Infertility – is it the new Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Dr Alice Domar – creator of the MindBody Program for Fertility – has investigated and compared the levels of anxiety and depression in cancer patients with infertility clients who have gone through Boston IVF over 25 years. She found that women experiencing infertility have mental health issues equal to those experiencing cancer. Wow … Cancer!
Now, most people would never believe that right?
Most people would say that the possibility of losing your life to cancer is way more frightening and damaging to your mental health than going through infertility. And you know what? Most people would be wrong.
Could it really be this harmful?
Women travelling the infertility journey, experience so much hidden grief and loss. It is highly traumatic each and every month their period arrives, they get a negative pregnancy test, or another failed round of IVF.
Some women’s infertility journeys are highly traumatising causing them to feel isolated and alone. And because most people have no idea of what it is like – and others often dismiss it, or worse still – they judge it with comments like:
“I’m surprised you haven’t started your family yet”
“You know time is running out, you’re not getting any younger you know”
“Oh, you just need to relax, and it will happen”
“ Have you tried [insert idea you’ve heard 7 gozillion times]?” or some crazy and bizarre fertility treatment is offered up as if it is science and true.
How many times have you heard these or some version of them? They feel like they’re helping, without understanding each one of those phrases only adds to the stress, trauma, shame and burden you’re feeling. Bless them, they really think they’re helping.
So maybe you start avoiding events and don’t go to that family function (when we’re not in lockdown of course!). You don’t go to a friend’s baby shower. You work hard not to get cornered in the lunchroom at work. You choose to self-isolate … because it’s just easier to avoid, avoid, avoid.
How does connection help?
But the reality is when we feel traumatised we need connection. We need our tribe – the people who make us feel safe and heard. We need to feel we’re supported, whole and people have our backs … no matter what! Does this sound familiar?
So, you’re not only trying to deal with your own personal turmoil, the feeling you aren’t resilient and you can’t cope – you’re also dealing with a self-imposed exile from the lack of understanding, empathy or compassion coming your way.
Unlocking Your Fertility gives you the opportunity to work through all these feelings – and any others you’re feeling – with your very own psychologist. You have a cheer squad helping you to feel validated, heard and supported – all the much needed skills needed to unlock your fertility.
Do you feel like your fertility could be defining you? You are definitely not alone, learn more here. Remember, the path to unlocking your fertility doesn’t have to be a solo walk, we are here to walk along side you – every step of the way!