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Depressed and Suffering from Infertility

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Dec 02, 2018

Question

Salam. I am having great difficulties in dealing with infertility and have read other people's comments and can relate to the pain. I have been trying for ten years but have not fallen pregnant once. I have been so depressed due to this and cannot talk to anyone as they will fail to understand how I feel. I have bottled it in for ten years, and it is killing me. This pain and this hurt are unimaginable.

In front of people, you have to put the brave face on, but then you see all the people who have married around the same time, they are all settled with a lovely family. The only thing I wanted is to be a mother - that was my dream. But I failed in that and I can't get out of this state of depression I am in.

Why am I hurt so much? I had therapy in the past, but it wasn't helpful because no one knows the pain you’re going through unless they’ve been through it. Alhamdulillah my husband and I are strong as ever as a couple but find it hard to talk about these issues. I am in a vicious cycle of depression and it hurts so much.

Counselor

Answer


Infertility

In this counseling answer:

• Your first step is to accept the pain that you are experiencing.

• Try therapy again.

• Once you start to love and accept yourself again, you can start allowing yourself to love and accept others.


Salamu `Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry to hear about the pain that you are experiencing as a result of your inability to have children. I ask Allah (swt) to grant you peace and help you to overcome your feelings of intense depression and hopelessness.

Sister, it appears that you have been suffering in silence for over ten years, and you have grown very tired. The deep emotional pain that you are experiencing is real and has proven to be a heavy burden on your heart. It has affected you to a point in which you feel that no one is able to understand your pain and, therefore, you start to believe that no one can really help you overcome the emotional difficulties you face. As a result, you have emotionally isolated yourself from others when you say that you feel the need to “put the brave face on.”

You feel lonely, depressed, and hopeless due to:  1.) your expectation/dream of becoming a mother has been shattered and 2.) You feel that no one can understand what you are going through because most women around you are able to have families.

Sister, your first step is to accept the pain that you are experiencing. The depression connected with infertility is quite common amongst women who place their value on being a mother. You may feel lost, in despair, and confused about who you are now that you have lost hope in having children. When you feel down, accept the feelings as part of something natural that all human beings experience at some point in their lives: grief/bereavement.

In your case, the pain that you are experiencing is very similar to the pain associated with losing a loved one. In your situation, you have lost your sense of self-worth and meaning to your life. The pain is an inevitable part of the grieving process, and as it is known, grieving is a process that has stages which are the following: 1.) Denial 2.) Anger 3.) Bargaining 4.) Depression & 5.) Acceptance. For more information on the stages of grief, please refer to the following article.

It is the possible sister that you may have gone back and forth from certain stages of grief and have gotten “stuck.” Please do not despair! There is hope, and since the first step is attaining more knowledge on your situation, know that it will pass in sha’ Allah and the pain you are experiencing is part of the journey.


Check out this counseling video:


Once you have accepted this pain and started to have a little more mercy on yourself, I would highly recommend that you try therapy again. In sha’ Allah, this time it would be different because you would be ready for it and you would know what to expect from this type of service. Once you start therapy and you feel that you haven’t really connected with your therapist, please do not hesitate to change therapists until you feel comfortable.

Allah (swt) has given each person their own unique tests and tribulations. It is also from Allah’s (swt) wisdom that he has created us in communities to help each other and keep each other strong. Keep in mind that your friends, family members, and eventually your therapist are in your life to help you overcome the difficulties that you are facing, so allow them to help you and accept their willingness to assist.

Above all, help yourself and have mercy on yourself. Accept yourself for who you are and not who you always wanted to become. Once you start to love and accept yourself again, you can start allowing yourself to love and accept others.

I ask Allah (swt) to ease your pain and grant you the courage to overcome all your difficulties.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Still No Child: I’m Thinking of Taking a Second Wife

The Experience of Muslim Women Struggling with Infertility

Remaining Childless: Why Is It a Cultural Taboo?




About Aliah F. Azmeh

Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.

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