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maccmann's avatar

How do I tell my wife that I think her IUD is making her crazy?

Asked by maccmann (657 points ) February 27th, 2010

I just had an epipahny about my wife’s odd behavior. I thought that it may be PMDD and then I remembered something that happened a few years back. About 4 months after my wife had the Mirena IUD inserted, things began to get weird. Then it was like something flipped a switch on her. She became paranoid, angry, dark, started rewriting the history of our relationship as all bad and just a big lie and began behaving generally scary. The result was we got separated for about 2½ years, but then she got on Lexapro and her symptoms softened.

We ended up getting back together and have been for about 2 years now, but it was difficult all the way through. Now were back to the craziness again, and guess what? SHE JUST HAD A NEW MIRENA IUD INSERTED IN NOVEMBER OF ‘09! Coincidence? I’m thinking not so much that anymore! I have read online about similar side effects occurring with other women.

Thing is, she has gone as far as to do things like accusing me of cheating on her (not true) three times in the past year. This is on a cycle of one month = crazy (and right around where she would be having PMS) then about a month of cool-down. Then everything goes back to normal. Then about 30 days later, it’s back to PMS-time and crazy again!

She is anxious, ANRGY, paranoid, overreacts to anything that she sees as negative, dark and frankly quite scary.

Since she has convinced herself that I am a cheater and that everything is basically sh1tty, it’s very difficult to approach her about anything. Talking to friends is worthless because she has convinced them that I am evil, and talking to her relatives is just about as good because they all run to her and tell her that I asked them to talk to her about something they think she should know about and turn it all into drama. Either that or they just defer to something like, “Well that’s her. Stubborn.”

I am actually afraid for myself and my kids that she will just snap and do something insane one day. Plus, my kids have autism and they don’t need this crap in their lives. They have it hard enough without a crazy mother!

HELP ME!!! UGH!

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51 Answers

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Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Telling her that her IUD is making her crazy sounds like a good way to make her go crazy on you.
There may be a psychological condition happening here.

maccmann's avatar

I cannot discourage levity in responses, but they are not very helpful. Please keep your responses within the confines of trying to assist me. Thanks.

syz's avatar

Can you approach her doctor? As her spouse, the doctor may be willing to discuss the possiblity with you.

maccmann's avatar

Also, this is what I had originally posted earlier when I thought this may be PMDD

http://www.fluther.com/disc/73296/how-do-you-tell-your-spouse-you-think-she-may-have/

maccmann's avatar

@syz I actually plan on doing this ASAP. Her OB/GYN is also our PCP and was the one who inserted the IUD so you betcha! I am going to ask her SOON!

phillis's avatar

Hmmm…..I dunno. Maybe it’s the way you’re driving it. Do you have a prior IUD on your license? You may not be qualified :)

Just tell her, already. She’s going to go nuts on you anyway. Just grit your teeth and get it over with.

Adagio's avatar

If you have experienced something similar with your wife’s behaviour then I think it would be foolish to disregard that, sometimes people have very peculiar reactions to things that 99.9% of the population is not affected by, that does not mean the experience is not real, simply unusual. I would suggest speaking to your doctor and if she/he is dismissive of your suspicions go further afield until you feel as though you have been properly understood. I wish you well.

maccmann's avatar

@phillis OK, that was kind of funny so I’ll allow it!

figbash's avatar

I would probably come at it from a different angle.

First, I’d point out that you’re really concerned because you love her, and notice that despite improvements in her life and continued loyalty and support by you, she actually seems to be less happy than she’s been. Ask her what she thinks is the cause and to think back on the last time she was genuinely happy. Refuse to let her put the blame on you for the crazy episodes in her life by showing her (kindly) examples of what you’re talking about – like estranged relationships with others in her life.

Once she’s had a little insight, I would be pretty straightforward about your IUD theory and ask if she’s felt a change in her ability to respond to things. Remind her that you’re just there to get at the cause of what’s making her unhappy and that you’re trying to help her find the answer.

After that step has passed, both of you should sit down with the doctor and provide them with as much insight as you can. The biggest concern here is her unreasonable behavior and what the underlying cause is.

