Still experiencing the fun and merrymaking of your thirteenth birthday; beware girls. The age ushers in a whole set of ‘firsts’ and new experiences and are probably considered to be the best phase of your life. You can recognize adolescent age with the several challenges you encounter and this beautiful period is loaded with confusion where even the smaller issues can appear big.
In this phase of your life, you become more conscious about your physical appearances, career, friendship, dating, peer pressure, bullying, and self-esteem. All these factors can sometimes lead you to the path of depression. When you feel sad for more than two weeks, and you’re near ones notice mood changes; it’s time to assess whether you are suffering from depression. Let’s explore the hidden alleys of teens and discuss its link with depression.
Are you aware of your mental health?
Girls in their puberty not only experience rapid changes and growth in their body but changes also take place in their brain. Progesterone and estrogen are two sex hormones which impact the mind of the teens when they attain puberty. These two sex hormones form the basis of most contraceptive pills. In the adolescent phase, the parts in the brain dealing with emotions remain in their developing stage. They are thus sensitive to the hormonal changes occurring due to the consumption of pills. The synthetic sex hormones are known to trigger the consequences of depression and disturb the mental health of a young girl.
Why depression attacks so early?
Teenage girls become easy targets of depression when they start consuming contraceptive pills for more than one reason; the reason may be either easing the menstrual symptoms or preventing pregnancy or acne. Teenage girls, particularly those in the 16th year, have shown depressive symptoms after consuming pills. Some of these depressive symptoms include: suffering from eating problems, excessive sleeping or crying compared to other girls of their age group. These symptoms are, however, subtler compared to those diagnosed with clinical depression.
Pills are not enemies:
However, no direct cause-effect bond has been detected between depression and pills. The vital point that should be considered in this regard is that there lies a significant difference among girls that consume pills and those that do not. The teens who drink contraceptive pills mostly do so when they are involved in an affair, and this episode is stressful in itself. Pills in these cases act as their saviour.
Again, the bond between pills and depression is bi-directional. In some cases, the medicines can cause severe symptoms of depression while in other instances, the severe depressive disorder can lead a teenage girl to become addicted to pills.
Risks are real but sometimes smaller:
There are several birth control practices like patch, pill, ring, implant, IUD, injection, which are prevalent among teenage girls. These different types of hormonal contraceptives are directly linked with increased risk of depression, the most dangerous of these being IUD. Hormonal pills which contain only progesterone have the maximum probability of causing distress.
Choosing the apt pill:
Although it is a very personal decision about which pill one decides to consume, having access to the services and information about contraceptive pills is considered a global human right. Using apt medicine is sometimes beneficial to a teenage girl, and she can never experience any adverse effect. This is possible only when the parents get involved and consult the doctor about the benefits and risks linked with consumption of different pills. This becomes even more important when there exist cases of depression in one’s family history, or the concerned teenager is vulnerable to specific side effects of certain medications.
Depression in adulthood:
Teenage girls who consume pills in adolescence are more prone to depression in adulthood compared to those girls who never consumed pills. Even though they stop consuming pills, women who were drug addicts at adolescent are at higher risk of suffering from depressed mood. Since adolescent is considered a crucial phase for proper development of the brain, manipulating the sex hormones during this period by consuming pills can have a lasting impact on the brain, and this damage is irreversible.
As women worldwide and particularly teenage girls use pills, one point which needs to be noted is that pills contain sex hormone in synthetic form, and they are known to suppress the endogenous production of sex hormones. This makes a girl vulnerable to depression in her adulthood. Hence these hormonal changes should be avoided in teenage, a phase of life which is recognized by its cognitive, social physiological and reproductive development.
The drugs teenager use can profoundly impact the quality of their life. Pills can lead to mood swings, but sometimes mood swings even occur before the consumption of pills, or there are cases where pills were taken before the occurrence of mood swings. Whatever may be the cause and effect, the mood swings are due to the consumption of oral contraceptive by teenage girls when they are in the most vulnerable phase of their life.
Ultimately, it has been observed that the first contraceptive pill which women consume is mostly in their teens. As they have to encounter several challenging emotional situations in this phase of life, it is essential to monitor their daily activities. If you notice any abnormal behaviour in a teenage girl like excessive sleeping, crying, self-harm or suicidal thoughts; this can be due to her depressed mood. The other side of the coin holds equal importance; unintended pregnancies can threaten teenagers who avoid pills while in a relationship. This situation can also lead to postpartum depression in many cases. Hence, it is always advisable to consult your physician before consumption of any pill, especially in your adolescent.