Friday, September 20, 2013

Birth Control and Depression

“Every Catholic is obliged to follow his conscience.  However, your conscience is not your opinion.  Your conscience is the quiet, inner sanctuary where you talk to God to determine what He thinks is right.  It is not, ‘what do I think is right?’  It is, ‘what does God think is right?” –Janet Smith

When it comes to having kids, I had a lot of hesitations.  Who am I “kidding”, I still do.  (Sorry for the lame pun.)  Who doesn’t have even a little reluctance?  (If you missed it, read Wednesday’s post on this topic.)  After we got married, my husband and I prayerfully discerned God’s will and decided to wait a few years.  The main reason was because I was struggling with severe depression.

However, even during that time, we were still open to life.  That means, even though we decided to wait, we put the decision in God’s hands 100% of the time.

God is God.  We are not.  He knows what is best for us.  And He will only give us what He knows we can handle.

A huge part of being Christian is placing your complete trust in God – in every aspect of your life – including your fertility.  Fertility is a gift, it’s natural…it’s not a defect.

I did some research about artificial birth control and depression because my counselors and psychiatrists pushed me to go on the Pill while being treated.  I think this is standard procedure.  You might be surprised at what I found.

The Pill, the most common form of chemical birth control today, has hormonal side effects.  (Click here for a more detailed study on The Pill.)  If you don’t have time to read the article, below is a short explanation of how it works and what it does to a woman’s body.

Chemical birth control stops a woman from ovulating because it supplies the body with imitation hormones that trick the body into thinking it is already pregnant.  If you’re pregnant, you don’t ovulate.  Some of the time, however, the woman’s own hormones win the battle and she does ovulate.  If she would then conceive while on the birth control, because of the inconsistent hormone levels from the Pill, the uterus would not be able to support the new life, and she would have a miscarriage before she even knew she was pregnant.  That is why the Pill is called an abortifacient.  It intentionally and directly causes a chemical abortion if by chance the woman would conceive.

The most common side effects of the Pill are irritability, depression, weight gain, and low libido - among many other more, life-threatening side effects.  (It’s right on the label, if you don’t believe me.)

Chemical birth control can either cause depression or make depression symptoms even worse.  Isn’t knowing this information counterproductive for treating depression?

It’s like this example: My doctors encouraged me to stay away from alcohol, a depressant substance.  Alcohol could make my depression symptoms worse.  If I would drink alcohol while taking the medication, I would be, literally, cancelling out all the benefits I would receive from the anti-depressant medicine.  I would be wasting my time and money had I not given up drinking.  So why then would birth control be OK?

In addition, psychologically and spiritually speaking, birth control takes away your trust in God.  By using any form of contraception, you are telling yourself that you know more than God when it comes to this topic.  If you are a Christian, then you are going against your beliefs every day.  Living with that kind of spiritual division is intense, whether or not you are aware of it.

So, what about the question of responsibility?  Overpopulation?  Women’s rights?  Third-world countries?  Wouldn’t taking birth control be the responsible thing to do?

On the contrary, I would argue that taking artificial birth control is not responsible.  It completely takes away your responsibility.  By using contraceptives, your actions no longer have consequences.  No consequences, no commitment, no responsibility.

Even in the context of a marriage relationship, all contraceptives and birth control methods diminish the sacredness of the bond between husband and wife.  “I love you but…”

God works with us, not against us.  He is on our side.  He wants us to do the right thing, but He is not going to do it for us.  You might have heard the phrase, “God can’t steer a parked car”.  Birth control is like trying to drive around with the parking brake on.

So, when it comes to having kids, we are COMPLETELY placing our trust in God’s plan.  These past few years, if He had decided to trump our waiting decision, then we would have known it was what He wanted.  Only He can create a new soul out of nothing.  23 chromosomes from the male, 23 from the female, but the soul doesn’t come from either one of those.  The immortal soul is created by God at the moment of conception.

I tell you what; it is way more peaceful knowing that God is in control.  Not birth control…

Practically implementing this belief is called NFP, or Natural Family Planning.  {Click here to read more about NFP.  And if you want to read the Catholic Church’s stance on this topic, read Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Letter, “Humanae Vitae”.  You can read it online if you click here.  And lastly, if you would like more information regarding how contraception if affecting our culture, check out Prof. Janet Smith’s audio CD, “Contraception: Why Not?” at}


  1. Love, love, love this post. These truths about chemical birth control need to be shouted from the rooftops for the world to hear. I already knew these things about chemical birth control, but it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant some people are in this area. Some people like to just keep these facts "hush, hush" cause it's easier that way. So, so wrong.

    1. Yeah, and yet, even after know all the horrible truths about birth control, some people don't want to (or are afraid to) change. It was presented as such a "miracle" pill and I think people are still hook on that notion. But yes, it is sad how many people do not know all the scary side-effects of the pill. It is a Group One carcinogen - "definite" cause of cancer right up there with smoking and asbestos.