Regarding the pill and anxiety and depression

Hi ladies, it seems that there is a common thread that endo sufferers also suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and depression. Assuming that the anxiety and depression is caused by unbalanced hormones as the endo is, and the pill is supposed to regulate the hormones, I was wondering if any of you out there can tell me if being on the pill (combined or progesterone only) has helped subside the panic attacks and depression..?

12 Replies

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  • Panic attacks can simply be from elevated blood pressure, which may be caused my meds, or stress, or shock or illness.

    Depression too can be caused by hormonal imbalance, but also the GnRH drugs used for treating endo have depression as a side effect when they shut down the pituitary gland in the brain

    The grinding exhaustion and pain and insomnia due to pain can also lead to depression without it being directly related to hormones.

    Stress from work, disciplinary hearings for persistant lateness or multiple occasions of absenteeism due to illness or other factors beyond your control can also lead to depression.

    Bereavement coming to terms with childlessness and infertility can lead to depression.

    Because the causes of depression can be a multitude of different factors sometime individually and sometimes coming together at the same time to deplete your brain's serotonin and put you in a state of depression, it really is not safe to pin that down to unbalanced hormones and you certainly cannot attribute the endo to unbalanced hormones either.

    Depression is a serious illness, and anyone suffering from depression should book a double appointment with their GP to discuss their depression and all the myriad possible causes and discuss treatment options for shutting down the emotions and giving the brain a chance to top up the depleted serotonin levels again.

    It may be that mild depression is best left to recover by itself, for example if likely caused by meds which you are due to finish shortly.

    Or it may be that altering the diet is the homeopathic way you want to ddress the depression

    or indeed a prescribed course of anti-depressants may be deemed more suitable. Depression should be assessed by a professional experienced in the condition which most GPs are.

    The pill if anything will raise your blood pressure and may make panic attacks worse. Check the patient advice leaflet for the brand you are taking or about to take as elevated blood pressure is usually warned about on there.

    You can take the pill and anti-depressants at the same time for most ladies and your GP will cross check with any other meds you are on, before deciding which pill or which anti-dep to give to you.

    If you are genuinely depressed then please seek an expert medical assessment of the depression before trying to treat it yourself. It is all too easy to make it worse.

  • Thanks Impatient for your reply. The only reason that I put it down to hormones is that I have been off zoladex since November last year. And the strange thing is that since my hormones came back (got my period already 6 wks later) the depression has lifted which is great but my anxiety has skyrocketed to what it was back before the zoladex. Heart palpitations are back, dizziness, clenching jaw etc. I have seen doctors about this and the anti depressants were just poison to me - like adding fuel to the panic and anxiety 100% worse and made me aggitated. It's taken me a long time to link it with my hormones. And my naturopath also confirms this.

    The only meds I am on now are herbal medicines for my endo and to try flush out the excess estrogen.

  • Hi

    Just read your post and I too am suffering with the anxiety and depression side of things. It so hard to know if it's the pill or part of the disease but it sure is a struggle. Do you mind me asking what natural meds your on as I'm very keen to try things like that. As in trying to reduce my estrogen levels with diet and cutting out caffeine but it's not really done much to be honest. I hope the natural way works for you nikki x

  • Hi Nikki, my naturopath has me on a herbal product called Endofem by Mediherb which has the herbs Dong quai, paeonia lactiflora, ladies mantle and calendula. Google these herbs and you can see why they are good for Endo.

    Also,a ginger, tumeric and boswellia formulation for anti inflammatory actions.

    Liver cleansing/ detox herbs like st marys thistle and tumeric to help rid the body of excess estrogen.

  • This is so interesting to read as I was diagnosed with GAD after the birth of my daughter 11 months ago. I've pretty much had anxiety/depression since my periods started 15 years ago, it's just got worse as

    I've got older as I've got more responsibilities. Ive done some CBT which has helped a lot and my anxiety has calmed down a lot but I do get all the physical symptoms you have mentioned - headaches dizziness, heart palps, nausea, fatigue, jaw grinding, muscle tension mainly a week or two before my period (I've been keeping a diary an have noticed a pattern which the anxiety)... I

    was told by a gynecologist last week that he's 99% sure I have endo and I've got to go for scans next week. I'd never heard of it before as I trusted my GP when she said I have dysmenorrhea and IBS all them years ago. My pain and symptoms have gotten since having my daughter which is why I was finally referred to gyne. The gynaecologist wants to put me on the pill for 3 months without a break but I'm worried about taking artificial hormones and the affects they'll have on my mood x it would be nice to hear if the pill has helped anyone with these problems :)

  • Hinesm, you have every right to be worried about taking artificial hormones. I would push for bio identical hormones instead..?

  • Hi Cooka

    Regarding helping the body to flush out excess estrogen sounds like you are doing the right things.

