This Schizoaffective's Treatment for PMDD Causes Headaches

January 19, 2023 Elizabeth Caudy

I have schizoaffective disorder and take birth control pills for my premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). But lately, I have been having a problem with my birth control. Here’s what’s been going on.

Trust This Schizoaffective: PMDD and PMS Are Real

Before we get to the problem I’m having with my birth control, let me explain about PMDD. I think everyone’s heard of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A person experiencing PMS may be depressed before her period. PMDD is that condition times a thousand. And it is real.

Birth control doesn’t cure my PMDD, but it helps.

Here’s where the problem with my birth control comes in. My gynecologist changed my birth control to the generic form to save me money. However, after the first package, my husband, Tom, noticed that I had been getting more headaches with the new form of birth control. I get most of my medications by mail, and I get three packages of birth control per prescription. So, I tried the next package, and I noticed I got headaches almost every day during the third week of my cycle. I decided to try the third package just to make sure because I had experienced headaches with birth control before I tried this version of the pill.

Why This Schizoaffective with PMDD Uses Birth Control

As of this writing, the third week hasn’t begun yet. So, I’m still going to wait and see if I need to switch back to my old birth control. But, looking back on it--and this really stresses me out--maybe I should have switched back to the name-brand form of birth control already because since I’m waiting, I’ll need to pick it up at the pharmacy instead of getting it in the mail or else I’ll be totally out of birth control. I guess it’s not a big deal. It’s just another hassle. But “hassles” to someone with a mental illness can be a big deal.

You might be wondering why I use birth control at all if it doesn’t cure my PMDD, and it gives me headaches. Well, for one thing, as I said, it helps my PMDD, and also, this brand of birth control stops me from getting a period. Tom has had a vasectomy, so I know I’m not at risk of getting pregnant. It’s just such a weight off my mind to not deal with a period, especially because of my schizoaffective anxiety surrounding showering, as well as the fact that because of arthritis in my knees, I can’t take baths. (Baths are the best way for me to clean up when I have my period.)

It's funny how everything in my life, including my physical health, goes back to my schizoaffective disorder and my anxiety. I would hate to risk getting worse PMDD this time of year when my schizoaffective depression, due to seasonal affective disorder, is so bad. But I think I have a good plan in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

For more on using birth control to treat PMDD, see here:

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2023, January 19). This Schizoaffective's Treatment for PMDD Causes Headaches, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

Leave a reply