Struggling to cope

Hello everyone,

I just wanted some advice. As someone with no history of low mood or depression. I am struggling greatly with secondary to infertility. To the point my sleep is affected, I've developed eczema to my face, ears, hair line and arms. I've never had eczema before and GP said it is stress related. I'm anxious and feel scared alot of the time of being or seeing a pregnant person. I get so upset and find it increasingly hard to deal woth each month that passes. I'm a nurse and generally have been a happy go lucky person before this and have the most amazing husband and a son. So many women on here have been through far more than me, but it's got to the point my GP has prescribed me antidepressants. I'm scared to take them as if I got pregnant tomorrow I'd be ok again. But the GP told me that being as stressed and low about our infertility it made us even less likely to concieve. I just want to feel like myself again, and be the person my family needs, but i don't know if an antidepressant will take away the pain of infertility? It seems yo much to hope a magic pill will take the pain away? I understand it's a personal question but just wondered if anyone had any advice/ help?

Sorry for the negative post xxxx

39 Replies

  • I'm so sorry that you're not feeling quite so good at the moment but I want to reassure you that the feelings of anxiety, stress and low mood can be quite common place with fertility struggles.

    I think that you have made incredible steps towards developing strategies and to get yourself in a better place emotionally and mentally and those can be the first tentative steps towards feeling brighter. It sounds like your doctor has been supportive by offering medication, it isn't a 'quick fix it' by any measure but it can help to level your mood in order to get the help and support emotionally for the journey ahead of you.

    Often counselling can be very helpful when managing anxieties and stress around most things fertility and treatment related and if how you are feeling at the moment is having an impact on daily bits and bobs and the enjoyment has gone then it may be worth considering. My husband and I have joint counselling and it has helped us immensely not only to understand how we feel as individuals but how to manage as a unit together through this.

    You will have good and bad days, that is completely normal and I'm sure most people on this forum have days when they can or can't cope with pregnant women, me included!!!! But you are definitely not alone in this. Absolutely not xxxxx ❤️❤️❤️

    If you need to sound off don't hesitate to PM me xxx

  • Aww thanks so much for your lovely thought out reply. It never ceases to amaze me how people I have never met put so much effort into making me feel better so thank you so much....

    Yes I am actually on the waiting list for counselling after a previous visit to my GP. This time I actually went for more help with my eczema and came out withantidepressants. I have to say the GP was lovely. I feel abit like a failure to be honest. I have so much to be grateful for. And when I read so many sad stories on here... and the women are so strong. I just wish I could shake myself out of it!!

    You are so right.... some days are better than others.... I just want my old self back :(

    Thank you for ur offer of PM also..... the same goes to you if you ever need to chat. Thank you again for ur support xxx

  • It sounds like your GP was great, eczema can be exacerbated by stress as well as a multitude of other things I certainly hope that it gets better soon.

    You are definitely not a failure, it's horrendous going through this but even the strongest among us have wobbles. It makes you human xx Unfortunately this isn't something you can shake yourself out of, if you find the magic formula mind please pass it on!!

    Be patient with yourself. You should be incredibly proud of taking the first steps, saying out loud (vocally or written) how you feel, means you have pulled strength from a place you never knew you had, that makes you just as strong as the women you admire xxx

    Keep your chin up chicken, it's onwards and upwards from here 😘😘😘😘

  • My GP was amazing actually. I felt very supported and she didn't rush me..... I didn't even go to talk about my mood but she saw on the system we were going for fertility treatment and had been referred for counselling and I just started telling her everything and it all came out....

    Your words mean alot..... this site is almost therapy in itself. I'm not someone who is particularly open with my feelings so I knew it had got to a point where it was bad that I was talking about it and how much i wasn't coping....they do say a problem shared is a problem halved! From speaking on here I already think I'm not going to take tablets and just try the talking therapy first...

