Learning how to overcome infertility depression when you can’t conceive a baby is an ongoing process. You may never totally, completely accept the idea of never having kids…but you can learn how to live fully without getting pregnant.
If you feel broken, disconnected or without hope, read Broken Vessel Restored: How to Overcome Depression, Illness, Infertility, and Hormonal Imbalance and Reclaim Your Connection to God by Wanda Cooper. She understands the feelings of confusion and despair that keep women from finding their way out of the darkness. Giving up the idea that motherhood will bring complete joy and happiness is another way to overcome infertility depression. For me, what works is believing that there is a reason my husband and I aren’t parents. God has our lives in His hands, and He knows what He’s doing.
Are you searching for help overcoming depressed feelings? I originally wrote this article in 2009, and just updated it. Come over to SheBlossoms (my new blog) and read How to Deal With Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant.
“If we give up the notion that everybody’s life but ours is perfect, we would be a lot happier,” says psychologist Dr Joy Browne. “Nobody’s life is perfect.” Even if you did get pregnant right away, your life wouldn’t be perfect! Whether or not we get the desires of our heart, there will always be warts, wrinkles and blemishes in our lives. Sometimes we think we’ll be 100% happy if we could only have children, but that’s not true.
These tips might help you overcome the depressed feelings that often comes with not being able to get pregnant. I also encourage you to read the reader’s comments below, as not everyone agrees with these ideas…
Overcoming Infertility Depression When You Can’t Conceive
If you feel like a helpless victim, you may need to hang on to more empowering ways to be happy even if you’re childless. Instead of thinking about how lousy your life is – and how sad you are that you can’t conceive, and how you wish things could be different – find ways to empower yourself.
What does a survivor look like to you? Figure out who she is, and be her.
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Listen to what works for other couples who can’t get pregnant
Do you have any friends, family members, or acquaintances who overcame infertility depression? Talk to them. Seek different perspectives, other people’s opinions, and sound advice.
Let go of the words “never” and “always”
Just because you’re not pregnant now doesn’t mean you’ll never get pregnant! Just because you’re struggling to overcome infertility depression now doesn’t mean you’ll always feel sad or anxious. It may help to remember that this is a stage that won’t last forever. Something will change in your life.
Stop the “If you loved me, you’d know” method of communication
Instead of expecting your partner, friends, or family to figure out how you feel, try volunteering information about your thoughts and feelings. Don’t make people guess or pry it out of you. Be clear and honest about how you feel, and don’t expect people to know what you’re struggling with.
Remember that problems aren’t always insurmountable obstacles
Sometimes problems are just bumps in the road. For instance, I once thought the cost of ovulation predictor kits were a huge obstacle…and now I know that they’re just a little problem. To overcome infertility depression, don’t take life’s everyday challenges (the cost of pregnancy tests or temperature gauges, for example) and make them into huge obstacles.
Let go of the need to control life when you can’t get pregnant
Let go of the urge to be in control of all situations at all times. Don’t feel like you have to always be in charge of everything from how your husband’s sperm count and motility to the month in which you want to give birth. Getting pregnant isn’t always something you can control.
Remember that you’re not alone on the infertility roller coaster
You’re not feeling feelings that are all that different from everybody else, my friend. It’s not you against the world. Other couples coping with infertility do understood what you’re going through. To overcome infertility depression, unite with with people who have experienced the same things.
For help dealing with infertility, read 5 Practical Ways to Cope With Childlessness.
If you have any thoughts on these tips for overcoming infertility depression, please comment below. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience of childlessness.