Holy Hormones Journal: This is the result of the message women receive throughout their reproductive years – when they are trying to explain anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation or an adverse reaction to a vaccine or LARCs – “long-acting reversible contraception” – the type of birth control containing synthetic hormones that are dripping this chemical concoction into women’s bodies via implant, injection or insertion of an IUD. The message that we receive is that it is “all in your head,” take this prescription drug and go home or “It’s All in Your Head Honey! Syndrome” – probably the most lucrative syndrome on the market.
This is what happens when PMS or PMDD is misunderstood and misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder and women are given a RX for a drug that causes further hormone imbalance.
This is what happens when women are put on Xanax post-pregnancy to help them become better mommies. They turn into addicts. Not understanding that pregnancy has taken every single micro-nutrient in their nutritional reserve – they turn to doctors when they start falling into postpartum depression turned PMDD.
This is what happens when women do not understand the intricate mechanism of action of their endocrine system and the waxing and waning of immunity and hormone levels. Over time we become endocrinally whacked out. This is what happens as our hormones’ shift and moods change.
This is what happens when we do not understand the intricate link between our minds, moods, and hormone cycles.
This is what happens when women are exposed to generations of environmental toxins that disrupt the endocrine system. This is what happens when 186 chemicals, heavy metals, radiation, synthetic hormones, BPA are found in the umbilical cord.
This is what happens when we go into pregnancy and deliver a child with a physical or neurological abnormalities. This is what happens when we believe – play by the rules – vaccinate our children and then watch that child regress into autism… a world where they can no longer be reached – or react to the bond of motherhood.
This is what happens when women are are abused (1 in 3 globally), thrown out of families, and marriages left to fend for themselves – their only arsenal – vials of drugs and alcohol to dim the pain of living in a reality that is not based on our values. A false reality – where we have no claim in making and are held prisoners of war.
This is what happens when women are ignored, undervalued and not respected.
This is why Eve Ensler wrote in her book: In the Body of the World:
“Hysteria is a word used to make women feel insane for knowing what they know.”
Risky Alone, Deadly Together
“When women go through menopause, there are big changes with pain, anxiety and depression. There is a hard body of research on this,” Darnall said. “Opioids, taken long term, reduce the level of hormones in the body. This can lead to a greater sensitivity to pain. And it can feed into this dose-escalation cycle.”
Karen Franklin leans against the sink in the pink-tiled bathroom of her childhood home, counting out pills. There’s a purple morphine tablet for chronic back pain, a blue Xanax for anxiety and a white probiotic for her stomach, which aches from all the other pills.
In all, Franklin, 60, takes more than a dozen different prescription drugs, washing them down with tap water and puffing on a Marlboro while she waits for them to kick in.
“They take the edge off, but that’s about it,” Franklin says. So she keeps a bottle of vodka handy for added relief, increasing her risk of joining the legions of American women dying from prescription-drug overdoses.
UNNATURAL CAUSES: SICK AND DYING IN SMALL-TOWN AMERICA
Since the turn of this century, death rates have risen for whites in midlife, particularly women. In this series, The Washington Post is exploring this trend and the forces driving it.
Part 1: A close look at one tragedy in rural Oklahoma
Part 2: An urban-rural mortality gap emerges as risky behaviors defy modern trends
Graphic: Why death rates for white women in rural America are spiking
Part 3: In a town where pills are currency, opioid addicts have few options
Part 4: The wait for an injection that could help curb heroin cravings seems to go on forever
Part 5: Life lessons from a small-town undertaker as white women die younger in America
Graphic: White women are dying faster all over America — but what about where you live?
While death rates are falling for blacks and Hispanics in middle age, whites are dying prematurely in growing numbers, particularly white women. One reason: a big increase in overdoses, primarily from opioids, but also from anti-anxiety drugs, which are often prescribed in tandem.
Between 1999 and 2014, the number of middle-aged white women dying annually from opiate overdoses shot up 400 percent, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines contributed to a growing share of the 54,000 deaths over that period, reaching a third in the last several years, The Post found, though spotty reporting in death records makes it likely that the combination is even more widespread.
Both drugs depress the central nervous system, temporarily easing pain and anxiety while suppressing respiration, heart rate and the gag reflex. Alcohol has the same effect, and combining any of these can be fatal.
“They act like a dimmer switch on the central nervous system,” said Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, former U.S. assistant surgeon general and an expert on women’s health issues. “When taken in combination, a person’s breathing and heart will slow down, and can ultimately stop. People can go to sleep and never wake up.”
White women are more likely than women of other races to be prescribed opiates, and far more likely to be prescribed both opiates and anti-anxiety drugs, according to a Post analysis of middle-aged participants in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. White women prescribed opiates are five times as likely as white men to be given that drug combination — helping to explain why white women may be at special risk.