I Had To Stop Taking My Birth Control Pills Because They Made Me Crazy

Here’s something your gynecologist probably won’t tell you: your birth control pills can make you a little crazy. By crazy, I mean an over-emotional mess who does and says things she later regrets and never really understands. Seriously. I know, because it happened to me.

Every girl has a moment in her life when she first considers going on birth control pills. At some point in your life, whether you’re 14-years-old or 26, you decide that you want to start having sex, but you don’t want to get pregnant. And what better way to do that than going on the pill?

I had my moment when I was 16-years-old and dating my first boyfriend. I had just had a really embarrassing pregnancy scare, and I knew I needed something more than condoms to feel like I was protecting myself. I was also experiencing terrible PMS: I had cramps that kept me home in bed once a month, really bad hormonal acne, and a very irregular cycle. So, I went to the gynecologist and started using birth control pills.

I was a little nervous about going on the pill, but I ended up getting lucky and picking one that really worked for my body right away. My period became regular, my acne vanished, my cramps lessened considerably, and I had the added bonus of not having to worry about any unwanted babies. I thought my birth control pills were the best things in the world, and I knew I wouldn’t go off of them until I was married and ready to get pregnant.

Everything went this well until college was almost over, when my insurance company stopped covering those pills. My doctor prescribed me the generic brand and said that nothing should change. She was wrong, and for a few years, I went through about four different kinds of pills trying to find one that worked for me. I couldn’t, and so I decided to take a little break from the pill. But when I met my current boyfriend, I got a new prescription and started taking them again.

For the first few months of my new pill, everything was fine. I felt normal, and my PMS was much better. But even though my cramps were gone, I started to notice some changes in my mood. The week before I got my period, I changed from my normal self into an angry, sad, moody girl. I would cry at anything, including when I watched certain commercials and when I saw old people eating alone at restaurants. I wasn’t just sad for no reason – every little thing made me not just angry, but furious. I started picking fights with friends, co-workers, family members and my boyfriend because I had so much unexplained anger inside of me.

The mood swings were the worst. I could be angry one second, laughing in the next minute, and then feeling miserable right after that. I had never experienced anything like it. I felt like I had absolutely no control over my emotions, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. It never crossed my mind that it could be my birth control pills, because no one had ever warned me of that side effect… I just thought that there was something wrong with me. One night, I got in such a bad fight with my mom (for almost no reason) that I slammed my bedroom door so hard I split the wood. I had never been this person before, and I was really freaked out.

My mood swings started affecting my relationship in the worst way. My boyfriend was understanding in the beginning, but after a few months of me coming over and going through five different moods in three minutes, he started to get frustrated. I hadn’t only become an angry, miserable person – I had also become jealous and anxious. Things that had never bothered me before started making me feel so furiously jealous that I didn’t even know how to react.

Sometimes, I would get so angry that I would say mean things that surprised even myself. I would do things, and later, when I wasn’t as angry, I would look back and wonder how I had done that. I felt like an outsider watching myself – it was bizarre. And it wasn’t just the anger. I also started feeling so depressed that I sometimes wondered if life was really even worth it. I spent many nights laying in bed just feeling incredibly sad for no real reason. It was honestly scary.

My low-point came one day when I picked a fight with my boyfriend for no reason that led to him almost breaking up with me. It was not a good day, and I really thought our relationship was over for good. When I left his house, I felt stunned. I couldn’t even justify my actions. Who was I? I didn’t even know anymore. I looked back on the past few months, and knew that all of the sadness and anger wasn’t me at all. Something was very wrong.

I had also finally realized that the drastic change in my mood could have been because of my birth control pills. That day, I researched it, and found that a few other people on the Internet dealt with the same mood swings. Everything suddenly made sense. I made an appointment with my doctor immediately.

I switched to Beyaz, a birth control pill from the Yaz family. My doctor had told me that I was getting way too much estrogen from my other pills, which is why my mood swings were so bad. Beyaz was a dramatic difference for me because there isn’t as much estrogen in them. I loved my Beyaz pills – I started to feel like myself again.

That is, until I started getting pounding headaches every single month. After a year and a half on Beyaz, my doctor told me she was worried that I was going to develop a blood clot. Since the Yaz birth control pills have a bad reputation, and since my doctor was worried about my health, I switched pills yet again. But after only a few months, my mood swings came back.

That was it – I was done. I knew I couldn’t live one more day with my mood swings controlling my life. I felt like my emotions were completely out of my control, and it was terrible. I made the decision to go off the pill about three months ago, and I’m really glad I did. This is the first time in years that I’ve actually felt like myself. I’m not angry all the time, about everything. I’m not so depressed that I think about what the world would be like without me. I don’t pick fights with people for no reason. I don’t go from furious to laughing to miserable to angry in five minutes. It’s great! And I know it’s because of the lack of birth control pills in my body.

I’m not encouraging anyone to not participate in safe sex. But birth control pills aren’t for everyone. My doctor has continued to push me to try new pills, because my doctor wants me on the pill – why wouldn’t she? I was never warned about side effects like these when I started taking birth control pills, and that makes me sad, because maybe I wouldn’t have spent two years feeling like an outsider in my own body. If you’re on the pill, and you feel like you can’t control your emotions, please know that you’re not crazy. You might just need to get off of them, like I did.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Have you ever experienced bad side effects from birth control pills? Do you have bad mood swings? Tell me in the comments.


