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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  • Joylynn Kerr

    I am so happy I came across this! I have been on the pill for almost four years now. Since I started I’ve gained almost 30 pounds, and my moods have been AWFUL! I have always been a happy glowing easy going type of girl, and i haven’t felt happiness in so long. My boyfriend is growing tired of dealing with my constant mood swings and acting anxious 24/7. I havent been able to make him understtand that i believe it is hormonal. He doesn’t believe that is what it is, however I know i was never like this before the pill. I have been debating on not taking, but I am concerned about pregnancy. I really appreciate reading this and I am so thankful that I am not alone in this!

  • Silvia Chacon

    I know this is an old post but I wanted to share my story. I was on Birth Control for about 8 months and didn’t realize that it was making me crazy. I went to see my doctor and she tried to get me on antidepressants. I have always been an extremely happy, funny goofy person and I feel the BC took that away from me. made me into an insecure psycho bitch. about the 6 month of taking the BC I thought I had lost my mind. I was having anxiety every single day. going to work was almost imposible. I was so depressed I wanted to quit my job and break up with my boyfriend. I was also having other side effects. my arms and legs felt numb all the time, i was having headaches, blurry vision, i have no sex drive. i stopped the birth control about a month ago and I’m starting to feel like myself. i still feel kinda meh,.. but i know it takes time for hormones to regulate. hang in there girls. now my problem is trying to figure out what birth control to use. i don’t want to do hormonal but i also don’t want to do the copper iud. why cant men take the birth control? lol.

  • laura

    I have been on the pill for about 7+ years(I am 27 now). I ended up switching to Aubra a few years ago(recommended by doctor) because of my gross mood swings. Unfortunately nothing has really changed. If anything its just gotten worse which to me is weird because at first I thought it was just my body getting used to it. I literally am mad a lot of the time, very short tempered and incredibly rude to my husband. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been thinking about ending it. I used to have a huge sex drive and now I’m like meh, which bums me out. I am already a ridiculously emotional, sensitive person. I mentioned this to my gyno and that is why they recommended the Aubra. I have tried a couple pills before that but unfortunately they all had the same effect on me. I am very concerned that it’s not just me, that its the pill causing me to be so crazy. I mentioned that I am sensitive, but I literally cry at everything, get offended by everything, stress out over anything. It’s just too much for me. I am going to finish my pack and get off the pill. This is a really tough decision because I truly truly truly do not want kids and having to stop mid foreplay to put a condom on really sucks, but if I can have my clarity back I will do it. Also, I came across an article mentioning how it is literally messing with our brains. Feel free to read it, quite frankly thats what is really helping me make my decision.

  • Udono Meh

    I’m literally crying while reading your bad experience with birth control pills. It’s like the article was about me. Been taking Junel Fe for 3 months. The first month I was on the edge, second month I started picking fights with my boyfriend and third month I’m jealous, paranoid and depressed. It’s getting to the point that my boyfriend will most likely break up with me. Last week, I called my gyno she wants me to continue Junel Fe throughout the month and I will be starting Ortho Tri Cyclen next month.

  • Dylan

    I am going through that right now which is why im reading your article. I cried as I read this article ?. It’s a great illuminating article, I just wouldn’t be crying if I read this 3 years ago. That’s when I started my birth control. I was new to everything so I couldn’t have know if my anxiety and sadness was due to my BC. I’m actually on the patch but the hormonal component is just the same. I need to finish up my last cycle here and finally take a break from the BC. Everything is working so well for me aside the emotional instability which makes me a bit hesitant to conpletely quit the patch but if I’m going crazy and it’ll cost me a good man, then I’ll have to be prepared for pregnancy scares.

  • Rachel

    Im 18 and have been on Juleber for 5 months and since then I’ve put a huge toll on my boyfriend. He puts up with it all. I too seem to have unexplained anger and get angry so easy and am very emotional. I’ll cry about anyting. Im not like this when on the placebo pills. Only the other 3 weeks. On the actual birth control
    Im anxious a lot. About things I shouldn’t be at all and makes me not want to trust my boyfriend because I’m always scared and anxious basically. I’m still in school and I don’t want to stop completely but this is the 4th pill I’ve been on. I need advice on what to do next.

  • Whitney Blackburn

    This happened to me. It really sucks knowing you did a bunch of messed up shit and hurt someone else. Then looking at it with a clear mind and feeling like it wasn’t even you who did it. But everyone else sees it as you. Because it was you. But inside, remembering it is like watching a movie about yourself. And it’s foggy. It bothers me that this is the last thing doctors tell you can happen. “oh hey, be weary of strokes! But no, it won’t turn you into a psychotic maniac.”

  • mountaingirl1028

    I have been on the pill for about 5 months now and everything in this article has been true for me as well. It started out just crying for no reason and then turned into full blown anxiety attacks coming out of no where to the point where I couldn’t breathe, as well as picking fights, feeling overall foggy, and having low energy, not being able to get as excited for things as I usually do. The Dr. also didn’t warn me of these side effects, I even asked her if mood swings is a problem and she told me no because they ad adjusted the hormone level to just right but that clearly isn’t the case. I’m done with the pill. Just want to be my happy, positive self again!

  • Katie

    I’m feeling exactly how you felt. My mood swings are crazy. It’s taking a huge toll on my relationship. I feel like one day I’m calm and collected. Then there are days like today when my anxiety is through the roof and I just want to cry. I’m planning on getting off in January and doing FAM. I just want to feel like me again and be happy.

  • Kelly Gray

    I’m having horrible mood swings and depression. One day I think I’m doing great and then the next day I feel like nothing could get worse. My boyfriend constantly has to deal with me and we’ve come close to breaking up. I really need a better alternative for the Tri-Sprintec that I’m taking. Would an IUD or that arm bar thing be better for me? And what are the side effects of those?