Procreation is an evolutionary trait embedded in all humans, regardless of their attitude toward having children. Therefore, it’s understandable that infertility can result in sadness, isolation, and frustration. Many people who struggle with infertility feel they are missing out on a fundamental human experience. While counselling services may not solve infertility, we can at least deal with its adverse effects on your mental health.
The first step to solving a problem is to recognize its existence. Here are four signs that you may be experiencing depression due to infertility:
1. Loss of Interest in Activities
One of the most telling signs of depression is losing interest in activities that used to bring you joy. If you find that you’re no longer interested in hobbies or activities that used to make you happy, it could be a sign of depression.
2. Changes in Appetite or Sleeping Patterns
Changes in appetite and sleep are two of the most common symptoms of depression. People who are depressed may find themselves either not wanting to eat or excessively craving certain foods. Similarly, they may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. If you’re experiencing either of these issues, you must consult a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
3. Feeling Hopeless or Helpless
Infertility can be a challenging experience for couples who are trying to conceive. The emotional toll it can take can be overwhelming and often lead to frustration, guilt, sadness, and even depression. It’s important to remember that infertility is not a personal failure, and there are steps you can take to improve your fertility.
One of the most critical things to remember is that infertility is not a personal failure. It is a medical condition, and treatments are available to help you conceive. You can also change your lifestyle to improve fertility by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.
4. Withdrawal from Social Activities
Depression can cause people to withdraw from social activities, even if they used to enjoy them. If you find yourself avoiding social activities or not wanting to be around people, it could be a sign of depression.
What You Can Do
Are you feeling overwhelmed by fertility struggles? You’re not alone. Many couples and individuals experience infertility, which can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience.
One way to cope with infertility’s adverse mental health effects is to seek fertility counselling and support. It’s a good idea to talk with a mental health professional with experience with infertility or join a support group with others who are going through the same struggles.
Additionally, it can be beneficial to practice relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or deep breathing to help reduce stress and anxiety. Taking time to do activities that bring you joy, such as reading a book, taking a walk, or listening to music, can also help improve your mental health.
You must reach out for assistance if you are experiencing any of these signs. Talk to your doctor, a counsellor, or a support group to get the help you need. Many treatments available can help you cope with your infertility and manage any depression you may be experiencing.
Remember, there is hope. You can improve your chances of conceiving with the proper medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Even if you are past the point of conceiving naturally, there are other ways of bringing life to the world, such as surrogacy and adoption. No matter what you choose, know that you are not alone in this journey.
Chettiar Counselling and Associates provides video counselling in Guelph for people suffering from infertility-related depression. We offer a safe space free of judgment for people recovering from depression and other mental health conditions. Contact us today to set an appointment.