Month: August 2018

Is Your Contraception Affecting Your Mental Health?

Is Your Contraception Affecting Your Mental Health?

Contraception is of course a wonderful thing – allowing women to take control over their bodies. Not only can it prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it can also help women to improve their acne and their period symptoms.
Hormonal contraception in the UK has evolved from being only accessible for married women, to now being widely available to people of all ages and relationship statuses.
Choices have also now expanded beyond the pill, with the implant, the coil, and many more options which are all easily available on the NHS. This is of course how it should be – everyone deserves the right to contraception, and the fact that there are different options to suit different people is absolutely great.

However, I think much more attention needs to be drawn to the psychological effects of many of these contraceptive methods.
Control over your body and reproductive system is a right, and so too should nuanced information about it be.
Side effects of Hormonal Contraception:
In a survey created by Rosie Hilton and Laurie Presswood, 67.8 per cent of respondents said that they felt a change in their general mood whilst taking hormonal contraception.
56.9 per cent said they felt their hormonal contraception had impacted their mental health.
Many respondents frequently referred to experiencing anxiety, depression, and mood swings, and two respondents specifically identified suicidal thoughts.
The most commonly used form of contraception for those answering the survey was the combined pill, with 196 out of 396 respondents having only experienced this form of contraception. Of this group, 65 per cent said that they felt the pill had affected their general mood, and 51 per cent felt it had affected their mental health.
These statistics are alarming when compared to the statistics popularly published, or expressed to people taking the pill:
In the list of potential side effects that come with Rigevidon, a commonly used brand of the combined pill, “mood swings including depression” is listed as a ‘common side effect’ that “may affect up to 1 in 10 people”.
This listed statistic seems incorrect, and rather far off from the truth.
Astonishingly, 56.5 per cent of people who said they felt their hormonal contraception affected their mental health, said that they had continued to take it despite these concerns.
It seems that women often dismiss their side effects due to the importance of avoiding unwanted pregnancies.
This is clearly not right and a change needs to happen.
Of course, contraception is important and vital, but there are other options out there and women should be encouraged to try these options.
Women shouldn’t just accept their low moods, and mental health issues, as a sacrifice for birth control.
What to do if you think your contraception is affecting your mental health:
Try coming off your contraception for a little while (of course still use protection – i.e condoms), and you may see a drastic change in your moods.
If this is the case, try other methods of contraception, especially non- hormonal ones:
Non-Hormonal Contraception Options:
IUDBarrier methods such as the traditional condom or the female condom.

Cycle/temperature measures (i.e www.naturalcycles.com)
Try different methods and see what works best for you. You could make your future-self much, much happier.
Your mental health and happiness should come first!
If you are experiencing mental health issues, whether due to contraception or not, the best idea is to seek help.
Talking to someone is the best cure.
Talk to us at Dr Julian; we have just updated our online system with which you can access professional online therapy in the comfort of your own home.
Visit our web app: app.dr-julian.com
Or visit our website for more information and more blogs like this one: www.dr-julian.com

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How can strength training benefit mental health

Working on your mental health can be an ongoing and never-ending battle.

The benefits of physical exercise on mental health are well-documented. And it’s an important tool sufferers can rely on to fight back against their struggles.

The choice of exercise is entirely up to personal preference. But, increasingly, strength training is becoming a more and more popular choice.

In this piece, we’re going to delve into the reasons why strength training can help you ward off depression, anxiety and stress.

Boost your mood

There are very few tailor made solutions for mental health struggles. Exercise, however, is proven to be one such solution: it’s a tried and tested salve for any struggles you may be experiencing.

When you exert yourself, your body produces feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals provide a lift to your mood. Even if it’s only temporary respite for a couple of hours, this period of elevated mood can be a much needed refuge from your own mind.

Stress relief

Mental health issues can affect all aspects of your life. Even if your struggles stem from a problem with your career, those frustrations, anxieties and concerns can bleed over into your social circles and your personal relationships.

It can be extremely difficult to exercise your frustrations in a healthy manner.

You need to have some kind of release to get rid of all this pent-up emotion. For many people, strength training provides that opportunity.

Lifting weights can act as a form of stress relief. Weightlifting is all about continually testing your limits: gradually increasing the size of your muscles requires you to lift progressively heavier weights. And that can’t be achieved without steely determination and a certain level of aggression and effort.

It isn’t something you can do half-heartedly. Because of this, strength training gives you a healthy way to expel any frustrations you might have.

Improve your fitness and increase your energy levels

Mental health difficulties are often the result of a cycle of negative thinking and unhelpful behaviours that only reinforce that outlook.  Strength training can help you break that cycle.

As well as giving you a release valve for any excess anxiety or stress you might have, you’ll also get substantially fitter and stronger over time. This will give you the energy and confidence to go about your day and keep yourself busy without lapsing into torpor.

Finding a community of like-minded people

Easy to overlook but just as important is the social aspect of strength training. Having someone to support you has long been an ingrained and necessary part of weightlifting.

Carrying out certain lifts requires the assistance of a spotter. If you’re struggling to perform an exercise, they can step in, take the weight off you and protect you from serious injury.

Mental health issues can be exacerbated by a lack of social interaction. The social aspect of strength training can provide isolated people with a crucial support network.  Getting out there, talking to different people and working out will do wonders for your mental health.

It also gives you a like-minded community to share your successes and progress with.

 

 

 

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