If you let her know that you’re not trying to find out what’s wrong with her (judgment) but rather, her partner in trying to sleuth down what’s making her unhappy because it hurts you, the kids, and the relationship to see her responding to things in this way, it may make her more receptive to what the real cause is – whether or not that is the IUD.

nikipedia's avatar

Huh. You may be on to something. Do you think it would be helpful to share with her that other women have had bad reactions to Mirena? Here’s a webpage with women talking about side-effects they’ve experienced.

Also, I like the idea of talking to your doctor, but unfortunately I think you should be prepared for the possibility that the doctor will not take you seriously. The few studies that have investigated whether or not hormonal contraception causes mood changes have been very contradictory, so the consensus in the field is that it doesn’t. This is sloppy science, but I believe it is what most doctors are taught, so I would anticipate a lot of resistance.

Good luck… keep us posted.

Glow's avatar

I think some one mysteriously inserted an IUD into me one night while I was sleeping…. Cuz man, I can get pretty nutty sometimes xD

But in seriousness, I actually thought it was normal for women to be a little nutty and insecure sometimes (although in no way good). I know plenty of girls who behave similarly, and are not on any IUDs. How long were you with her before the IUD was placed? I wouldn’t rule out the IUD, hormonal changes can really affect women in ways we do not understand. Only way to find out is to ask her if she can get off it for a little way and see what happens :/ Hows that?

nikipedia's avatar

@Glow: If you read the guy’s previous post his wife’s behavior is completely insane and abnormal.

phillis's avatar

@maccmann I truly wish you the best. Sometimes we allow our fears to drag things out, which only delays the inevitable, and keeps us from getting the relief we need and deserve. I do agree with some of the answerers that doing it as lovingly as possible is the way to go. Just be prepared that she may not be very receptive no matter how loving you try to be. It will be up to you to maintain an even keel, at least in the short term, until she can see her OB/GYN. It sucks, but one day it will be her turn to support you. Like when you bring home that shiny red Corvette during your midlife crisis :)

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t think it is a stretch to impute psychosocial changes to hormonal changes. An endocrinologist may be more on point here than an OB-GYN.

JessicaisinLove's avatar

How awful, tell her and get it taken out ASAP.
or
Is it possible she could have a health issue she hasn’t told you about or something else causing her concern?

Glow's avatar

@nikipedia – Well, I wouldn’t call her completely insane :/ Her behavior seems like it has a lot more to do with her emotions (and hormones) than with her mind.

nikipedia's avatar

Sorry to derail but… @Glow: you think emotions (and hormones) have nothing to do with the mind?

susanc's avatar

I would strenuously avoid saying her behavior has been unreasonable. Speaking in terms of happiness/unhappiness as @figbash suggests will be much better received.
And don’t talk about PMDD. It’s never a politic to diagnose someone you know, even if you’re a doctor, unless they ask. Never. It’s condescending and foolhardy, even if you’re correct.

LunaChick's avatar

Hopefully her doctor will have more information for you and she’ll get the proper treatment.

This is scaring the crap out of me, though – I’m supposed to get the same IUD placed, within the next two weeks. I’m already a little crazy, so I don’t need anymore help in that area. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

If that IUD is the one coated with hormones I completely believe that it could be a factor. My girlriend started losing tons of hair when she got it, women lose hair sometimes with hormonal shifts, and when she went in for a check up the nurse said she hears that complaint a lot, and the doctor said she thought it was unrelated and probably she is losing more hair because of the season (I hate that f$#king dismissie line about hair loss, if I can ent for a second!! How can a 40 year old women not be familiar with how much hair loss is normal for her). Anyway, it does say in the side effects that hair loss is a possibility. She finally had the thing removed and everything went back to normal.

hug_of_war's avatar

Don’t tell her you think she’s crazy, tell her you notice a change in behavior that may be associated with her IUD but you’re not a doctor so you two should consult one together. You should approach it as concern for her, not like she’s driving you insane. And don’t diagnose her because you may be right or completely off the mark.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I’m not qualified to discuss the effects of IUD devices on a woman’s disposition, personality and behaviour.

I do know that you must communicate your love and respect for her.
You must be honest with her that you notice so many changes in how she seems to feel and her emotional state over the period in question.

You want to be happy in your marriage and you want her to be happy and secure in it too.

Tell her that you wonder if the implantation of the IUD may have resulted in some major changes in her entire system and you don’t understand how that works but you are very concerned about her physical and mental health.

