Dealing with infertility can be daunting for affected couples. While some people have no problem with reproduction, some are having a hard time trying to make a baby.
“Although 1 in 8 couples struggle to get or stay pregnant, infertility feels rare. The more severe the case of infertility, the more unique the suffering can feel. There aren’t many people who truly appreciate the gravity of not having the eggs required to reproduce,” says Jamie Long Psyd.
For couples who are undergoing an infertility issue, it’s no surprise that the condition may take over one’s life. How do you know if you or your partner are gradually being imprisoned with the knowledge that one of you is incapable of conceiving a child?
You Torment Yourself With Guilt
“Self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience–something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to ‘me’ alone.” These words come from Dr. Kristin Neff, pioneer of the Self-Compassion program.
What people should understand about infertility is that it’s nobody’s fault. Feeling guilty means you’ve done something wrong and being infertile is definitely not a mistake you’ve deliberately done to yourself or against other people. The condition happens due to circumstances occurring inside your body that humans usually have no control of.
Though guilt may somehow be a product of blaming oneself for not starting earlier in life to have a family or couples waiting too long to have kids, things do happen. We make decisions in life that may affect our future, but that is not enough reason to keep on blaming yourself for some inadequacy that you can live without. Guilt will only cripple your life and destroy what you’ve built.
You Are Experiencing Anxiety And Depressive Symptoms
Infertility causes formidable stress on couples that it can sometimes lead to the affected individual to suffer from anxiety and depression. Your entire life is now somehow focused on being infertile, and the thoughts of your condition always burden you, leading to the disruption of your sleeping and eating habits, and basically affecting how you live, then you might be experiencing anxiety or depression related to infertility.
According to a study, infertility’s psychological and emotional stress is similar to patients who have severe or chronic diseases like cancer and cardiac issues. Aside from being physically and emotionally exhausting, infertility can also be mentally draining that the infertility-challenged person is bound to experience anxiety and depression.
“The breaking news published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility and summarized this week in the Science section of the New York Times, (Old Maxim of Fertility and Stress Is Reversed) is that women who stopped using contraceptives took longer to become pregnant if they had higher saliva levels of the enzyme alpha-amylase — a biological indicator of stress,” says Connie Shapiro PhD.
You Feel Extremely Ashamed Or Worthless
Infertility can strongly impact people negatively by thinking that they are not worthy of affection, care, and understanding. More so, they have this notion that they should not be loved. News flash: Whatever condition we have does not define us as a person, infertility included. Therefore, if you feel or think that people will no longer look at you the same as before, or your partner is going to leave you because of your problem, you have to confront what you feel by talking to them for reassurance. Because sometimes, you’re just too hard on yourself and all you need is the warmth and comfort of people who surround you.
You are not defective or broken. And if in case you still need uplifting, you can always seek professional help.
You Isolate Yourself From Society
Due to shame, worthlessness, and depression, infertile individuals tend to isolate themselves from the outside world and would prefer to be left alone inside the house. If you are feeling gloomy, avoiding family or friends, or avoiding any social interaction, you are falling deep into the infertility issue that you turn away from everything and anything.
You are not alone in your ongoing struggle. Some people love and cherish you for who you are regardless of what you think you lack. It is normal to avoid activities or events, like baby showers or christenings that might trigger your anxiety and depression towards your condition. You must give it to yourself to process the reality, accept the situation, and heal your broken spirit. This is a form of self-care.
When The Feelings Won’t Go Away
Seek help. The best thing that you have to do when you feel like infertility has taken over your life is to go to counseling. Infertility is just like any other incurable medical condition, which means that it should not be treated less.