Depression and Infertility
It's no wonder that so many women and couples who are going through infertility treatment suffer from some symptoms of depression. For a process that is so seemingly natural and easy, it can seem completely unfair to be facing so much needed help and assistance. You may compare yourself with other parents, wondering “why they could have children, but we couldn't.” You can drive yourself crazy, questioning if it was the pot you smoked in college or the abortion you had in high school.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression include difficulty eating or sleeping, having trouble concentrating, losing motivation, eating or sleeping too much, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and becoming withdrawn from your family and friends. You may not even notice the symptoms until your partner or a friend points them out to you.
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It is important to know that depression is a disease, a chemical imbalance of some important hormones in the brain. There should be no shame or embarrassment in asking for help if you need it. Talking out your feelings with an impartial person can really help you gain perspective and insight, and help you manage treatment just a bit easier.
Treatment for Depression
Treatment for depression varies widely among sufferers, depending on their life situation, the severity of their symptoms, and even the education of the counselors they see. Different therapists study different modalities of treatment, including behavioral, cognitive, or eclectic (a mix of a bunch of different types). Sometimes “talk therapy” is recommended, where you sit with a therapist and work out your emotions while talking with her.
If your symptoms are severe, your counselor may suggest medication and recommend that you see a psychiatrist. He will evaluate you and determine if medication is in fact appropriate for you. It is really important that you be upfront with your doctor about the fact that you are trying to get pregnant. Some medications cannot be taken during pregnancy and can cause severe birth defects in the baby.