    Thank you and if I ever do find the magic formula... you will definately be one of the first I let know :)

    Big hugs to you xxxxx

  • Hello there. I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with things. I think we all go through moments of complete despair. I sought help from my gp a number of years ago as I was suffering from depression related to work. She was very keen to put me on antidepressants but I was reluctant. I opted for counselling instead and it was the best decision I could have made. I managed to work through my issues and have been able to apply the strategies I learned to issues since then. If I get to the point where I think I need emotional help again my first step would be counselling. I haven't got there yet with infertility but I know it's there if I need it. I hope that helps. Thinking of you. Vic x

  • Aww thank you so much for your offer of support. I am on the waiting list to go for counselling so I think I may use that as the first port of call.... I guess it's the lesser of the two.. and if things didn't get better then I may consider medication. I am sorry to hear that you battled depression in the past, but pleased to hear that counselling worked for you when you needed it to cope.... that is very reassuring! I just don't really recognise myself anymore...... and i know I'm at the point I need to do something. My family have noticed a big change in me and I just want to be the happy person again they used to be around. Thanks so much for ur reply :) big hugs xxxx

  • You're welcome. I was the same. I got to the point where I knew I needed more than a good cry and support from family and friends. It did make a difference to me. The other thing you could look into is homeopathy. My homeopath gave me Aurum and that really helped too. Homeopathy works a little like counselling. You have an hour long consultation where they ask you loads about yourself and then prescribe you things. I actually went as I was spotting for over a week before my period. She sorted me out within a month. I'm currently having acupuncture and he's helping me with sleeping as he can tell I find it hard to switch my brain off. I do think there are great treatments out there that are natural and if they can work that's great. 😘

  • I completely understand.. there comes a point where you can't be comforted in a way you once were.... and you know that you need extra support.. I'm glad u were able to see that in yourself and get the help you needed!!

    I have never really heard much about homeopathy.... I am going to Google it now! Im pleased to hear it was so beneficial to you and helped.

    Acupuncture is something I have thought about and would like to tey but I am abit of a wimp and don't like needles (ironic being a nurse I know lol!)

    I think I may do some more research on natural treatments. Thanks for giving me some things to think about :) its much appreciated x

  • No worries. You're welcome! Homeopathy is very gentle but I definitely found it worked for me. I hope it works for you. x

  • It's a tough situation 😞 Have you considered counselling? X

  • Hi Tugs girl.... I have been thinking of you. Thank you for replying when u are going thru so much yourself.... Yes I am on waiting list for counselling. Hoping it can help to give me the strategies to cope better. As I said before I feel abit of a failure knowing how much worse some people have been through, yet are inspiration in supporting others. Wish I could be stronger. Thanks again xxxx

  • Please don't be so hard on yourself. You can't help the way you feel xx


  • Thank you :) xxx

  • Sending you lots of hugs. I don't have much experience in this area; but I have supported others. The only contribution I have is to take care of you first. Take the help you need and trust the GP. Being a healthy woman trying to be a mummy is the better option.

    Take care you; remember you don't have to always be strong xx

  • Thanks so much emu. It is true it's important to put yourself first sometimes to look after yourself. The GP was lovely. And I didn't come out feeling she had just shoved these towards me as a way to get me out of the consultation. But I wasn't sure what to do and my hubby said to do whatever felt right and he'd support me.

    I haven't taken them but collected the prescription. It just made me think and look at myself when I was in the queue to collect them, and what this situation had led me too. I am sure one day this whole experience will make me stronger as a person... just at the moment it has knocked me off course abit. I admire every person on here for thier strength in coping with this.

    Big hugs to you. I see you are from Yorkshire too :) xxxxxxx

  • You are so brace for collecting them! Be super proud of yourself! That's a great step. If you have a piece of chocolate instead of one of them today - it's no biggie. You've got them and that's what comes first.

    It's hard coping but I can't image what it's like coping the way you are too. It's a big thing talking about it too.

    Originally a lanacashire lass... but married a Yorkshire man. I've been in Yorkshire for 17 years now! Almost half my life! Stay in touch x

  • Aww thanks emu. It's wierd knowing they are in the cupboard. In a weird way I feel less like I need to take them knowing they are there. It's feels better knowing I have them there as a back up plan, which seems a bit of a support just in itself if that makes sense. Hubby bought me chocolate so have eaten a full chocolate egg lol. Trying my best to occupy my mind which is easier some days than others....