Tell her you are open to other solutions to prevent pregnancy and that you know that responsibility should not fall only on her.

Ask her what she thinks and feels about all this and encourage her to come up with suggestions for a plan of action to make life better for both of you.

JLeslie's avatar

It is the IUD with hormones. If you go to http://www.mirena-us.com/ and click on physician info at the top you can see the PDF of the package insert. It is contraindicated with several drugs, I would not trust the doctor to know which ones they are contraindictaed with, and this IUD is fairly new at being used in many women, so their might be contraindictaions they don’t know about. Severe migraine can be a reason for removal it says, and I believe hormone sensitive migraines is probably why the IUD aggravates this condition.

I say talk to her. Tell her your concern. She might agree that since she started using the IUD she has felt a little off, and had not put it together.

DarkScribe's avatar

She seems to be having a problem with you and the description and impression that you seem to have of her isn’t warm, loving or affectionate. You are not making her feel secure otherwise she wouldn’t have these doubts about you. Maybe the two of you simply aren’t right for each other.

Adagio's avatar

@DarkScribe Maybe the two of you simply aren’t right for each other. that’s certainly a sweeping comment, isn’t it…

DarkScribe's avatar

@Adagio that’s certainly a sweeping comment, isn’t it…

There’s nothing wrong with sweeping when things need tidying up.

MrsDufresne's avatar

It sounds like the IUD is causing her to have PMDD. Being a sufferer of PMDD once myself (now cured YAY), I know the symptoms, and what you have described here sounds exactly like untreated Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

I would suggest talking it over with her during a calm moment, tell her how much you love her and that you are worried.

I have never had an IUD, but I am familiar with many female reproductive issues, and it seems likely that the implant might be effecting her hormonal balance.

I would also suggest researching this more and seeing what information you can find. Also, mention it to your doctor, they may be able to guide both of you toward a resolution.

All the best to you both.

Glow's avatar

Haha @nikipedia , It can affect the mind sure, but what I am saying is, I don’t think her brain is all effed up or anything, much like a person who really is insane would be (lycanthropes perhaps?)

Cruiser's avatar

Sounds to me like there is more going on here. How is your relationship overall. You brought up many times how before you separated the last time she accused you of cheating and mentioned it again a few times so women don’t usually accuse their men of cheating unless you are giving her reasons to suspect.

Are you two getting along or is this relationship tied up in a knot of dysfunction?

slick44's avatar

lol thats the funniest thing ive heard all night.I dont think thats possible, i have had a copper iud for 10 years.

Jeruba's avatar

@maccmann, you are right to call for helpful responses to precede wisecracks. In the fluther guidelines under “Other important etiquette,” we are asked to hold off on jokes until some helpful responses have been given

faye's avatar

What about a vasectomy? Is it feasible? How much do you want this to work? My husband used condoms for a time.

snowberry's avatar

@maccmann It seems you’re forgetting all the issues with drinking. Those have nothing to do with hormones, but that’s a very big deal in itself. Even if the mood swings were resolved, that would be a deal breaker for me.

What if you concentrated on that, and if she gets the message about the drinking and gets help there, THEN you could address the hormone issues with her dorctor?

Additionally, in my experience, telling her doctor right now might not go well. If her doc decides to believe HER instead of you, he’ll tell her, and you’re really screwed.

partyparty's avatar

Does she have any foundations for accusing you of cheating?
Have you sat down and talked about it?
Have you reassured her… constantly… you haven’t cheated on her?
Are you loving towards her?
If you have done all of the above, then I would suggest she see her doctor.

polycinco's avatar

just talk to her.

JLeslie's avatar

This may come across as harsh, I do not mean to put you on the defensive at all. Like I said, I do agree the IUD can be to blame because of the hormones. But picking up on what @partyparty said, if you are cheating, you are making her crazy. If you are not cheating, but acting like a cheater, again you are helping to make her crazy. Both things can be true at once, IUD and your relationship both could be to blame.

I am not accusing, I am just throwing it out there for you to think about. It is pretty much agreed upon that men who are going to cheat and men who are cheating send out the same signals to their wives. So even if they have not done anything yet, mentally they are already in that place, and an SO picks up on the little signs. So, if you are not cheating, and don’t have any desire to, make sure you are doing everything to reassure her that you are committed to her, never make her wonder where you are, be attentive, and helpful.

