infertility and mental health

Having children is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our lives, and it takes a lot of knowing if, or when, you are ready. It’s not an easy thing to decide what you want to do, and so when you decide to do it, odds are you really want it. You have deliberated, discussed, and evaluated all your options and you want to have a child. Despite the stress of it all, it’s such an exciting thing! You are creating life and bringing your own into this world – that is something to be celebrated and admired! 

 

Best-Laid Plans

It is a huge moment for all of us who go through it and there is so much planning that goes into it. You have to plan the color scheme of the nursery, what kind of crib you want to get, how you want to handle feeding and night-time with your partner, there is so much to plan for a child that it can be overwhelming. But one thing that is incredibly difficult to plan for and is one of the greatest nightmares that a young couple can face is infertility. Having to face the sudden reality that you can’t have children is devastating. You can take care of everything else, but the one most important part, your body, is something you can’t control. It feels like you have been betrayed by your own self and that is defeating to the nth degree. About 5% of couples in the developed world experience either infertility (the inability to have a child) or secondary infertility (inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after having one child). 

 

Our Bodies Betrayed Us

There are many things that can cause an issue of infertility, it could be something in the woman, something in the man or the cause could never be found. Most causes are physiological, meaning that it is something going on with the physical body, but the consequences of the problem can be psychological, mental and emotional. The resulting stress that comes from learning of infertility can cause anxiety, depression, and all the other signs of grieving after a significant loss. You can lose your self-esteem, self-confidence, and feeling of self-worth. You can feel like you are a failure of a human, unable to perform one of our most basic biological purposes. It can fracture a relationship, both the relationship between the couple and with their friends and family. They could avoid friends who are pregnant or have children, and family who are giving them well-intentioned, but misguided, pieces of advice. It can take a toll on everyone around you and we get it. It is so hard to cope with and many of us could never imagine what that pain is like. You are going through the worst of the worst and we wish there was something we can say to take all the pain away from you. But, unfortunately, that’s not how life works and it will take time to work through.

 

Emotional Healing

Times like this can be difficult but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to move on from this. There are several ways to cope with infertility, just as there are with all kinds of mental illness. You can seek counseling, for both people in the relationship or each person individually. You can talk to a professional to help find a way to work through it. You can pursue psychotherapy to help with the symptoms. Just as this kind of method can help limit the symptoms in many types of mental illness, this can help us to better cope with our infertility. Practicing relaxation techniques will also help to handle the stress that you may feel. Finding tools that can help ease your mind and relax your body will do wonders for helping you stay calm and fight the feelings of stress.

 

There is no easy way through infertility, and we wish that no one had to go through it. But that’s just the way the world works and we want those of you who have experienced this, or are experiencing it now, to know that you are not alone and your pain is valid. You are entitled to feel sad right now, you are entitled to grieve, but we don’t want you to feel worthless. You are never worthless and you can get through this. With the right process, the right mindset, and the right support system, you can find a way out of the darkness. That is our promise to you. The world can be a dark place but you can find patches of light as well. Rely on your loved ones, seek the help you need, and you will be just fine. We will always be here for you as well. Don’t give up on yourself and know that you are always worth it. 

 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528.