Numbness, fatigue, sadness, anxiety, and inability to focus are a few signs of depression when you can’t get pregnant. It’s normal to feel depressed; not conceiving a baby after months or years of trying is a major life stress.
The sooner you recognize the signs of depression, the sooner you’ll be able to deal with depressed feelings due to not getting pregnant. If you haven’t heard of The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, I encourage you to borrow it from the library or buy your own copy.
Not everyone recognizes the signs of depression right away. The following signs of depression include behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms, and will help you figure out if you need to get help.
And remember that getting pregnant and delivering a baby doesn’t necessarily erase every drop of depression! Here’s what Brooke Shields said about dealing with post-partum depression: “I just felt as though I would never be happy again, and as if I had fallen into a big black hole.”
Actress Linda Hamilton agrees, saying, “The lows were absolutely horrible. It was like falling into a manhole and not being able to lift the lid and climb out.”
Signs of Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant
These lists include a wide range of behaviors that could be signs of depression. If you exhibit more than one or two in each category, then you may be dealing with depression. If you exhibit just one or two signs of depression overall, then you may simply be sad that you’re having trouble getting pregnant (which is normal).
If you’re not sure if you’re depressed, talk to a doctor, counselor, or fertility specialist for help figuring it out. You need to stay positive if you’re trying to conceive.
- Fatigue, low energy, exhaustion are often signs of depression
- Poor sleeping patterns – waking early, not sleeping even when exhausted
- Loss of appetite or, occasionally, increased appetite
- Loss of sexual interest
- Withdrawal from people, work, pleasures, activities is one of the first signs of depression
- Spurts of restlessness can be signs of depression
- Sighing, crying, moaning
- Difficulty getting out of bed is a sign of depression
- Lower activity and energy levels
- Lack of motivation – it’s a physical sign of depression when everything feels like an effort
- Consistent sadness, misery, and gloominess are clear signs of depression
- Overwhelmed by everyday tasks (eg, cooking dinner)
- Numbness or apathy
- Anxiety, tension, irritability
- Helplessness is a sign of depression
- Low confidence and poor self-esteem
- Disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness
- Feelings of unattractiveness or ugliness
- Loss of pleasure and enjoyment
- Inability to make decisions
- Lack of concentration or focus
- Loss of interest in activities, people, and life
- Self-criticism, self-blame, self-loathing
- Pessimism can be a sign of depression
- Preoccupation with problems and failures
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Help Coping With Depression or Infertility Sadness
Different reasons for depression can trigger different signs of depression. And, different signs or symptoms require different treatments. The first step is to talk to your family doctor or a fertility counselor. Reaching out to people and being as honest as you can is the primary way to get help with depression – and start enjoying life again.
Are you open to different ways to start a family? Read Options for Women Who Can’t Get Pregnant.
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If you have any comments on depression when you can’t get pregnant, I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share how you feel.