I'm writing this post in the the hopes that I can help even just one person out there who may be having the same problems I suffered through for four years.
Right after I had my second child I knew I wanted some sort of birth control, however, anything hormonal was not an option. I had tried the mini pill after my first kid and spent three months on the couch thinking that was normal after having a baby. Thankfully I talked to a friend who had suffered through depression and she suggested I stop taking the pill. I did the next day and fell 100% better.
So fast forward 2 years to after the birth of kid number two and I was very clear with my doctor that I couldn't have anything hormonal. I had heard about Mirena and liked what I heard - five years without having to think about birth control, no periods, no pills to take, etc. - but I was definitely concerned about the small amount of hormones that are in the IUD. My doctored assured me over and over that since the IUD is in your uterus, none of the hormones ever travel through your blood stream and it would not affect me whatsoever. I read through all the information I could on it at the time, which pretty much consisted of a three-fold flyer, and didn't see anything to make me concerned, so I went ahead and got a Mirena IUD.
When child two was about 8 months old we moved to the back waters of Florida and I started feeling depressed again. Over the next few months it got to the point where I was angry about everything and couldn't get off the couch and so on. Classic clinical depression. I went to therapists who told me it was situational. I tried three different medications that all made me worse than before.
We moved again, and I hoped this would remove the "situation" and I would feel better. It didn't. I saw more therapists.
All this time my relationship with my husband was pretty much nonexistant. We were glorified roommates. Physical relationships were a joke. I didn't want it, and so it was always a fight. Nothing was fun to me. I wanted to stay home and do nothing. Most everyday about midafternoon I would have to go lay in my bed and cover up my head because my anxiety levels had risen too high for me to cope anymore. I was living in a dark box that I just couldn't get out of.
Then we moved again. More therapy. I didn't bother trying new medications because we didn't have insurance and I knew the side effects would be awful. This is now four years after I had gotten the Mirena put in. Over this time my depression symptoms had gradually lessened, but they were definitely still there.
Then one day a light bulb went on. I realized that I had been feeling depressed since I got the Mirena put in. The fact that my symptoms were slowly lessening made me think that it might be because the dosage of hormone in the IUD was slowly wearing out, which makes sense since I was about a year away from needing it removed and replaced.
So I went to Google. The magic search terms "Mirena depression" brought up nightmare story after nightmare story. I was not alone! There were so many stories of people who had been suffering just like me. There were marriages ruined, relationships on the brink, lives practically destroyed. It was so sad to read, but also so wonderfully hopeful at the same time. Maybe I wasn't broken! Maybe this was something that could be fixed!
The next day I called around to all the doctors in the area to find someone who would take my Mirena out without charging me $300 dollars. I found a place, made an appointment, and three days later it was gone.
I knew I wouldn't have a miracle turnaround like after the mini pill. But let me tell you, seven months later my life is where I never thought I would be able to have it again. I'm happy. I am able to enjoy things. I leave the house willingly and sometimes have to drag my family because they don't want to go. I've only had to crawl into my bed because of anxiety two or three times compared to the daily occurrence before.
I look back on those four years and all I see is fog. I can't remember a lot of what went on. I feel like they've been stolen from me, but I can't tell you how glad I am to be able to take the rest of my life for myself and not live under that cloud.
So please, if you have a Mirena and you've not felt like yourself, think about having it taken out. Read the information that comes up when you Google "Mirena depression."
I've since found this quote in the Mirena product monograph:
"Patients with a history of emotional disturbances, especially the depressive type, may be more
prone to have a recurrence of depression while using MIRENA. In cases of a serious recurrence,
consideration should be given to removing MIRENA since the depression may be drug-related."
Nowhere in the information I was given when considering this product did it ever say that depression was a possible side effect. But trust me, it definitely is. And while I'm a little bit bummed that I now have to suffer through my period again, a week's worth of inconvenience is far better than a life of nothing.
Please pass this on to any friends or family you think it might help. Please don't suffer needlessly!!