    Aww I'm not originally from Yorkshire either but met my husband here who is Yorkshire through the and through :) thank you. Will most definately stay in touch :) xxxxx

  • I'm sorry to hear you're having such a though time. Like Emu said previously, I don't have much experience with depression. However, when I 'feel a bit down' I find making time for myself and doing the things I like helps to lift my mood. Simple things like having a bath, reading a book, buying new clothing or simply having a day out with my loved ones. Also make the support of any family or friends around you. I hope this tough time ends sooner rather than later xx

  • Thank you so much for your reply. I have a wonderful support network around me. My husband is so supportive. He listens to me every night, and does lovely little gestures just to try and keep my mood up. He bought me a little Nintendo DS with puzzles to keep me occupied, I enjoy crafts so he went a bought loads of craft things so I could make cards which I used to do all the time. He even bought me lavender to put on my pillow to help. I have took up running which has helped also but it just overwhelms as I know it does for alot of people on here. I wish I could be stronger... but I know I will get there. Thanks so much :) xxxx

  • @Rainbow86,

    You're so incredibly strong and brave, and it sounds like you've got an incredible husband who's trying to do his best to support you too. It's not easy for men to know what to do when they see us suffering, but his gestures are so kind and on point!

    I admire how you've recognised the problem and taken steps to take control back. Just having the pills and being on the waiting list for counselling might be enough for now? See how you feel, you can always pop them! Having them ready will give you a sense of control to take action when you can't take it no more. But talking, with a pro, with us in the same boat, and friends and family also helps I find.

    I hit a real low the day of egg collection and the days after (8 eggs, 5 fertilised, none cleaving properly), my partner wasn't around (he had to fly abroad as his dad died) and I was going up the wall. I broke down quite badly and ended up telling people I would not otherwise have told. It was just so stressful! It was awkward as I could partially shield behind my father in law's passing so people saw me look shit and upset and just suspected that was why...

    I thought I couldn't cope but the day I finally made it to counselling I was already in much better shape and now it seems a distant memory... and it's only six weeks ago!

    We've just started round two so will see how this goes. At least we're both together and I'm not expecting such exceptional circumstances again...

    What did help me a lot last time, apart from talking to lots of people, was a really really good massage with someone that understands the body's emotional tensions too. He released a lot of that (yes, sent me crying as it got released) but afterwards I felt so relieved and fit for fight again!

    I'm currently trying the Headspace app based on his recommendation. Mediation isn't really my thing and I suck at it, but it does seem to calm me down a little. I'll stick with it for now, ten minutes a day is an investment I can make!

    Hang in there and feel free to write if you'd like to talk more. Xx

  • Bless you... thank you so much for your reply.... my hubby is definately my rock. The worst part is he blames himself as it is male factor issues but of course I see it as OUR breaks my heart to know that he feels guilty when I'm so upset...... I just want to better and happier for him. I really am so lucky to have him!

    I definately agree with you I feel a sense of control that the pills are there should I need them... I just don't feel ready to do it and take them. Part of my feels it would be covering up the issue. I hope i am strong enough to do this on my own..

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have been going through so much recently..... you are such a stong lady from your post and I really pleased that counselling has been so much benefit for you :) im so sorry to hear of your loss in your family. I'm always here if u need a chat.

    I want to wish you all the best with round 2..... it sounds like you have found some really helpful relaxations strategies which I am going to look into!! I really wish you all the success in the world with ur next cycle. I'm pleased ur partner is around and you can get through it all together....

    I'm always here as well if you ever need to chat :)

    I will be looking out for your fantastic update of a BFP!!!!!!!!


  • Hello @Rainbow_86,

    Thanks for your very sweet reply. This forum is the best and it really helps to have one another, doesn't it?

    So happy you and your husband can support each other so well. Everyone experiences pain and frustration differently, and I can imagine also perspectives changes from moment to moment. No one wants to make the other upset, but truth is with this game you don't even know who's body's "fault" it is. We thought I was fine egg-wise, until the eggs were out and not "performing"... you just can't ever tell!

    I hope you're feeling a little better today. Don't be too harsh on yourself. If you find that some of the more natural/non-invasive relaxation techniques don't work, just pop those pills. I'm with you, I'd rather not take them either. But, all are a means to an end and after all we all end up taking drugs to get better one way or another: antibiotics, hormones, antidepressants or whatever.

    I was down for a few weeks, but then I was like a light switch: I was "off" and I didn't know how/if this was going to change. And then, boom, after that massage and a good night's sleep I felt ready to face the world again. Even though hours earlier I couldn't see a sign of mental improvement at all...