Now, even knowing she is suspicious of your fideilty, what does that have to do with talking to her about the possible IUD connection regarding her health and emotions? I can only see a problem if you have been telling lies, making her feel like you are trying to tell her she is nuts, and this would be just one more straw to add to your chorus of how she is whacked and should not trust herself, her own mind.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie It worked the same way for me and my husband, although our issue was not cheating, he thought/insisted I was depressed. It didn’t work to laugh around him. He would get mad when I did, so I didn’t. You can see how someone who never laughs is seen as depressed… Well, harping on and on about it for a years got me to the point where I’d creep around the house, trying to do NOTHING that would set him off.

My “creepy behavior” made him think I was depressed, he’d tell his friends, they started interpreting my behavior as depression, and on and on…..It was a never ending cycle. If you get on that merry-go-round, you’ll never get off. Eventually he started talking about having me committed to a mental hospital. And around that same time I told him it was counseling or divorce, and he better choose fast. He chose counseling, and in the process, discovered what a total ass he was being.

That last part never would have happened if we hadn’t had a uniquely talented and gifted counselor who saw through all his posturing and passive aggressive behavior. The first 2 counselors never did.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry And you just pointed out one of the problems with therapy, many therapists are not very good, but good ones can be of great help. The problem is many people don;t know to switch therapists, or become disgusted too quickly with the lack of progress and quit. So, it sounds like things are much better for you now? I do give him credit for being willing to listen and I would assume he changed.

MagsRags's avatar

your wife’s doctor will not be able to talk with you unless she/he has your wife’s permission. The ideal scenario would be for you and your wife to make an appointment to go in together to talk about it. Even better would be for your wife to keep a day-by-day symptom calendar for a month or two before the visit. but that presupposes that you approach this with her in a loving and respectful way that helps her hear what you’re saying.

PMS/PMDD can occur with a Mirena, because the Mirena does not usually prevent ovulation, so natural hormonal cycles continue. But since you don’t see the usual cyclical bleeding, it can be hard to figure out.

90–95% of the progesterone hormone in the Mirena stays just with the uterus, so most women don’t get systemic side effects, but a few will. I haven’t had any patients yet with mood changes, but I have had one or two who had their Mirena’s removed because of increased headaches or acne. I would certainly be open to the possibility in one of my patients. If she wanted to continue using an IUD, Paragard has no hormones, although periods can be heavier and crampier with it.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie yes, he is like a completely different person. I really do believe it was an act of God, because he changed overnight. The way it happened, he took our daughter on a cruise for her graduation gift, and while there, read a book that opened his eyes to the way I experienced him. He came home weeping, and asked me to forgive him, that he never realized what he was doing to me. I said I would, but there was NO room for backsliding. Ever since then (5 years now), he’s treated me with great care and compassion, and yes, love.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry that is a fantastic story. Thank you for sharing. :).

maccmann's avatar

@snowberry: I am having similar issues. We have never really connected on several vital levels and she has alot of unresolved stuff that she refuses to get into. And I can’t touch that stuff. She refuses to go and talk to anyone about it. I have tried to get her to go to someone, and nothing ever comes of it. (I am actually once again seeing a therapist about all of this.) But what you mentioned about being on guard all of the time fits with my relationship with her. I found myself walking on eggshells a bit too often and I believe that you are correct in assuming that my behavior as a result may set off her mistrust of me even further. I will have to include this is the mix.

Another problem is that I can’t win. She constantly believes that i am being dishonest because she is always suspicious of me.

Example: I had two appointments today. One at 11 and another for what I thought was 4. I stayed home from work this morn and she asked if I had an apt (which she already knew about the 4pm one since I had told her about that yesterday. But I also had an 11 with a doctor—mine—which she did not know about.) So there was confusion.

I didn’t want to talk about my Dr. apt. My business. But she believed that it was actually the 4pm one. (Yes, I realize that maybe I should have said something about the Dr. but like I keep saying: every time I tell her something, she gets all crazy about it so I just decided to not say anything.) Well she CALLS THE OFFICE FIR THE 4PM ONE AND CHECKS IT! Then she finds out that it’s actually for 4:30, which I was not aware of. Someone either heard me wrong, I heard them wrong or they wrote it down wrong.

