We all know that birth control changes more than "just" your sex hormones and thus preventing you to get pregnant, but how far the impact of this pill actually goes isn't often discussed.
Today I'll share with you how the pill - all hormonal birth control for that matter - changes your sense of reality and therefore impact the way you judge yourself and influences what you do in your life.
What is reality?
I'll first explain what reality really is, as I have just stated that hormonal birth control changes your sense of it.
Scientist have bend their minds over answering this question, till they finally come to this conclusion: reality is based on how your senses interpreter your surroundings and how you judge the stimuli your senses give you. Therefore reality is whatever a person thinks and feels it is.
This is easy to understand when it comes to factors that are objective in nature, such as whether or not you find a crowded coffee shop an inspiring working place, or all the voices are rather stressful to you. Both opinions you form based on what your senses tell you, are your reality of what that same coffee shop is.
Yet this also accounts for more "factual" situations or objects, such as wether or not a job will or won't be beneficial for your career, whether or not you agree with the money you're offered when you sell your car, whether or not you'll get out of a toxic relationship, what color you'll paint your walls, ect.
Given the fact that everything in our world - reality - is up for debate, what you deem to be truth is determined by how you judge it and all other knowledge you have about a given topic or situation. This means that everything you perceive to be real is shaped by
1. What you perceive
What your senses are getting from the enviroment, how strong your sense of smell
is, how loud sounds sound to you, how much stimuli you can handle, ect.
2. How you judge what you perceive
Based on what you percieve, you analize and judge the situation in your mind and based on that you you'll determine whether or not you like an object, trust a person, comply with a propsal, ect ect.
Given the fact that birth control changes both the way you perceive your surrounds and the way you judge them (emotions are handled differently, there is a disruption of the stress response, ect. ) it's clear that birth control changes your reality.
A top psychologist found that the contraceptive pill can significantly affect a woman’s brain and change her personality, she claims. Dr. Sarah Hill revealed that it affects “sex, attraction, stress, hunger, eating patterns, emotion regulation, friendships, aggression, mood, learning, and so many other things.” We often tend to attach our identity to all things mentioned above, meaning that with all those aspects of our lives being altered, we directly chance the idea of who we think we are and what we're capable of doing.
Who am I? Who we think we are is determined by many factors such as genetics, upbringing and environment as it'll take too long dive into this complex topic, I'll briefly explain how we form our opinion of ourself and therefore determine who we are and what we are capable of.
In brief: we often judge ourselves based on who we think we are compared to our surroundings. This means that someone who is good at sports will feel more confident in a gym than someone who has never done fitness before. If you spend enough time in situations in which you get a chance to excel, you'll feel more comfortable than in a place where you feel like a failure over and over again.
Besides that, getting closer to a (self determined) goal, also increased confidence and therefor influences the perception of self.
Obviously being bullied or highly complemented both influences your sense of self and level of confidence.
As you may have noticed: all factors mentioned above are in fact objective: they are determined by how you judge your environment, your performance, the people around you and much more.
Combine this with the knowledge that birth control alters the way you perceive your surrounding, as well as it changes your internal state (it gives your body the idea that it's under constant attack), and it's easy to understand that the use of hormonal birth control changes the way you see yourself in all aspects of your life and therefor changes who you think you are as a person.
Why is this a big deal?
Having an altered sense of self matters for both your internal state as well as your external world since your belief of who you are will eventually determine the choices you make and the choices you make will eventually create the life you're living.
So how do people make decisions?
"Decisions are made explicitly whenever one consciously combines beliefs and values in order to choose a course of action." This means that your self determined* goal combined with how you judge your current reality will determine the actions your taking
* goals are created by what you deem to be important, combined with what you deem to be realistic.
As you now know hormonal birth control changes:
• What you deem to be possible for yourself
Your perception of self has changed, meaning that you underestimate your capabilities without even realizing it.
• What you deem to be important in the current situation
Given the fact that your body feels like it's constantly under attack, what you deem to be important is probability based on the need for some sort of safety. This can be socially, emotionally, financially, physically, ect.
• What you expect the future to be like
You're constant under attack so the future is probably hurtful, leading to a negative outlook on life, panic attacks, depression, ect.
Now there is no need to panic or to doubt every single choice you've made, as some decisions are obviously made out of intuition or out of pure love and desire, meaning that the mind was not involved, Yet it's important to realize that extra hormones and toxins in your body may have a bigger influence on your body and life than you may have expected.