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Infertility, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the First Quarter Blues

By Tracey Minella

January 4th, 2018 at 11:56 pm

depressed woman

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Infertility and depression go hand-in-hand. Just ask any woman who’s not able to conceive or maintain a pregnancy without medical intervention. You’d be down, too. But some couples–yes, men have feelings, too–are seriously depressed. Maybe even clinically depressed.

Any number of factors could impact a couple’s ability to cope with their infertility struggle. There’s often misplaced guilt or blame over whose “fault” the problem is– or alternatively the complete frustration of facing an “unexplained infertility” diagnosis. Some couples may be completely overwhelmed upon the initial diagnosis while others spiral downward as more time passes without a baby. And the stress of the financial burden of infertility treatment on a couple’s budget doesn’t help matters.

But could there be more to “being down” at this time of year?

Many people actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder* (“SAD”) –a form of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Generally, the onset of symptoms begins in the fall, continues or escalates through the winter and eases a bit as spring arrives. This actual syndrome causes those affected to become more depressed in the cold, dark, dreary winter season than they tend to be during the sunny, warm, longer and somewhat more carefree days of summer. Therapy may help ease the symptoms.

So, is it harder to be infertile during the winter months? Does it feel that way to you?

It’s certainly understandable to be down after the holiday season is over and to be exhausted by endless weeks of wearing a fake smile and dodging nagging personal questions –all while surrounded by the babies and pregnant bellies of others. The bitter cold weather on Long Island lately would make anyone want to pull the covers over their head and hibernate. Unless you have an upcoming vacation to look forward to, the first quarter of the new year could seem pretty bleak.

However, if you’re feeling particularly depressed and your depression is interfering with your ability to get through the demands of your day, it may be more than just the winter blues. And it might be time to seek counseling from a caring therapist who specializes in helping infertile couples cope with the stress of infertility.

Among the many offerings of the Long Island IVF Mind-Body Program are individual and group counseling sessions with Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N. In addition, we offer special workshops hosted by Bina for individuals and couples covering topics like how to “come out” to friends and family about your infertility struggle or how to keep passion in your relationship during your infertility treatment.

Whether you are interested in individual or group counseling with Bina or you want to register here for her upcoming, pre-Valentine’s Day workshop on “Rekindling Romance in the Face of Infertility”, help is here for you. And you don’t have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. In fact, many couples’ first experiences with our practice began with Bina’s counseling, or by taking advantage of our free workshops and seminars during the year. Becoming patients—and hopefully parents—often follows that initial contact.

Long Island IVF is celebrating a milestone this year: 2018 marks our 30th anniversary! The same team of doctors who founded the practice responsible for bringing Long Island its first IVF baby, its first baby from a cryopreserved embryo, and its first donor egg baby is still together three decades later and continues to pioneer breakthroughs in the field of assisted reproductive technology. We love what we do and the birth of every baby we’re responsible for is just as exciting as that very first one. Let us help you celebrate a milestone this year, too. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


*Source: The Mayo Clinic

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