It’s not surprising to learn that those who are experiencing infertility frequently experience depression as well. After all, discovering that you’re unable to conceive when you want to can be a very disheartening experience. However, recent studies have posed a question about cause and effect. Current evidence suggests that those who experience depression are also more likely to have issues with fertility. The connection between these two conditions is the subject of ongoing study, and we’re going to share what’s known with you today.
How Infertility and Depression Are Intertwined
There seems to be a deep interconnection between depression and reproductive-related issues. We’ve already discussed how those who are having difficulty conceiving may be affected by depression. We’ve also touched on the possibility that depression is somehow related to women becoming infertile, but that’s not the end of it. Those who had difficulty conceiving also showed higher rates of depression during pregnancy and post-partum depression.
How Sadness and Depression Differ
Feeling sad when you’re struggling with infertility is completely normal, just as experiencing mood shifts when you receive bad news. This sadness may feel particularly poignant when a friend has a baby or a family member announces a pregnancy. However, sadness and depression are not the same things. The primary difference is that sadness will fade after time, even if it recurs. Depression, on the other hand, tends to linger persistently. It also includes other symptoms that can interfere with your life. How much it affects your life is one way that the severity of the depression is determined.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Sadness that persists for weeks or months
- Feelings of being helpless or hopeless
- Spontaneously tearing up or crying
- Feeling intolerant of or irritated by others, especially those whose company you previously enjoyed
- Struggling to accomplish your goals at home or in the office due to lack of motivation
- Sleeping issues such as insomnia, or sleeping too much or too little
- Changes in appetite such as not being hungry or overeating
- Frequently experiencing bouts of worry or anxiety
Suicidal ideation is another common symptom of depression. If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, reach out for help immediately. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 1-800-273-8255. This line is staffed by trained counselors who can provide assistance and support. If your life is in imminent danger, call 911.
How Infertility and Depression Are Related
Struggling with infertility is a stressful experience for those looking to conceive. The emotions it stirs up can have an impact on your relationship, your daily life, your sex life, even your sense of self-worth. The focus on overcoming infertility can begin to feel like it’s a central element of your entire life and identity. Those most likely people to develop depression related to infertility are those with a family history of depression. It’s also a common factor for those who lack a support network while battling infertility.
Reach Out To Your Mental Health Counselor
If you’re experiencing depression related to infertility, it’s important to seek help. Your women’s health professional can help you battle infertility using a medical approach. Battling the depression involved will require the assistance of a mental health counselor. Don’t let depression add to your battle with infertility. Reach out and schedule an appointment today.