Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pre-Day 2: A Bad Start

So, last night, about 12 hours after taking my first BCP (Mircette - desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol) I had a really crappy anxiety/depression episode. I had felt a few pangs in the afternoon, but didn't think it too abnormal. Then, at 10:30PM, I really plunged. Ugh. Felt awful. Loose bowels and all. Even though I consciously KNEW it was the BCPs, it still felt really bad.

Then the bad dip passed and I went to bed. But it was a bad night. Every 15 minutes I would come awake with a wave of depression feeling. At about 4AM it subsided and I was able to sleep - relief! This morning I felt completely steady and normal when I woke up. Needless to day, I did NOT take another pill. Had a few waves of yucky feeling mid-day, but milder and shorter in duration. The afternoon was ok and the evening had a few more mild waves as the hormones left my body.

Last night before I went to bed I searched around the internet trying to find some information. I mean, almost every BCP has "depression" listed as a possible side effect, but I didn't think it could slam down after one pill like that. Then I saw a link on another person's IVF blog that led me to Brown University's Health pages:

Mood changes
Some women may notice changes in their emotional status: depressed mood or emotional instability. If you have a history of depression, it is important to monitor your progress carefully when starting BCPs. If you notice changes in your mood after beginning BCPs, call your provider.

It was the part about starting BCPs that I found interesting here. Do I have a "history of depression"? Well, I wouldn't call it a history, but I did have a 6month "early life crisis" 11 years ago at age 25 - a functional but painful depression. So I do know what it feels like for real. And I had a short "depressed time" when I left a long relationship about 7 years ago. But those were situational, manageable down times, I did not need drugs, just some good behavioral therapy the second time 'round. Other than that, I am a pretty damn stable and happy person. Is this a "history"?

I was on the pill for 10 years (Triphasil) from age 19-29. Aside from what I mentioned above, I don't remember any depression side-effects. I DO remember feeling "better" when I finally went off the pill. Hard to explain what I mean by that but just felt more normal. Never went back on.

Anyway, all I know is I am NOT going back on Mircette and I hope there is another hormonal combo out there that works for me. Because that feeling completely sucks. I would be willing to put up with almost any other (non-dangerous) side-effect. But the plunging depression I cannot do.

I sometimes get nervous about post-partum depression and sure hope I would not have to go through that. I feel so bad for the women who have to deal with it. At least I would be aware and watching for it. Ah well, that's getting a bit ahead of myself, no?

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