Dealing with Depression
Infertility can be very difficult to deal with; it is often associated with numerous tests, multiple fertility treatments, and increasing financial strain. And for men facing infertility, the going can be especially difficult. Infertility is generally seen as a woman’s issue, and therefore many men may not be getting the emotional support they need when struggling with male infertility. Having to deal with these emotions alone causes many men to suffer from depression. This depression can lead to numerous physical side effects and put a strain on relationships, work, and enjoyment of daily life. However, effective treatment, including prescription medications, alternative therapies and botanical supplements, are available and can help you leave the fog of depression behind.
Infertility is often a rollercoaster ride of emotions: you may find that you are hopeful one day, but angry or frustrated the next. Many researchers recognize that women undergoing fertility treatments are at a high risk for developing depression.
Yet, experiencing fertility problems can be stressful for both partners. However, we are only just beginning to acknowledge that men too, can suffer from infertility-related depression.
Who Does It Affect?According to recent studies, it is thought that more than 10% of men going through fertility treatments experience some type of clinical depression. In fact, couples undergoing fertility therapy often experience levels of depression similar to those battling chronic illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS. Men who aren’t receiving any type of emotional support from their partners, family, or professionals are at greatest risk for experiencing infertility-related depression.
Major depression is a term used to describe a condition that is much more than just the blues. We all experience emotions of sadness and loneliness from time to time, but, in some people, these feelings become overwhelming. Also known as unipolar depression, major depression can affect the way you work, the way you relate to others, and your physical health and appearance. Serious, major depression can lead to feelings of extreme guilt and worthlessness, and is sometimes associated with self harm or even suicide.
What are the Signs of Depression?The main symptom of depression is a feeling of unrelenting sadness or despair. However, there are many other symptoms that could be triggered by a case of depression. Common symptoms of depression include:
- feelings of guilt, blame, or worthlessness
- difficulty sleeping
- sleeping too much
- lack of interest in activities or relationships
- change in appetite
- weight loss or gain
- alcohol or drug abuse
- thoughts of, or episodes of, self-harm