    So don't worry if you feel the same for a few days, rays of sun might be lurking behind the corner!

    Today is my day 5 of stimulation for round two. I'm a bit more realistic and possibly less excited than last round - self protection I guess. Back to work tomorrow after the bank holidays, let's see if I can keep things on track for at least another week!

    Just cooked a healthy dinner and tonight I'll do some stretching and Headspace before bed to set myself up for a good week - doing anything in my power and what I can control at least!

    Hang in there, and I hope you meet your rays of sunlight soon. Xx

  • Dear don't b hard on yourself. Sometimes it's ok to feel horrible. After all when d good times would come you will value it for life . And like many have suggested try meditation and Accupuncture that really helps at times.


  • Thanks so much mandy... I'm definately going to be looking into some of these alternate methods first....... thanks for replying. I hope all is well with you xxxx

  • Awww am sending you a huge hug and sorry you feel this way. I think you are being very hard on yourself but I recognise that in myself too. I was always a happy person yes I had some stress in my life mostly work related but I coped however since this infertility crap I too feel I have changed. I have experienced anxiety and low mood like never before. I can only put it down to this so I think it sounds like you are the same. So awful as we then put pressure on ourselves as to this may be why we have not yet conceived. What helps me...well I sought cbt counselling which helped. There are great websites also for self help cbt...try and or .org I can't remember. Also like someone else said try mindfulness I love it..heads pace is a good app or I bought book called funding peace in a frantic world which has a good cd. Ruby wax new book also good. Yoga and exercise helps too. I do hope you feel better soon..this process has some really hideous days and I try now to just accept them as part of it rather than jump to judge myself. I hope all the support and advice on here at least helps you to remember you are not alone xxxxx

  • Aww vic. I'm sorry to hear you are the same too. It's horrible to look back to the old you before fertilty issues... and think how different things felt. I looked at life completely different then and I just want to get back to feeling care free....

    I agree with you that I almost long for the days where work stress was the worst worry in my life, even though that felt horrible at the time! Compared to this it felt like nothing. I can only describe it as feeling constantly bereaved.....and i dont say this lightly as I have lost important people in my life and the intensity of the sadness is the only thing I can describe it as. It's so horrible that so many lovely people on here have to feel this way....

    Thank you so much for your support and advice.. I will definately be looking at these links....... you sound like such a fantastic person and I have followed abit of your story on here..... it's such a hard journey and I have so much respect that you are able to provide so much comfort to others after everything u have been thru...

    I have took up running which has been the only thing to really help. I feel much better after a run... my hubby has convinced me to do the great North run this year so training for that is a welcome distraction.......I've never really been an exerciser before so it's a big achievement for me! I started running about 10 months ago and each time I can run abit further and it's a good way to improve my self esteem in the sense I feel abit proud of myself for doing it despite the fact of not really feeling up to it most of the time!!

    If you ever need to chat I'm here. Thanks for taking the time to reply..... I wish you the best of luck with the next step of your journey... xxxxx

  • Awww thanks so much for your lovely message. I find helping people on here so meaningful and wonder sometimes that maybe I was meant to go through all this so if even one woman can learn something from me then all this pain was worthwhile in some small way. I get you on the running..good for you .I am trying that too although I seem to be getting slower 😉perhaps as I run with my mate and we blether all the time😉you are so right about feeling constantly bereaved that is so so true. I got so attached to my embryos both times and it is the nearest I felt to being pregnant so it is so hard to lose that. Hope drives me forward and all the lovely people on here too. I hope you are feeling a little better after getting some messages on here xxxxx

  • I think the main thing here is that you recognise there is a problem and your seeking help now which is the best step forward in the right direction. You mentioned that you aren't good with taking about your feelings and if things are bottled up I think that they can often manifest into somethong worse like depression.

    I've been reading a lot on practicing mindfulness as a coping strategy that is encouraged by the nhs to treat depression. There are courses that you can attend or books you can read. I'm reading 'mindfulness and finding peace in a frantic world' and along with this book you get a cd of meditions to follow and its 8 weeks in total but the book explores how the brain works and how to take neccessary steps to avoid falling into or dealing with depression. I think that medicine is amazing but often pills will only mask the symptoms rather than deading with and tackling the real issues.

