Fertility Network UK

Mental health

This maybe a stupid question...., but does anyone feel as if their mental health is being affected in this journey.

I used to be so confident and chearfull, life and soul of the party kinda gal! Now i just feel like a tiny spec of my former self. I worry and panic about everything. If I’ve gt a headache i think ive got a tumour, if i feel tired and run down i feel as if there is something seriously wrong with. I literally worry about everything and feel as if im stuck and life is passing me by.

I often wonder if i were to have my miracle baby how would i cope? And also the fear of not knowing whether i will be a mum is with me every minute of every day? I also think that if ivf does work for me, will these thoughts and fears go away?

😢😢

22 Replies
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Infertility definitely has an effect on your mental health though some of your thoughts do seem a bit, extreme? Have you spoken to a gp or maybe thought about counselling? In many ways infertility has the same effect on all of us, on our mental health, but having said that we all deal with things differently and maybe your thoughts are manifesting in this way as a reaction to not having control over this area in your life xx

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Hi tugsgirl, thx for your response. I have spoken to my gp on several occasions and he just says i have anxiety and that i need cognutive or something therapy. I think i need to be more positive.

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If you have anxiety it is not so easy to just ‘be positive’. Anxiety is a normal body reaction but it can go beyond that and becomes a problem where it affects your day to day life and is a recognised mental illness. It sounds good that your GP has recognised this and reccomended treatment for it. CBT can be really useful for anxiety, that’s why it is a first line treatment. If your GP is happy to refer you it’s got to be worth a shot? X

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Have you considered the therapy? xx

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Yes i have.... im going to look into it x

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That’s good 😊 xx

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Congnitive behavioural therapy..I went for some of that and it really helped. There are lots of great self help websites.pm me if you want more info xxx

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Hi,

I don't think it's a stupid question at all. I feel at times and more so in the past that my mental state has been affected. At times I have felt like a failure etc. but I know in my right mind that I am not a failure and even though I'm not in control of the outcome, I can still chose to be happy now and give it everything I have got. Even though we don't have a child now, that's not to say that we won't have one or even more on the future.

With regards to worrying about if you would be able to cope, I think a lot of women will ask themselves that no matter if they got pregnant naturally or with help.

xx

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Mental health seriously does take a battering iv struggled lots before I had my daughter and recently erupted due to my losses.

I do think maybe seeking councilling might help you as your worrying is a little extreme as tugs said. But you have lots of support here and if you need to talk were all here. It's a, tough journey but you'll get through it lovely and we're all here to help you along the way

💗🤗😘

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Hey Destiny,

What you are describing sounds like you may have health anxiety. All types of anxiety are hard to battle with so as the others have suggested counselling and cbt can really help some people!

Ivf is a tough journey and everyone reacts to stress so differently, don’t be hard on yourself and talk about your thoughts and feelings to those close to you or on here, love and support help to share the burden!

I hope your feeling better soon x x x

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Thank you so much for the advice.... this fertility journey is such s kick in the teeth.... and is affects your whole life..,, think its time to get the referral for cbt 😊😬

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That’s the spirit!! It’s amazing how strong and resilient we become on this journey 💪🏻 good luck Hun x x

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Thank you xx

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It’s definitely not a silly question.. I too feel exactly the same as you where by I feel just a snippet of my former self nowadays.. Every waking moment (or what feels like) is spent thinking about my infertility journey, my brain plays games on me constantly.. One day I’m ok, thinking positively, preparing myself for anything and being totally grateful for what I have, the next I am a mess and can’t control my emotions in any way shape or form! I think the complexity of emotions that women (and their partners) go through on this journey is definitely enough to question mental state of mind..

it’s great that your Dr has recommended CBT and maybe have a look into it as it can’t hurt to give it a go.. Xxx

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Yes it’s affecting my mental health and I already have mental health issues! People who are not going through this don’t understand the sheer emotional impact.x

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Your absolutely right..... the only people that i have told is my mum and my brother..... but i know they just want ivf to work for me as i really dont know how i could carry on.....

