When a couple has been trying for some time for a pregnancy, but without result, it can be extremely discouraging. Reproduction is one of the strongest drives any organism has, and when this is thwarted it is not surprising that depression can descend. Those who have experienced the inability to get pregnant can easily understand the connection between infertility and depression. As the months and years pass with no positive result, the couple will usually become increasingly desperate to conceive.
The inability to conceive can cause both partners to begin to feel depressed, and perhaps even resentful. The partner who is experiencing infertility problems will often begin to feel as if they were worthless, while the partner who has nothing wrong will often feel helpless with how to deal with the situation. In some cases, the partner who is not infertile may begin to feel resentment against the other, and in a worst case scenario, the marriage might dissolve. When dealing with infertility and depression, it is important that a couple recognize the emotional problems right away and take steps to deal with them.
A great deal has been said about postpartum depression, and it is a valid issue. Many women do experience a period of depression after having a baby – hormonal fluctuations are thought to be the cause – but these feelings generally pass before a month has gone by. Those who are experiencing infertility and depression are often facing an indefinite period of anxiety, however. While a pregnancy will usually be the cure for depression of this sort, many infertile couples will not be able to rely upon that for relief.
As doctors and other researchers are finding out more about the link between our minds and bodies, it is becoming clear that depression itself may interfere with fertility. A fairly clear correlation between infertility and depression has been found, so coping with and treating depression might well be a way to overcome infertility for some couples.
When someone is suffering from depression, they begin to feel worthless. In the case of infertility and depression, the infertile partner will heap blame upon themselves as well. Both partners can begin to experience problems with sleeping, either suffering from sleeplessness or wanting to sleep all the time. Unfortunately, depression can also cause people to lose interest in their relationship, and in life in general. People sometimes seek relief from these feelings by indulging in alcohol or drugs, which will only make the infertility problem worse. In extreme cases, the person may begin to harbor thoughts of harming themself.
Before the depression becomes too firmly seated, it is important that the couple take steps to combat it. The couple should talk frankly over exactly what they are feeling, so that they can offer emotional support to one another. Therapy is often very useful in overcoming the problems associated with infertility
and depression, and there are medications available that can help. Many couples have also found that infertility support groups can give them not only an outlet for their worries, but also sympathy, and even good tips on resources that can help them.