    Seeing a conuseller has also helped me to talk through my problems and gain some perspective and given me ways to help cope with infertility.

    I've also been having acupuncture which I belive has helped me to settle and sleep better throughout the night and is also a nice relaxing thing to do.

    There is loads of help put there so don't be afraid to seek it out xxx

  • I am on the same book too..the cd is great. I also have a friend who did podcasts on sound cloud for free called mindfulness for everyone x

  • 👍☺will be experts in mindfulness in a few weeks, it's all very interesting how the brain works xxx

  • Hi! I have felt so touched by the lovely reply and lengths of messages of support and advice. Thank you :)

    Afew people have mentioned mindfulness and I am going to be reading alot of self help material and also look seriously into acupuncture (if I can get myself to face up to the needles! :))

    .. I do tend to agree with you that medication may just mask the feelings. I can understand in depression medication may help as it helps the chemical imbalance in the brain.... but I think the fact that my low mood and pain comes from infertility.... surely a tablet can't really help to take that pain away. I guess I need to grieve it out of myself system and if I cover it with medication now.... as soon as I stop taking them surely it will rear it's ugly head again.....

    Thanks once's definately given me food for thought and I am looking forward to starting my counselling in the hope it will be the start of a better me.... and a me that my family recognise.

    Big hugs xxx

  • Glad you are feeling supported on here Rainbow_86. As you mention mindfulness, I thought I'd share an app I found called 'mindfull ivf' - if you search it in the App Store it's by Gordon Mullins. I've not tried it yet but intend to when we get going with our second cycle. Xxx

  • Re acupuncture, I shut my eyes so never have to actually see the needles at all, and can hardly feel them. I had a super cheap group on session first to check I could tolerate it before beginning to pay the expensive fertility acupuncturist!

  • Aww that's a good idea!!! Glad I'm not the only one to wimp out at needles lol!!! All the best with your journey. Will let you know if I'm brave enough to do it!!! X

  • 7ava I've just downloaded the app thanks for the suggestions xx

  • Thank you so much for this.... I will be downloading this!!! I definately feel very supported on here ... it has helped with the isolation but mostly some of the kindest people I've come across! Thanks again :) x

  • Whoops I replied to you on the wrong bit lol!!! Replied to you under nmills response accidently.....thanks know you again xx

  • Hello, I know exactly how you feel. We are soon to embark on ivf with donor eggs following 4mmc's. The decisions we have had to make and the grieving has taken its toll at times. I am also a nurse and face children and pregnant women as part of my job daily plus constantly finding out that colleagues are pregnant or having children. I feel guilty about not feeling happy for my colleagues but in reality I am resentful. At times I have felt like my head will explode with the stress and emotions. However whilst I am under no illusion these emotions may come up again I have finally turned a bit of a corner. I think this as a result of us finding a clinic, then a donor being found quickly as a result of us working through these big decisions. We have also started having implications counselling via counsellor found via BICA website. As for work I just try and keep my head down and get on with the job. It has helped that it had been agreed I will be given a paid week of authorised absence attached to leave for ivf process. Therefore I feel supported. Hence to say I have had to be open with 2 key managers to get this support and they are referring me to OH also. Have you thought about this as an option? I have considered anti depressants but like you say do not want artificial chemicals in my body so have eventually found these supportive measures mentioned above have helped. Hope this helps xx

  • Hi Suze. I'm so sorry to hear you have been struggling also..... and am sorry to hear that your journey has been so difficult this far.... I the same as you struggle to hear others pregnancy news..... it can be difficult and the emotions you feel can make you feel guilty and a horrible person that instead of being happy, that deep down you feel angry why it isn't you. Please don't feel guilty though... it is a normal reaction and something we all deal with. This journey has brought so many horrible emotions. I have told my manager and she has been so supportive. Our problem is although we had our first fertility appointment in January after GP referall, had bloods and scans etc in February and we have been told that our next appointment is July. July seems like so far away and so we can't even plan to get started yet. I suppose it gives me more time to get mentally prepared for IVF and try to kick my low mood and stress levels. But the waiting is so hard....... big hugs to you and if you ever need to chat I'm here xxx

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