Archive for March, 2012

Let’s talk about grief and loss and how this cycle can turn into depression during the infertility journey. Women with infertility are constantly going through grief and loss over and over, every month. It is devastating.  Many women end up crossing over into clinical depression because of how intense this cycle can be.

In both grief and depression people cry, they feel depressed, they’re having trouble sleeping, they may not have an appetite, they may not feel like doing anything, and they may not take pleasure in anything. There is no timeline for grief. In addition, cultural and circumstantial factors contribute to how people express and cope with it.

During a prolonged battle with termnal illness, as well as after the death of a loved one, a community of family, friends and co-workers often unites to provide ongoing support to those who are grieving. That does not happen when a couple is going through infertility and unfortunately it is quite the opposite.  There is no support, no one knows about it usually, and if they do people can say things that are very hurtful.

This puts women are greater risk of depression going through infertility. People suffering from major depression tend to be isolated and feel disconnected from others, and may shun such support and assistance. People who don’t get such support, or who avoid it, may be at greater risk for slipping into clinical depression during the grieving process.

Some suggestions to dealing with grief and loss with infertility:

  • Expect to feel depressed. Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and sadness are all part of the normal grief process, and are best not interfered with.
  • Expect grief to wax and wane over time. You may feel “fine” one day, only to slip back into deep grief the next day.
  • Build and use a support network. Grieving individuals need others to talk to and to care for them not just for a few days, but over an extended period of time. Find a support group or a therapist.
  • If you experience thoughts of suicide, serious weight loss, or are unable to perform daily functions such as getting out of bed or going to work for more than an occasional day, consider seeking additional professional help.

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