Strategist

Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

It's Not You..

I'm going to propose a particular insight/observation/scenario.. Say you're a young woman, have just entered your first major relationship, or at least first relationship in a long time. You weren't on on any birth control so you take whatever your friend has recommended. You've heard the rumors - it can lead to weight gain, some serious side effects, etc. but naturally, you figure, you won't get these. Or if you do, you'll notice immediately, will take charge of your health and promptly switch to another brand. About six months go by and you notice you're starting to turn into an emotional wreck. You rarely cry but suddenly you find yourself holding back tears during work. You wonder if the same type of stress you've been dealing with for years is finally starting to catch up on you. Or if there's something amiss in your relationship. You start becoming anxious, slightly neurotic, clingy, insecure and full of doubt, shirking your normal eating and exercise routines for less healthy activities. Suddenly, your emotions come to a head and start pouring out. This creates complete instability and you start examining your past mood swings over the last few months, realizing they were not, in fact, typical. You find pages and pages of complaints about the emotional side effects of the current brand of birth control you're using and are astonished, instantly making an appointment with your gyno to switch brands.

And then you start to wonder.. holy crap, you could have just broken up with your boyfriend, influenced by a drug that's supposed to enhance your sex life! And then you start thinking about it further.. if nearly every form of birth control by the nature of it being a hormone causes some sort of emotional change, then that's a whole crew of women who are feeling slightly off but not knowing why. The doctors and commercials discuss the weight gain but rarely discuss these other side effects. And then.. you start thinking on a broader scale - how many relationships have ended because of this little discussed side effect? How many women have been considered high maintenance? On top of that, what if they gained weight? That would certainly have an emotional effect. Anyway, thoughts? Do you think I'm on to something? My insights are on base? I just don't think that people recognize that taking something as mundane as birth control can have a serious effect on your well being.