Life Without The Pill: Benefits Of Birth Control

Life Without The Pill: Benefits Of Birth Control

Happiness isn't priceless when birth control is not.
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Recently the Trump Administration rolled back the birth control mandate set into place by the Affordable Care Act. This mandate forced all employers to offer birth control to employees without deductibles or co-pays, making it much more affordable for people who might not be able to afford it otherwise. The main reason for getting rid of this contraceptive mandate was to protect the religious beliefs of employers, specifically those who feel contraception is wrong and goes against the values of their religion. With no other alternatives being offered to the employees losing their affordable birth control, this is the perfect time to bring more attention to the history of birth control in America, and how this act could negatively impact statistics that have taken time to achieve.

While birth control primarily impacts women, it also has a strong impact on children. Having access to affordable contraceptives avoids having too many children in households in which the parents are not financially able to take proper care of them. This helps both women who cannot afford to take care of one child and helps women and men both in families where having multiple children would greatly impact their financial stability. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, children who live in homes in which the parents are using a form of contraception are 12% more likely to live in households that needed public assistance. So when thinking about the cost of birth control verses the cost of public assistance, one sounds much better. Birth control pills can typically cost between $15 and $50 a month, according to Planned Parenthood. Public assistance for one family can cost around $20,000 to $30,000 a year, depending on the family and their financial needs.

Some women have health issues that may prevent them from experiencing a healthy pregnancy, like diabetes. Diabetes can cause extremely difficult pregnancies, and in some cases, even death. Birth control already has caused a significant decrease in maternal mortality rates in countries all over the world, including the United States. In a study completed by researchers at John Hopkins University found that contraceptive methods prevent around 27 maternal deaths out of every 100,000 women each year. Keeping women alive should be important, and the fact that simply providing women with affordable and accessible birth control can do just that, is good reason for keeping it that way.

With different forms of contraception becoming more and more accessible, more women are going on to college and receiving higher education, as well as increasing their participation in the workforce. Having children can be very costly and time consuming. Having a child can change a woman's life dramatically. Finding the time and the money to support both a child and a college career is difficult, and not giving the necessary tools to women to prevent potentially giving up on higher education or their career is not acceptable.

Giving women, children, and families better lives should be of great importance in the United States. Birth control does not only help women better choose their path of life, but it also helps women with issues such as heavy menstrual cycles and acne. Allowing women to choose their futures and control what happens to their bodies is so important. Birth control has created better lives for so many women and children and overall has had such a positive impact on women over the course of many years, so let's not take a step backward.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Students, PLEASE Stop Vaping

It's one step closer to cancer.
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Picture this: You’re out at a party and somebody offers you a hit from their Juul. You don’t want to seem like a loser, so you suck the nicotine and chemicals into your lungs.

You are now one step closer to developing lung cancer.

We do not truly know the risks of vaping because it is so new, but recent studies suggest that the chemicals used in vape pens or e-cigarettes can lead to cancer. Inhaling the vapor could also cause bronchitis.

And it’s not just your lungs that can be affected.

Vaping can lead to gum inflammation and damage, which may lead to you losing your teeth.

Do you want to have dentures at the age of 20?

Vape pens and e-cigarettes are not supposed to be for teenagers. They’re marketed as a tool to stop smoking, just like nicotine gum or nicotine patches.

If you haven’t ever smoked cigarettes before, would you want to just chew a piece of nicotine gum?

The worst part about vaping is that we don’t know the long-term effects.

E-cigarettes have only been around for 10 years or so, so there’s no way we can understand what’s going to happen to the people that use e-cigarettes 50 years down the line.

You may want to seem cool to all of your friends, but are you even going to be friends with them in five years?

And why does it matter what people think?

All that really matters is that you are healthy and proud of yourself. By turning to a box of chemicals, you’re ruining your health.

My grandmother recently died of cancer. It had metastasized to her lungs. She had never smoked a cigarette in her entire life. She was having extreme difficulty breathing and would cough nonstop. She was only 72.

Do you want that to be you?

So a word of advice to students from a student: leave vaping in 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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My Personal Dilemna On Psychiatric Meds and Where I Stand

Because after ten years of taking them, my mind tends to ponder
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If you have been reading my previous articles, there had been one where I touched upon mental health and self-care. In my situation, I have been on psychiatric medications since I was fourteen, and I am now twenty-four. As society grows wiser (or dumber), many new opinions have been formed about the need for psychiatric meds as a treatment in opposition to two topics I will go over as we move forward in the article:

1. No medications, AKA "cold turkey" and,

2. Cannabis.

Many believe that being "woke" means awakening to the conspiracy or fact, however, you view it, that the government is poisoning us and we don't need psychiatric medications. Many others believe that marijuana is given from Mother Earth thus it could be a great treatment for psychiatric conditions given its proven benefits for many people.

1. The Cold Turkey Dilemma

Now, this is where my dilemma comes into play. First of all, I get it. I see where people are coming from in terms of the possibility that we are just told we need medication to fix a problem. In other words, that's the basic description of American culture. However, from my experience, I have heard these theories from people who never had to take an antidepressant in their life, experience a withdrawal, or go through some serious psychiatric trauma.

In addition, most people are so quick to take a Tylenol for a headache but will refuse Prozac as a treatment. And to those who can fight their illness head-on with no medication of any kind, props to them and much respect. On the other hand, there are many like myself who tried to do it without medications and felt themselves sinking quickly in sand that wasn't even meant to sink in the first place.

Personally, I have always wondered if I had been conditioned by an industry to believe that I need my Lithium and Zoloft to function with an addition of Adderall to solve my daily struggles? And if that is the case, should I actually come off my meds, would my symptoms be triggered because my mind needs the chemicals to function? Or because my body has become so used to medication that it's actually my body withdrawing?

Honestly, at this point in my life, I am thankfully stable and I can truly thank my psychiatrist for that because had she not stabilized my meds, I would've been in a completely different place. Yeah, I can wander and all, but at this point, if a diabetic needs his insulin and does not have to truly ponder on if he's just using extra for his health, then neither should I have to worry about that as well.

2. Medical marijuana and my personal disaster

In terms of medical marijuana for mental illness, the panic attacks I have had while smoking weed have constantly been a reminder as to how awful it is for me and many others like myself. It was almost a month ago that I was at a friend's house, two hours from where I lived, and I had to sleep there because it was late at night.

What was the problem? Not having my meds handy that help me sleep at night and stabilize my mood. I now reside in California where marijuana is legal and easily obtained. My friend happened to have a strand called Indica, which is supposed to deliver a body high and not activate the mind as much. I thought to myself that if this is natural and also the sleeping strand not the hyper one that makes me feel psychotic, then one hit should help me sleep.

I shit you not, five minutes after one hit I was screaming for help while pouring water on my head to end my high immediately. It was the worst panic attack I had ever had in my life. The next day, I woke up and did not have my anti-depressants on hand that I take in the mornings. When driving back with my sister who happened to be beside me, I had freaked out while we were on the road and felt suicidal thoughts and as if I did not recognize myself. So, medical marijuana is absolutely out of the question.

I guess overall, I truly don't know where I stand right now. However, nobody else can decide whether I'm a "victim" of the "system," or truly in need of my medication and constant moderation of them. No one can decide or judge but G-d, myself, and my doctor. To anybody else going through a similar dilemma, I can not give any medical advice, but I will recommend that you shut out the outer influences and listen to your inner voice because that is what guides you forever.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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