The Seed of Infertility Casts it’s Shadow: The Role of YOUR Mental Health and Support Systems
Pregnancy, child birth and child rearing are phenomena which most girls dream of as they grow up. Whether you are a professional or a home maker, the idea of giving birth to a young one, bringing him into the world and taking care of him is something which creates a strong sense of excitement and also anxiety and trepidation. It is a process all women look forward to regardless of the pain and the hard labour that follows giving birth to a child.
All of this follows through when the pregnancy is achievable. But when conception is a challenge or when a woman recognises that she needs to look at infertility related problems, it brings with it problems at multiple levels. What it does is not just at an individual level but also in the context of the family and the larger social context.
Impact of Infertility:
For you as a woman the knowledge of such a challenge casts its shadow not just on your individual self but also on relationships. Some of the things which can and do get impacted include,
1. A sense of unhappiness and disappointment about the situation in which one finds the self. A lot of dreams and expectations are built over the years which get thwarted once a woman gains knowledge of her infertility.
2. A sense of helplessness can develop which makes one feel out of control over one’s own life and the choices one can make.
3. Hopelessness about the future can be a concomitant problem which can develop as the first thought that comes to mind is not necessarily about the potential solutions that can be available. Rather one typically gets preoccupied with the negatives of being in this situation.
4. A feeling of guilt and doubt can become pervasive. Frequently women tend to feel responsible for being in this situation rather than seeing it as a medical fact which may require treatment or an alternate solution.
5. Self-blame can be rampant, particularly when there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the problem.
6. There can be an experience of not being good-enough or a feeling of being an incomplete person because one is not being able to fulfil a significant role that is ascribed to her.
7. An individual can experience significant blame being directed at her from the family or other individuals.
8. There can be a feeling of not being like others around which could result is wanting to avoid being around other people.
What Can be Done?
The most important aspect in such a scenario is taking care of your own self. It is imperative that you keep in mind some of the following things that can play a significant role in ensuring your mental health and well-being.
1. Know that it is normal for you to feel sad and devastated by the knowledge of your infertility. This is not an easy situation to cope with and would appear to surmount all your abilities to deal with the situation. However, if you try and keep some things in mind you would be able to cope with this seemingly impossible situation.
2. Gain information about the problem you have. It is important to have sufficient knowledge regarding your infertility so that you do not harbour any myths or faulty belief systems which can be detrimental to your overall adjustment to the life situation you find yourself in currently.
3. Share your anxieties with your doctor about your future. Try and develop a comprehensive understanding about what alternatives and solutions exist which would help you counter your anxieties. A realistic understanding of your situation will always go a long way in helping you adjust to a difficult situation.
4. Do not engage in self-blame. It is important for you to remember that this is a biologically ordained situation and would require medical management. Your blaming your own self will only complicate things and make it difficult for you to cope with the situation.
5. There is no reason for guilt. Life can present us with rather difficult situations which our mind often perceives as being absolutely impossible to cope with. However, something like guilt makes coping especially challenging in such a situation and you need to steer away from it as far as possible.
6. Do not weaken your support systems. It is natural for you to feel reluctance in connecting with people and sharing what you are feeling. However, this would probably be a huge mistake that you would commit if you were to engage is disconnecting from people.
7. Talk to your spouse. He would probably be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. Sharing your experience with each other can help both of you deal with the situation in a better manner.
8. Seek the support of your family.
9. If required do not hesitate to meet a mental health professional to discuss your thoughts and feelings and to build your coping in this situation.
Support systems play the biggest role in dealing with such difficult situations. Having someone you can confide in goes a long way in coping with any kind of difficult situation, and that is especially true in such a case. Never hesitate to share your thoughts and feelings and seek professional help whenever it may be required. This is a difficult situation and would take its time to get resolved.