Coping with Infertility and Depression

Coping with Infertility and Depression Coping with Infertility and Depression

When coping with infertility, feelings of sadness, loss and grief are common and expected. But what if your pain and heartache don't go away with time? It is normal, and even healthy, to feel down or sad once in awhile. But if your sad feelings are affecting your life more than you would like, you can get help.

Signs of major depression
Many individuals coping with infertility feel symptoms of depression from time to time. So how do you know if you are depressed or in mourning? When coping with infertility, grief is temporary, and consists of different feelings that may come and go. Depression, on the other hand, lasts longer. Depression can completely impair your ability to function at school, at work, or at home. Here are some common symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling sad, down, or blue
  • Crying or feeling irritable and angry
  • Feeling less interested in things you used to enjoy
  • Eating more than normal, or losing your appetite
  • Getting distracted or having trouble concentrating
  • Sleeping too much or having trouble falling asleep
  • Engaging in risky behavior or thinking about suicide

If these things sound all too familiar, ask yourself: Have I been feeling this way, most of the day, for two weeks or longer?  If so, ask your doctor about antidepressant medications and infertility support counseling. Both treatments can help you while you are coping with infertility.

What the research says
You may be wondering: Does infertility increases rates of depression in women? A study led by Dr. Alice Domar, of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and Harvard Medical School, found that infertile women were twice as likely to be depressed compared to other women. If you feel depressed while coping with infertility, let your doctor know. Infertility support groups, individual counseling, and medication treatments can help you recover.

Infertility is a trying experience and can get the best of even the strongest people. If you are feeling depressed while dealing with infertility, you are not alone. If you need to, seek help from your doctor or a mental health professional.