I already talk about my fertility struggles too much and that doesn’t seem to help. 
While we can believe that we are repeatedly sharing the story of our struggles, such as what treatment we are doing, what shots we are taking, and/or the results of the latest labs/test results, we often still aren’t as candid with our true thoughts and feelings with other people.  Therefore while it feels like we are sharing A LOT of facts- we aren’t actually processing the feelings (such as sadness, anger, and/or fear) that we may have about the process or outcomes of fertility treatment.  Counseling can be a safe and neutral place to do discuss feelings and thoughts.

 

If I start really talking about it and crying, I am afraid I will feel worse or my tears will never stop.
I often ask patients: “I am wondering how you could feel worse because you are telling me that you feel pretty lousy now!”  Contrary to belief. talking about how we feel doesn’t make us feel worse. We usually already feel really lousy. Talking about it allows us time to share as well as gain perspective and coping tools to deal with the feelings.

 

I should be able to handle this- I just need to relax and “get over it
In treatment, my common response to this statement is often “why SHOULD you be able to handle this? It isn’t something that we are taught to expect.” Fertility treatment is a very stressful process that impacts us as an individual and couple. It isn’t just something we are struggling with in the current moment but also something that threatens our dreams for the future while making us focus on the past with the “what if?” and “if only…”  Counseling can help you stay focused on the present so that you can feel more in control while at the same time also accepting of the current state of flux that your life is in.

 

Other people have worse problems than me.  
Sure.  Some do. But this may be one of the toughest things you have had to face and it is difficult for you. Just because someone has seemingly worse things going on shouldn’t invalidate the stress and distress that you have. It can be helpful to be grateful for what we have in comparison to others who are burdened by more. However, it doesn’t help us to make ourselves feel worse simply because we judge our situation to be “less important.” The reality of infertility is that it can be stressful and it is essential to take care of yourself at this time.

 

The only thing that will make me happy is to get pregnant.
Well absolutely. But we can feel less sad or stressed while we are on the journey. The purpose of talking to a qualified mental health professional in fertility issues is to help you cope with the process of fertility treatment- to say the things you are worried about as well as to help make a plan on how to endure while you are attempting to achieve that goal.

By Tara Simpson, PsyD