7 scary negative side effects of the birth control pill

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  • Hd

    I just found this article in a desperate attempt to understand what is happening to me. May of 2013 I started taking Sprintec. In the fall of 2013, I turned into a depressed, angry raving loon. My boyfriend broke up with me because we couldn’t stop fighting and I would say the most vicious things imaginable. We got back together and I switched pills in May of this year to microgestin. Everything was fine, but like clockwork, this fall I’ve become insane again. My boyfriend wants out and I honestly don’t blame him. I scream and cry and am borderline suicidal. He was understanding of last year when I said I thought it was the pills, but now he’s starting to think its a cop out to act like a raging biatch. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s experienced this so I know it’s not me slowly sinking into schizophrenia. I have 0 control over my emotions, the main one being rage. I cannot begin to relieve what comes out of my mouth. Looks like no bc might be the only option.

  • Tonya

    Wow. Just the other day I was telling my best friend I felt like I was going to die soon. Everything was making me feel crazy and sad and anxious. I then said wow, it gotta be these pills. It all makes sense now after hearing from all of you. My concern is if o stop right in the middle of the pack will I then have this long cycle. Regardless of that I have to let them go. I’m just too emotional and it sucks. Thanks to all of your comments I feel so much better! !!!

  • kimie

    literally reading this i felt like i was reading my life story. i could never figure out what was wrong with me and honestly i went through the same exact thing as you, and i mean exact. from fighting with people then apoligizing later because you youreself cant even explain what was wrong. i get it completely and ive switched through so many bc pills its crazy, and i was even considering takng hormone pills to control my mood swings, i wouldve never guessed it was my bc pills. im gonna try to go off of them for two motnhs and see how everything goes. when i read this it helped me so much like someone actually understands what im going through. im so happy i found this post ! :)

  • frustrated

    The story relates to my life a few weeks ago I was a miserable person I honestly thought I was going through a life crisis and I was changing.. I was scared of my new self it made me and my boyfriend argue and I knew it was me but I didnt know why I was so emotional I swear I cried at s tree before. It got so bad that me and my boyfriend split up right when I was starting to quit I just started feeling like my self again but I was to late I’m angry and embarrassed by my actions and I lost my best friend because of it idk what to do I feel like if I tell him he will think it’s just an excuse But I honestly feel amazing I feel myself and I have to express that idk how I should do this but I am never taking birtch control again.

  • Paige

    Thank you, a million times thank you. I thought I was going crazy

  • Cheyenne

    I am so glad that I found this article. Recently, I was put on birth control to help regulate my periods due to an iron deficiency. I first started on a low-dose and then went to another pill that would cause me to have a period once every three months.. After taking that pill, I became so evil and crazy and definitely questioned my purpose in the world and felt that I had none. I would try to hold my emotions in around my friends and would unload everything on my mom when I went home on the weekends. I felt so bad because my mom understood why I was being the way I was and never once got upset or mad at me. After that terrible pill, I switched to one called Lo-Loestrin and at first, it seemed great. After only a week on the pill, I began to experience the same feelings, maybe even worse. After I lashed out at my mom for no reason at all, she just kept telling me over and over how much she loved me. Both her and I realized at that time that the pill just was not for me. I threw them in the trash that day and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  • Jessica

    YES!!! I fell like this now! I am so moody and say hurtful things sometimes and regret it later.

  • Jamie

    Omg! I so glad I found this article!! I have been having a bad couple years – I got switched from ortho tri cyclen to a generic awhile back (tri nessa) and well I didn’t have the mood swings however I had the worst let and knee pain that I could barely walk up stairs. So I got a new generic because my insurance doesn’t axed about my wellbeing- and this one gives me the worst mood swings I go from 0-bitch in .01 seconds and just so angry that I cannot concentrate on anything but my anger . I have noticed these mood swings happen between week 2 and week 3 the rest of the month I am just fine. Why does the FDA allow lack of testing on generics?????

    • Jessica

      I am on tri-nessa now and I am angry so much. It’s horrible!! Are you still on this?

  • Hope

    I can’t believe I spent about 30 years on the pill. I switched brands, tried several different types, let insurance take me off the one that didn’t make me as psycho. I stopped when my husband and I wanted to get pregnant. A couple of times I found out I was already pregnant- not 99% reliable! But my moods were horrible. I’d go from sweet to #itch in 0-60 MPH! I hated the way I felt but I had no idea it was the pills. My dr added anti depressants and anti anxiety meds to the mixture and that took away some of the crazy but over time it got worse. For the last 4 years I didn’t want my husband to even touch me. Everything he did was wrong, he didnt help with the house so anything out of place or dirty dishes made the monster come out. I had rage and anger that I didn’t know how to deal with. Finally I told my MD I was almost 50 and wanted to know where my body’s hormones were at. So I stopped the pill. It was a few weeks later and I became nicer toward my husband (he stayed, although there were a few times he said he really wanted to walk out the door), nicer toward my children (2 were adults by then) and I felt true to myself. I felt more spiritual, I stopped caring about little things like dirty dishes, shoes in the middle of the room, etc. My libido returned! Oh yeah, she returned and what an entrance she has made! My husband can’t believe it, my feelings have done a 180! It’s a miracle! Pills are BAD NEWS! Don’t accept the moods swings! Make all your friends aware of it. I’m convinced that’s why so many women are in prison! It needs to be looked at by the FDA.