So in the meantime, I get a message from work that I need to get there ASAP. So I have to cancel the Dr. and leave. Since I think that I will be at work for longer than expected now, I call to get a 4:30 apt which is the latest I can get. The woman who answers says “OK, we’ll change it for you.” I say, “Thanks” and hang up, not realizing that it’s actually already scheduled for 4:30, which I call to confirm now that I have several irate texts from my wife about how I am a liar and how I will never change, and find out it was for 4:40 all along!

So now because of someone’s screwup, and my wife’s paranoia: I AM A LIAR…AGAIN.

This is what I deal with. I cannot win. And as long as I am under suspicion, I will never win. And this is also why I am in therapy.

I need this to stop and soon. I have a family to raise. I don’t have time for this.

JLeslie's avatar

@maccmann If stuff like you described happened all of the time I would think you were a liar also. So, all of the time would mean getting times and places wrong more than once a month more or less. If every week you had some story like that I would be pulling my hair out. I do not mean you are cheating, I mean you are behaving like a cheater.

What we can’t be sure of is she just suspicious of you, or is she doing suspicious stuff herself and that is why she is so suspicious. Like the overprotective parents who is ridiculously strict with their child because when they were children they themselves drank, skipped school, got high, and had promiscious sex with everyone at the party.

snowberry's avatar

Hey, living in a super-stressful place like he does is enough to make anyone forget all kinds of stuff. The more stressful life I lead, the more I screw up in remembering all sorts of stuff. It really does sound like a lose/lose situation.

snowberry's avatar

@Maccmann, Hey, I think you need to get to know ZenListener. He has a similar problem. Perhaps you could help each other. Here’s the link to his question.

http://www.fluther.com/disc/75245/what-would-you-do-in-this-situation/

maccmann's avatar

@JLeslie So what then, I let her know EVERYTHING I do during the day every day? I would do that…but she wouldn’t reciprocate. That would mean I am “getting all up in her sh1t” and “being controlling.” You see what I’m up against here?

Can’t win. And I can’t win because I am not being allowed to.

Are you familiar with hypervigilance? How about learned helplessness? Wiki them and then feel free to re-comment. This is how we live right now.

JLeslie's avatar

@maccmann Well, of course I have no idea of your total marital situation and the communication between you both, and again I want to emphasize that I don’t think you are a bad person or more at fault than your wife.

What I think from what you said was you both don’t treat each other well. My husband does tell me where he is all of the time, and I do the same. It is not because we have to or the other thinks we are cheating, it is because no one should have to wonder, and nothing is a secret. When you live together, it is kind of “normal” to me that everyone sort has an idea of where everyone is, and when they will be home. Doesn’t matter if it’s children, parents, roommates, etc. At least this is how I look at it. My husband calls me when he is leaving work to come home, lets me know if he has a doctors appointment (like your example) I never feel like I want to keep something from him, although I can imagine there are times when it is legitimate to do so. It’s the opposite for me, he is my best friend, I want to tell him everything all of the time. True, I don’t tell him every errand I am running during the day, but he has a general idea of my plans that day. And, if he asks me for specifics, I tell him. Just like I might know he has a lunch date today, so I did not have to prepare lunch for him. I have no idea who it is with, sometimes I know, he even probably told me, but it did not cement in my brain, because it doesn’t matter.

You can choose to be the one to break the cycle and tell her everything. It is not reporting to her, it is considering her. Maybe when you do it she will do it too, maybe one of you needs to make the change. Maybe she will never change. But, waiting for the other person to start means you could wait forever.

It sounds kind of like you are saying, “she doesn’t so why should I have to.” She might be saying the same thing.

Can you speak to her calmly, not during a disagreement, and say that you love her, and you want to ease any suspicions she has. Ask her specifically what would make her feel better and reassured, because you hate to see her so unhappy and insecure about the relationship. See what she says, and then you can ask her for the same.

maccmann's avatar

@JLeslie Agreed on all points. Let me just say this though:

I would always want her to let me know where she was going and going to be, and when she got there if it was a long trip, etc. Just for the sake of knowing she was safe. This got interpreted by her as “controlling behavior.” (This was standard in my home growing up. You don’t go places without someone knowing where you are.)

Good points above. I will add these to the mix and my new developing strategy for treatment of the issue.

Thanks!!!

JLeslie's avatar

Good luck. :)

snowberry's avatar

Keep us informed, OK?

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