Infertility and depression can have a huge impact on how you’re feeling. Not being able to get pregnant can be one of the most distressing and heartbreaking experiences for couples who desperately want to start a family.
When you’re struggling with fertility issues you’re going to be going through a lot of different feelings, many of which are not positive and happy feelings.
Many couples feel as though they are grieving over something that they’ve lost. If you’re having problems conceiving, you’ll most likely be dealing with a lot of medical tests and decisions.
You may wonder what the future holds for you and if you’ll ever hold your own baby in your arms. The uncertainty that you feel about your fertility can bring about feelings of anxiety and depression.
You may feel as though you no longer have any control of your life and that you and your partner are completely alone when it comes to infertility problems.
Infertility and Feeling Depressed
One of the most important things that you can remember when you’re working through infertility issues is that it’s perfectly normal to feel a variety of different emotions all at the same time.
What’s not normal, however, and certainly not healthy are prolonged feelings of sadness and depression.
The following are symptoms of depression that are directly related to infertility issues:
- Feelings of sadness that won’t go away.
- Losing interest in activities you normally enjoy.
- Difficulty concentrating on anything other than your inability to get pregnant.
- Feelings of anxiety.
- Difficulty maintaining communication with your partner, other family members, friends, and colleagues.
- Inability to finish tasks that you’ve started.
- A change in your normal sleep patterns such as not being able to sleep or wanting to sleep all the time.
- Isolating yourself socially.
- A decrease or increase in appetite and weight.
- Feelings of guilt and negativity.
- Thoughts of suicide.
If you or your partner are feeling any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you seek medical help right away.
While it’s perfectly normal to be feeling stress and anxiety about your fertility problems, it’s not okay to be depressed for long periods of time.
You should also remember that while medication for depression may be an option for others if you’re trying to conceive psychiatric medication isn’t advisable due to the risk to your baby if you should get pregnant while taking any drug.
The Psychological Impact of Infertility
There is no doubt that infertility is physiological and requires a lot of focus on just what it is that your body is or isn’t doing.
However, the heartache of not being able to conceive comes with a huge psychological price as well.
Studies clearly show that couples who are experiencing infertility are going through the same emotions as people who are dealing with serious illness.
Many women who are unable to get a pregnant feel that infertility is one of the most upsetting events in their life. It’s no wonder that depression and infertility are so directly connected and intertwined.
While men seem to have less distress when it comes to infertility, they are just as likely as women to feel depressed when month after month goes by without their partner being able to conceive.
When men find out that the problem of infertility rests on them, they are more apt to fall into as deep a depression as women.
Help for Depression Resulting from Infertility
If you or your partner are feeling prolonged feelings of depression as a direct result of your inability to conceive, it’s time to get help.
For some people just talking to their doctor about what they’re going through can be enough to give them the guidance they need to deal with their depression.
For others, more help may be needed. If this is you, don’t be scared or ashamed to ask for help. You’re already dealing with the stress and anxiety of not being able to conceive.
Not getting help for depression will only result in deeper feelings of anxiety and sadness which may eventually contribute to your fertility issues.
Counselling for Infertility and Depression
You may already have counselling resources available to you if you’re going through any type of infertility treatment.
Counselling can help you learn coping strategies for dealing with all the emotions that you and your partner are going through, as well as help make decisions that are sometimes difficult to make when it comes to fertility issues.
If you’re feeling profoundly depressed, then you may need to seek more help so that you don’t let your infertility problems become so overwhelming that you can’t concentrate on anything else in your life.
Deep depression is not healthy and can contribute not only to your inability to conceive but can also lead to other health issues. Talk to your doctor about additional counselling that is going to help you get through this difficult time in your life.
It’s also recommended that you and your partner join an infertility support group. Talking to other couples who are living through the same challenges and heartbreak that you are can provide you with additional coping skills and let you know that you’re not alone.