, dude, and toughed it out myself. It took almost six weeks, but I am so glad I did it. I feel much better now, am motivated to exercise again, and only have passing issues with anxiety. I also started probiotics around the time I quit the meds and they have solved all of my stomach issues.
    So, no meds is currently the best option for me. I just wanted to share my experiences. Obviously you are not alone in your struggle…we all care for you, are here to support you, and can’t wait to see you well again!

  • September 28, 2012
    Cerise

    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. That’s a lot of @#$*%!!!
    Let me share something about the birth control angle, if I may. I few years back, I started taking the pill. Over the course of year one, I started to feel awful: crabby all the time…I felt hopeless and lost my sex drive. Another brand was recommended by the doc and I started that. The diff brand didn’t seem to help. I decided to stop the pill and completely stop ALL hormonal BC. I think the Paraguard copper IUD is the way to go. NO HORMONES.

  • September 28, 2012
    KD

    SO glad to hear you are getting things figured out! I hope you get feeling even better, being depressed after being physically sick is awful in so many ways.

    I completely understand the pill thing. I tried taking BC in my early 20s, and it made me batsh*t crazy. Massive mood swings, severe depression, etc. (I already had had depression issues since puberty, but nothing like that!) I quit taking it, and started seeing a therapist. She was very receptive to me not taking any kind of medication, she found all sorts of breathing techniques, meditations, so staying off of anti-depressants is quite possible. :)

    It really lights me up when physicians treat emotional symptoms as normal because you’re a woman! If a man walked in there with those kinds of symptoms, they’d be majorly worried!

    You know, a vasectomy is an hour outpatient procedure, heals up in about a week, ;) DH had it done since we don’t want any more (I have 1, he has 2) and it’s a HUGE relief to not have to worry about contraceptives of any kind.

    Anyway, we’re all cheering for you out in internet land!

  • September 28, 2012
    Kristin T

    Hello!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are a very strong and amazing person! I hope that you begin to feel better soon. Best wishes all going your way.

  • September 29, 2012
    Diana

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m so sorry you are going through such a rough patch in your life. We all miss you and your blogging, but first and foremost we are here for you. please keep us updated.

  • September 29, 2012

    So sorry to hear about all your struggles, Kelly! I sincerely hope you are able to figure things out and get back to feeling like yourself. I can only imagine how frustrating and exhausting it must be to try and make things better– only to have some other complication crop up! I hope your struggles get easier and will definitely be keeping you in my thoughts!
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  • September 29, 2012

    I think it is wonderful that you are sharing this. As many have said, we all go through a lot but tend to mask it and inadvertently making us all feel alone in going through these things. A couple of questions for you though. Is there some reason you were taken off the original pill? Has your doc checked to see if you are perimenopausal?

    No matter what, know that lots of us are sending healing thoughts and prayers up for you.
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  • September 29, 2012

    Kelly, I am so sorry that you’ve going through all this. It’s just terrible and crippling. I hope that things look up for you. You’re such a hard worker, dedicated blogger, and an amazing person all around.

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot these days. Hope that life cuts you a break so that each day doesn’t feel like a major struggle. *Hug*
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  • September 29, 2012

    I sincerely hope you start to feel better. I deal with migraines myself and they’re so debilitating I just want to lay in bed. Although there’s different kinds of migraines, they all suck bottom line. I hope everything else that you’re going through starts to get better as well. Thanks for being open & brave enough to share what you’re going through with your readers!! We wish you the best.
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  • September 29, 2012
    Lily

    OMG!!! (((hugs))) I just read this today because I am catching up on blogs and I am so sorry that you have been going through all this. (((more hugs))) I will be thinking of you and hoping that you improve with each day! <3

    I also wanted to leave a comment because I suffer from Hashimoto's Disease (where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland like it's a tumor) which led to hypothyroidism. It went undiagnosed for two years so by the time I asked a doctor to write for thyroid blood work my body had trashed my thyroid and wreaked all kinds of havoc. After 15 years of dealing with this disease I have found that so many things, things I could never even imagine, are linked to the thyroid gland. Especially for us ladies!

    If you happen to get blood work done any time soon you should ask that thyroid blood work be included: T3, T4, TSH, and thyroid antibodies (99% of doctors don't write for a thyroid antibody count and it's important!). Hope this information is a helpful in some way! :)

    So many of your symptoms sound like ones I've experienced and found out (after months and sometimes years of suffering) that they were directly related to my thyroid disease/condition. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, unexplained pain, extreme sensitivity to temperature, intense exhaustion (for no reason), migraines, inability to focus or make decisions, lack of appetite, lack of everything really…

    I am doing much better now though as I finally feel like I am on the right combination of medications. I hope that it keeps working for me!

    Hoping that you feel better and better every day! <3

  • September 30, 2012

    I am so sorry, Kelly. :(
    Take your time to find a good pace to do things. I have had depression in the past (broke down into a crying pile at work) and rest rest rest helped me. Doing little things that made me happy. Take care!
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  • October 1, 2012

    You’re so brave for posting about your struggle, it was such an interesting read. I hope you sort it all out soon.
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  • October 5, 2012
    Ruthless

    Hope you feel better, and soon. The thing with SSRI’s is that once you start them, to stop them most experience NASTY discontinuation syndrome effects. So unless you plan to stay on them for an indefinite amount of time you might want to try other options. Ativan is a relatively mild way to treat panic attacks, and isn’t really addictive. I’d stay away from anything stronger than valium, personally.

  • October 9, 2012

    Thanks you for feeling so up to sharing this with us…..We all are pulling for you.

    Love Ya,

    Kase
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  • October 19, 2012

    My dad deals with depression. I hate that he has to take meds for it because I heard they completely change your body chemistry not to mention suddenly stopping them can be extremely harmful. I hope this passes for you soon! Good luck!
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