Infertility is far from just a physical issue. The task of coping emotionally with infertility can be so difficult that the psychological stress experienced by women due to infertility is similar to the stress of women who face cancer, HIV, and chronic pain. If you are among the six million women in the United States dealing with infertility, you may endure feelings of loss, anger, jealousy, denial, shame, and lack of control that infiltrate your other relationships and responsibilities. These emotions have the potential to evolve into depression, so it is important to know when and how you should seek help as you cope with infertility.
Distinguish Between Sadness and Depression
Sadness is a basic human emotion, and as you deal with infertility, it’s natural to feel sad. A negative fertility test or friend’s pregnancy announcement may cause you to feel down, but after a few hours or days the veil of sadness dissipates and you continue to feel positive emotions despite the heartache in your life. This is dramatically different from depression, which lingers and interferes with your daily activities.
Signs of depression include intense sadness that lasts for weeks or months, consistent feelings of hopelessness, frequent crying or irritation, unusual lack of motivation, loss of interest in normal activities, and difficulty sleeping and eating. If any of these symptoms describe what you are experiencing, seeking help is one of the very best choices you can make. Since depression doesn’t magically disappear on its own, you can always benefit from the support and comfort of others during such a difficult period of your life.
The Best Ways to Seek Help
First, make an appointment to talk with your gynecologist or fertility doctor. Explain exactly how you have been feeling so that your doctor can evaluate if any medical changes might be necessary. For example, low mood and anxiety are sometimes caused by hormonal imbalances that can be resolved with antidepressants or other medications. Untreated thyroid conditions, PCOS, and vitamin deficiencies have also been linked to infertility and depression.
Your next visit should be to see a fertility counselor who specializes in helping women and couples navigate the emotional experience of coping with infertility. Therapy is a very important means of support for anybody dealing with a difficult or stressful experience, and talking with the same person on a regular basis can help you work through your emotions and properly grieve and process the trauma of infertility.
Preventing your own isolation is another important way to improve your depression. Join a support group and talk to friends, both of which will help you feel surrounded and supported by people who understand and care about your struggles. In today’s technology-driven society, there are also countless websites, blogs, and groups devoted to infertility support, so you know you’re not alone.
Finding a solution to your infertility will also bring you joy, which is exactly why Open Arms Surrogacy and Egg Donation in Bradenton, Florida dedicates itself to helping couples become parents through surrogacy and/or egg donation. Whether or not you have ever considered surrogacy or egg donation as a way to start or grow your family, the compassionate experts at Open Arms can guide you through the process. To schedule a consultation, discuss your possibilities, and receive guidance for your next steps, call Open Arms at (941) 741-4994.