Carolina Counseling Services - Infertility Challenges: Facing Emotional Pain with Counseling
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Infertility Challenges: Facing Emotional Pain with Counseling
Having a child is something that most people look forward to. It is regarded as a major life transition or milestone for adult men and women, and many perceive it as the most natural thing in the world. Thus, struggles with infertility can bring a host of negative emotions and many other issues: a couple trying to have a child may face years of an emotional roller coaster related to fertility treatments, uncertainty of results, and making vital decisions.
If you are faced with infertility challenges, be aware that you are vulnerable to many negative emotions. Counseling is a valuable first step to help you stay positive and prepared for the tumultuous emotions that may engulf you. While it may not directly address your infertility, it can help you stay resilient and emotionally stable, which is necessary to successfully handle your challenges.
Infertility Stress and Emotional Issues Arising from Infertility
A diagnosis of infertility is shattering. Initially, you may ignore the emotional impact as you focus and work hard to change your lifestyle, thinking that the cause of infertility is circumstantial and that a relaxing and healthy lifestyle will do the trick. If these efforts are unsuccessful over time, it can throw you into a black hole of unpleasant emotions like guilt, shame, anger, frustration, self-blame, and grief.
Who wouldn’t feel distressed when you can’t have a child despite your best effort? According to Harvard Health Publications, “the causes of infertility are overwhelmingly physiological, the resulting heartache (however)… may exact a huge psychological toll.” In one study they cited, 15 percent of men admitted “that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives.” It was also concluded in a survey involving 488 American women respondents “that women with infertility felt as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.”
It is undeniable that while stress does not directly cause infertility, infertility can certainly breed stress and a whole lot of negativity—low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, marital difficulties, relationship issues, etc.
Depression may not be a natural reaction to infertility, but it is well documented, especially among women. This makes infertility and life more complicated. Depression can make you avoid intimacy, activities, and people that you associate with pregnancy and parenthood. It may wreak havoc on your work and relationships. It can even affect your physical health.
Complicating Issues for Men and Women
Infertility may not be the only concern for couples who are unsuccessful in having children. Other medical issues can contribute to the deterioration of their emotional health. According to Helen L. Coons, PhD, of Women's Mental Health Associates in Philadelphia and Drexel University College of Medicine (Battling the self-blame of infertility, APA), “conditions [such] as polycystic ovarian syndrome, chronic pelvic pain and eating disorders can threaten fertility and complicate infertility treatment.” Life-threatening conditions, such as breast and uterine cancer, may cause women to live in constant fear as well as causing infertility.
Men are also vulnerable to great stress when diagnosed with infertility, but they are often overlooked. Many are likely to agonize because of performance anxiety. William D. Petok, PhD, says, "Infertility potentially cuts into a man's feelings of masculinity … That can lead to issues of shame and embarrassment." They may also feel distressed that they cannot perpetuate their family line.
Couples overwhelmed by their desire to have a child may treat sex as a performance instead of an expression of love. Consequently, sexual dysfunction can happen, stressing them and changing their dynamics further. This can exacerbate their existing issues and other marital concerns. The cost of infertility treatments can strain a couple’s finances as well, bringing more issues to the relationship.
Hope in Medical Options and Counseling
Science has made remarkable advancements in treating infertility and addressing its complications. With the explosion of breakthrough technologies, there are over 40 different options available, ranging from conventional methods (use of medications to regulate ovulation or avert miscarriage, timing intercourse, and surgery to correct defective reproductive structures) to cutting-edge assisted reproductive technology (in-vitro fertilization or IVF).
Alongside the radical growth in medical options, recognition of the emotional issues associated with infertility has also grown. It is now acknowledged that the diagnosis, making decisions, and accepting negative outcomes can cause an upwelling of overwhelming emotions. If you are affected by infertility, you likely want to prevent complications, make decisions and choose treatment options smartly, and accept the results calmly.
A good way to go through all of these challenges is with the professional help of an independent counselor contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Fayetteville, NC. The counselor who is the right fit for you can capably help you manage the emotional aspects or symptoms that accompany infertility. They can also help you make informed decisions, sleep and eat better, and take care of yourself and your relationship with your spouse, particularly when a negative outcome of a treatment looms.
Most importantly, a counselor can help you stay hopeful and fulfilled with the many options available to you. If you are dealing with infertility, call Carolina Counseling Services in Fayetteville, NC. You can overcome these challenges before stress complicates your life.
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Confidential / Private Sessions
Carolina Counseling Services contracts independently with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere to everyone. Carolina Counseling Services independently contracted therapists assist individuals, couples, families, and children with counseling services that will help put your life back on track. Working with both non military and military is a joy and the therapist you choose will be happy to assist you whether you are a "civilian", or if you are a dependent or retiree.
Counseling and Therapy are often used interchangeably in our English language. The same is true for Counselor and Therapist. It really doesn't matter which word you use. When you need help, it is best to talk to someone who is not only objective, but who has had lots of experience helping others who have been in similar situations as yourself. A friendly Counselor or Therapist who is trained, licensed and experienced is the one who can assist the most. You don't have to figure it out alone. All independently contracted therapists are licensed, friendly professionals. Call to schedule your appt now!
If we can't help you, we will be happy to refer you to someone who can. We look forward to assisting you!!!.
Evening and Weekend Appts Available with specific therapists
Evening and Weekend appointments: We have therapists available for appointments from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday. Some therapists have Saturday appointments available if requested.
Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services
Counties: Cumberland, Hoke, Bladen, Sampson, and Robeson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Hope Mills NC, Raeford NC, Rockfish NC, Sliver City NC, Cedar Creek NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Parkton NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Broadway NC, Pineview NC, Lumber Bridge, NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC.
Military Community areas: Ardennes NC Bataan NC, Casablanca NC, Anzio Acre, NC, Corregidor NC, Bougainville NC, Hammond Hills NC, Nijimegen NC, Cherbourg NC, Normandy NC, Bastogne NC, Pope NC, Ste Mere Eglise NC,
Zip Codes: 28301, 28302, 28303, 28304, 28305, 28306, 28307, 28309, 28311, 28312, 28314