    What I discovered from reading research was that forward thinking circles (I say forward thinking circles because the medical profession do not seem to be at all interested in this type of non-pill pushing thinking) believe estrogen dominance may have a big part to play, not only in increasing endo, but also many other female problems such as PMS, Miscarriage, Cervical Dysplasia, fibroids, Pituitary microadenoma, Menstrual migranes, fibromyalgia, peri-menopause symptoms, osteoporosis, female cancers etc. Over the years I have certainly had 4 of those, PMS, Cervical Dysplasia, Pituitary Micradenoma and finally advanced endo. Co-incidence? It is all these conditions are encouraged by estrogen dominance. Apparently we all have estrogen (and progesterone) receptors throughout the body and, depending upon where they are strongest, this will have a bearing on what symptoms are finally produced, sometimes more than one type.

    Estrogen dominance is thought to be on the increase over recent years, not because our ovaries have suddenly gone cranky, but because of all the chemicals modern women (and men) are exposed to on a daily basis from shampoo, conditioner, hair styling stuff, body moisturiser, face cream, deoderant, toothpaste, cosmetics, household cleaning products, washing powder, chemicals in feminine care, Bisphenol A (BPA) used in plastics (worse when heated) etc and we all use microwave food and convenience foods heated up in plastic trays where the BPA leeches out into the food.

    Whilst the pharmaceutical industries would have you believe the chemicals are low level - when combined, it adds up to a good deal of exposure to xenoestrogens - chemicals that mimic estrogen and affect estrogen receptors in the body causing a reaction as if estrogen was increased. There are also phthalates, which may disrupt the normal workings of the endocrine (hormone) system and sulphates plus a whole host of other chemicals.

    Experts do not believe that this is the root cause of endo, or of the other conditions mentioned; as my consultant said it is now widely thought that endo mostly originates in the gestation period and is triggered with the onset of hormones at puberty. It can less commonly be as a result of retrograde menstruation or even sometimes as a result of caesarean section if any cells are not cleaned up and start to function outside. It is thought possible that all of these reasons for endo could be exacerbated by the exposure over time to these xenoestrogen chemicals.

    Exposure to phytoestogens ingested is also though to contribute, thus the endo diet is also thought to help. As I understand it, the reason the endo diet helps is because it cuts out toxins that your liver has to process (such as alcohol / caffeine etc). Excess estrogen is eliminated via the liver. By cutting out as many toxins as possible, this gives the liver a greater capacity to eliminate excess estrogen and to do its job. Where it is over worked, excess estrogen is more likely to be stored by the body in fat cells. The scary thing about xenoestrogens in topical sources is that they are generally absorbed through the skin and so completely bypass the liver!

    Whether this theory is correct or not, I can only see that it is beneficial of cutting out some of these chemicals. I have personally cut out all toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning stuff which contains parabens, pthalates and sulfates (amongst other stuff) and, as we also get xenoestrogens from Bisphenol A in plastics (particularly when heated), I no longer heat food up in plastic or drink from plastic but use good old glass. Sounds difficult to do but over time, it is easy to replace these things as there is a good array of products on offer now (I tend to go for Jason (shampoos, moisturiser, bath stuff; Green People (fake tan, shower gell, shampoo etc); Envy (cosmetics)l Method for laundry liquid, hand wash, household cleaning products), there are lots out there. Takes a bit of research and trial and error to find the products that you like, but just like you would have with the normally used chemical stuff.

    A switch of products would certainly back up the work you are already doing.

    Best wishes x

  • I couldn't have put this better myself and second everything you have said. I am currently researching replacement products so thanks for the product tips.

  • Bio-identical - yes I use Wellsprings bio-identical progesterone in addition to cutting down the chemicals. The Wellsprings website is very informative.

  • I am looking into the natural remedies and changing my diet to see if it helps. I've tried anti depressants (lasted 2 weeks) and had to come off them as they made my anxiety much worse because I didn't like the thought of a drug altering my mood and brain chemistry. Now that I'm feeling much stronger mentally I can confidently say that it's all linked in with my female hormones, I've been reading a book called 'female brain gone insane' which explains the link between neurotransmitters and female hormones :) the only thing is I can't take the period pain and fatigue any more, so I might give the pill a try for 3 months and if I don't like it I'll have to reconsider my options xxx sometimes I wish I was a man lol

  • Hello, I suffer terribly with anxiety and panic attacks and mild depression, in my case yes the pill (microgynon) helped a lot with it all as it balanced my hormones.

    I really hope it helps you, definitely go for it as it's worth the try.

    All my love, Ell x x

  • Thanks Ell It's really lovely to hear that it's helped you :) Xx I'm definitely going to give it a try and pray it works for me to

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