Infertility can be one of the most overwhelming obstacles that a couple ever experiences together, and often comes with physical, mental, and emotional shifts for both the men and women.
Infertility can have severe impacts on psychological wellbeing.
The long term inability to conceive a child can evoke significant feelings of loss, depression, and anxiety. Coping with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainties that childlessness creates can create great emotional upheaval for most couples.
As our experts from Brooklyn, New York share, almost everyone has emotional ups and downs as they travel through their fertility journey and pursue infertility treatment. It’s perfectly normal, and there are solutions.
What should I do if I’m feeling significantly affected by infertility?
Feeling happy, sad, and overwhelmed are perfectly normal responses. However, if you experience any of the following indications over a lengthy period of time, you can advantage a great deal from working with a mental health professional:
- Lowering the interest in daily activities
- Depression that doesn’t lift
- Strained interpersonal relationships with partner, family and friends or coworkers)
- Difficulty thinking of anything other than your infertility
- High levels of anxiety.
- Reduced ability to complete tasks
- Difficulty with concentration
- Change in your sleep patterns like: difficulty falling asleep, early morning awakening, napping more than usual.
- Change in your appetite or weight changes (no matter if decrease or increase of body mass)
- Usage of drugs or alcohol is getting more and more increased
- Thoughts about death or suicide
- Social isolation
- Persistent emotional changes from bitterness to anger
In addition, there are certain points throughout the process of infertility treatment when discussion with a mental health expert of various decisions and consideration of your feelings about these options can help facilitate explanation of your opinion and help with your choice. For example, consultation with a mental health expert will be useful to you and your family in case you are:
- At a treatment crossroad
- Deciding between alternative treatment opportunities
- Discovering other family building options
- Considering third party assistance (gamete donation, surrogacy)
- Hard communication and/or ideas about what direction to take.
How can psychological treatment help me/us cope with infertility?
A good professional therapist will be able help you sort out feelings, reinforced already present surviving abilities and develop new ones, and interconnect with others more openly. For many, the life crisis of infertility eventually proves to be a chance for improving personal growth.
Mental health professionals with experience in infertility treatment can help a lot. Their main aim is to help couples to learn how to cope with the physical and emotional changes related to the infertility, as well as with the medical conducts that can be hurting and intrusive.
A lot of people consider, the focus on deal with a partner’s reaction. For others, it may be on how to choose the right medications or how to begin exploring other family building possibilities. For still others, it may be on how to control stress, anxiety, or depression.
By educating patients problem-solving plans in an understanding environment, mental health specialists help people work through their angst, fear, so that they can find resolution of their emotional effects of infertility.
What qualities should I look for in a mental health professional experienced in working with infertility?
First and foremost, make sure you choose a professional who is familiar with the emotional effects of infertility. It is recommended that they have:
- Gradation in a mental health profession
- A license and/or national recordkeeping
- Scientific training focused on the emotional aspects of infertility
- Experience in the medical and emotional aspects of reproductive treatment
And lastly, chose someone with whom you’re comfortable, is a good listener, and makes you feel safe.
How can I find a mental health professional in Brooklyn or New York City experienced in working with infertility?
There are several resources available to those in New York and nationally, including:
Solace For Mothers