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I can totally relate to this, I suffer from anxiety and it’s being magnified at the moment with all the hormones from the meds, it’s EC for me tomorrow so hopefully I’ll start to feel a little more “normal” physically following this and able to get back to doing some exercise which helps with the mental side of things.

I would definitely seek support via therapy, loved ones are great but if they haven’t experienced it they won’t understand what your going through

Xx

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Absolutely. I could have written your post myself. There is no doubt this has affected my mental health. I too feel like half my former self and nit the girl my husband married. I am anxious mostly all the time. This has a huge affect on your and your partners well being not to mention family too. I try to do all the things recommended like exercise, mindfulness, yoga and generally surround myself with friends and family who make me feel loved and safe..that often tends to do the trick for me..much love xxxx

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Its so difficult isnt it.... i have to remind myself what i was like before this journey and try to be positive but your feelings change daily.... me and my partner have been together 5 years and i know friends and family wonder why we havent had any children yet..... im always making up excuses like ‘ we need to buy a house’ ‘ im enjoying my life first’ and im fed up of the constant lying.... but i want to keep things to myself! I often wonder maybe this is why he hasnt proposed yet and that makes me feel more anxious.... i have an operation end of march to remove a tube maybe 2 due to fluid and i do have some frozen embies so i know im feeling more anxious as the time approaches..... life ayyyy!!

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Massively!! I had some stuff to work through anyway that I hadn’t acknowledged until I started IVF, and I’ve been seeing a counsellor for 18 months, and I can definitely see the difference. I also have taken a sabbatical from my stressful job which was the best thing I’ve ever done! last October/November I ended up being admitted to hospital with heart problems, I obviously thought I was dying! But it was anxiety, it had all got too much, and a change was needed. With my therapist, art work, acupuncture and leaving my job it has helped so much, my heart is completely normal, and I’m in a far better place. I actually think if I hadn’t been in therapy I would have totally lost the plot! Definitely if you can get referred then do it, you have nothing to lose lovely xxx

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Ahh bless you, that must have been an awful time. At least youve worked through it. The anxiety has been awful, sometimes i just feel numb as if im just about to collapse, but time and time again it never happens thank god. This forum is so helpful.... but i think im going to go through my next round and if doesnt work will defo need therapy. I just want to be me again..... and be able to wake up without this huge depression on my shoulders..... thx for your advice and glad your getting better xx

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Hi destiny, sounds like you're having a pretty tough time and some support might be really beneficial for you.

I totally relate to this. I felt like I'd lost myself and was going mad at certain points through this and feel this process can change us a lot.

I had integrative counselling on the NHS for around 6 months after my miscarriage. The therapist used compassion and acceptance therapy, some CBT techniques and later developed into EMDR therapy for suspected PTSD. I found the integrative approach really helped and was led by my needs that emerged as therapy progressed rather than being prescriptive as CBT is.

I also had straight CBT on the NHS at an earlier stage in my life for something else and while it helped, CBT is a short-term therapy - usually 6-8 sessions - and treats one current issue only.

Therefore it's great if present anxiety is all you want help with as it teaches techniques to help manage symptoms which can be really powerful, but it doesn't go back to unpick/treat underlying root causes that have led you to this place and doesn't allow you to explore more than one issue or the past.

As I said, I've had CBT and another form of therapy, both were helpful, but the integrative helped me to work through deep-seated issues and by going deeper I have managed to heal the root cause which has improved any related anxiety symptoms so I felt that for me, this was a longer term solution than CBT.

It is totally dependant on your personal needs though as both have their place.

I'm a trainee counsellor myself now and on that basis i can say that while I'm supposed to be using CBT with my clients and while I do use parts of it, I find that a lot of clients - like myself - need a therapy that explores and treats underlying reasons for symptoms, not just the symptoms themselves.

Sorry for the length of this and hope it makes sense. Just thought that it might be helpful for you to know a bit about some different forms of therapy in order to decide what's best for you.

Massive luck and warm wishes to you on your journey forward. Xxx

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