About one in ten Americans experiences infertility and it’s becoming more common, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). When faced with infertility, both men and women tend to blame themselves, but it’s important to remember that infertility isn’t a sign that you’re not meant to have children. After hearing your diagnosis, you’re likely to experience many different feelings and emotions.
How Does Infertility Affect Your Mental Health?
Infertility can lead to depression, anxiety and other psychological issues, such as triggering feelings of shame, failure, and can put a strain on your relationship. It’s important, however, to know that an infertility diagnosis doesn’t indicate that you have failed yourself or your partner.
Infertility can cause depression in some patients because of the negative self-talk that can often accompany such a diagnosis. There is also a sadness that washes over patients diagnosed as infertile, and this can lead to depression, if not treated properly. Patients often suffer a loss of self-esteem, which may increase the negative self-talk and depression.
Becoming anxious about having children is a natural feeling for men and women, especially after receiving an infertility diagnosis. Some patients may find that having children is all they think about, which can increase anxiety. Patients may also experience anxiety with their partner because of the strain infertility can place on the relationship.
The most used treatment is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This therapy teaches patients how to identify the dysfunctional messages they’ve been hearing, both from themselves and others. In addition to individual therapy, couples therapy may also be recommended so that the partner better understands the needs of the patient.
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff is trained in Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology in New York, and can help you move beyond the frequent frustrations or limitations that may be caused by infertility. If you are looking for more information on how infertility affects your mental health, please feel free to contact us via email. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 917-609-4990.
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff