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Infertility stress depleting brain cells?

(28 Posts)
Isthismummy Wed 12-Apr-17 08:55:34

Probably a daft question, but does anyone else feel like infertility stress is making them slower and less able to cope with life?

I've noticed over the last six months that my ability to think straight and concentrate has plummeted. I need to find a new job, but I'm finding job searching and doing applications forms almost impossibly exhausting. It's like my brain just doesn't work anymore!

It's the same with reading. I used to love to read, but now I just can't concentrate. Unless it's a book about barrenness of coursesad

I sleep appallingly now as well. I've been awake since 5am and even the sleeping tablets GP prescribed make no difference.

Honestly feel like I'm losing my mind. Can anyone relate? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

BiggerBoatNeeded Wed 12-Apr-17 09:19:47

You're not alone, even if it's just the two of us! For the last year my brain has basically been frazzled. There is a constant background chatter about IVF and fertility investigations that seems to override any proper thinking or attention most of the time. Like you say, fertility stuff seems to be all I can really attend to.

There was a month or so recently, when we couldn't do anything due to having an ectopic pregnancy, where the brain fog clearered and it was like being back to normal sad. I was so productive and happy. It's gone again now though.

Isthismummy Wed 12-Apr-17 09:27:57

I'm sorry BiggerBoatNeededsad It really is shit. I feel like I'm no longer a functioning member of society.

The only time I don't think about my infertility is when I'm riding my horse. Other than that it is there constantly. It feels like a very slow decent into madness!

CrazyButterfly1 Wed 12-Apr-17 09:36:43

I feel the same so your not the only one! It is such a vicious circle of emotions Xx

Naughty1205 Wed 12-Apr-17 09:37:00

I was like this. Couldn't read, couldn't watch telly, could barely do my job. We were ttcing for years with infertility treatment, couldn't concentrate on a thing other than that and my world became about getting pregnant, nothing else. Don't know how we are still married after it all! I defy anyone who has not experienced infertility to say it does not take up your thoughts, your life and is all consuming. We had our happy ending and I'm hoping for you that you will too. Hard to actually believe it will happen, I know too well. You need to keep hold of hope flowers

BiggerBoatNeeded Wed 12-Apr-17 10:02:47

In a way it makes me hopeful that when this is over, either way, it might be ok again.

Andcake Wed 12-Apr-17 10:10:50

I had this...after years of infertility I finally got lucky and have a lovely 4 yo. No such luck for a 2nd but hey I have to remember I'm v lucky. My brain came back and focus. In a recent appraisal at work boss said something about renewed energy and where my motivation came from..' I said something about missing out on promotion earlier because I had other things going on'. I welled up and nearly cried. The horror of infertility came rushing back to about how it dominates everything else..

Isthismummy Wed 12-Apr-17 11:53:23

Well at least these posts give me some comfort that I'm not the only one. Although I'm so very, very sorry that we are going through or have gone through it.

Atm I honestly wonder if I will ever feel normal again. I just feel like such an abject failure in every way.

bananafish81 Wed 12-Apr-17 18:57:49

God yes, so very much so

Concentration span non existent

Focus appalling

Motivation to do anything (other than Google infertility stuff) near zero

I cannot remember what it feels like to feel normal....

Isthismummy Thu 13-Apr-17 09:12:19

Have they done any studies on the effects of infertility? I'm going to do some googling today (cos there's no point in googling if it's not about infertility right?wink)

I honestly feel like I have some sort of PTSD atm. I'm scared to say that to anyone though in case they think I'm mad!

bananafish81 Thu 13-Apr-17 12:49:52

@isthismummy

"The infertile women had global symptom scores equivalent to the cancer, cardiac rehabilitation and hypertension patients...The results suggest that the psychological symptoms associated with infertility are similar to those associated with other serious medical conditions."

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8142988

"Patients may experience serious mental health problems on a transient basis, as they deal with the emotional and physical roller coaster typical of infertility treatment."

www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The-psychological-impact-of-infertility-and-its-treatment

"Presently, there are no published studies linking PTSD to infertility, yet anecdotal reports have linked the stress of trying to overcome infertility and trying to manage a high-risk pregnancy with triggering stress responses associated with PTSD symptoms. "

www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719243

" I am both a cancer survivor and an infertility survivor and from my personal point of view, cancer that is treatable (though with terrible side effects) is a little easier to handle than infertility."

www.verywell.com/how-infertility-cancer-trauma-survivors-are-similar-1959993

broodynmoody Thu 13-Apr-17 15:31:47

OP your definitely not alone believe me! It's the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing on my mind before I sleep. It's in the background of every thought.
Definitely agree banana fish, there's not been enough research for one. A lady on here said she had cancer and infertility and she said the latter was worse. Cancer you want to live, infertility you want to die. Ive subconsciously thought I don't want to wake up tomorrow. That's not a normal psyche for sure.
Your not alone your not a freak your mad flowers your just getting by

broodynmoody Thu 13-Apr-17 15:32:34

**your not mad smileblush

Londonjam Thu 13-Apr-17 20:40:47

My attention span is totally shot. I'm utterly consumer by it. It's my first and last waking thoughts.

farfallarocks Thu 13-Apr-17 21:50:31

I had that too, my life, my relationship and work all seemed utterly pointless. I also have had a happy ending but I can't forget the trauma of it all, infertility, multiple losses and treatments have had their affect on my body mind and relationship.

Isthismummy Fri 14-Apr-17 14:29:41

Everything just seems pointlesssad It's bank holiday, and I'm lying in bed exhausted because the four hours sleep a night I am living on is destroying me.

I was supposed to be going home to North East to see family/friends this weekend, but I'm not going. I can't deal with my mams stiff upper lip approach and my friends telling me to "stay positive and how they are sure it will happen" Spoiler alert for them... it probably won't given my POF and partners sperm issues.

I never knew it was possible to be in this much painsad

Londonjam Fri 14-Apr-17 15:32:29

Mummy please consider having some counselling or speaking to your GP about how you are feeling. Where are you up to with fertility treatment stuff?

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Apr-17 15:34:31

flowers

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 14-Apr-17 15:44:38

No one can function on so little sleep Isthis. It makes everything else harder to manage. Could you see about trying to tackle that first maybe? Caffeine ban, good sleep hygiene, nytol or something or maybe even something from your GP?

You sound so unhappy, my heart goes out to you flowers. I can vividly remember the moments where it's just all too much - in fact I'm sure I'm due another one soon, so sadly I'm not much use on the 'how to cope' type advice!

You can talk to us here about where you're at in the process at the moment though if that might help? Or just rant about how shit it is. Because it is shit. It's unfair, it's energy sapping and all consuming and it's totally misunderstood by nearly everyone else. And did I mention it's shit?

Londonjam Fri 14-Apr-17 16:53:04

Something that's helped me is daily yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. Give it a go it helps centre me and feel calm.

I've also signed up to Headspace and doing 10 minutes of daily meditation. Again so helpful.

Do some things for you, something absorbing that takes your mind off things. I started a beginners ceramics course in September when we were 9 months into trying and I was finding it very hard. Focusing on clay for three hours a week was bliss.

Talk to someone in real life. There are support groups about.

Hang in there 🌼🌼🌼

Amara123 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:08:30

Hi

Just want to second Londonjams suggestion of getting some help. I see a counsellor specialising in infertility and it such a relief not having to educate someone else in my life so they can support me.

Can I just leave this here. bica.net/

And a quote from Beckett: "I can't go on, I'll go on"

flowers

Isthismummy Fri 14-Apr-17 21:16:30

Thank you everyone. You are all very kind.

Londonjam I spoke to my GPS and got sleeping tablets. They aren't really working though and I'm getting knocked out first no more time time then I normally would. I very badly took two back to back to day just to get seven hours sleep! Before all this infertility bullshit I was just managing to get a handle on the depression/anxiety I'd been suffering from for 18 months. Now I'm worse than when I started. I'm waiting for low cost counselling atm.

Regarding my treatment. My IVF got cancelled the day we were due to start it by Guys hospital. Instead I got told I'm peri menopausal at 38 and they won't treat me. They let me go through six months of appointments to tell me that at the end! We can't afford private treatment here, so currently saving to go to Serum for consultation. Fuck knows when we will have the money for actual treatment together though.

I'mean getting married in June and it feels utterly pointless. My much younger DP is just marrying an old hag.

I don't really drink caffeine and I had been alcohol free/healthy eating until Guys cancelled my treatment. Now I'm mostly living off coco pops and Jack Daniels, which might help me lose the five pounds I put on in a pointless attempt to tcc.

It sounds shit as well buy I can't even cheer myself up with nice things or a shopping spree/ trip away cos we're too fucking poor.

I exercise four times week and have young horse I'm currently training to ride. He's through only thing keeping me going, only this week he's not enough. Nothing really is.

Isthismummy Fri 14-Apr-17 21:18:33

You'd never guess I've been taking back to back tablets would you? That message is so well composedshock

Thank you for your concern though everybody. I'm just having a seriously bad coping weekend, but I will be fine.

BiggerBoatNeeded Fri 14-Apr-17 21:43:15

Isthis I think we've all screamed into the internet void and then stepped back and told people we're fine. It's sounds like you've had an incredibly rough ride recently. Sorry that this has come so close to your wedding too, that's seriously crappy.

Could you treat the time you're saving for Serum as a 'break' away from it all. You can't do more than try to save now apart from look after your mental health. Sorry, it probably all sounds like platitudes doesn't it?

When it gets really shit sometimes the only way I can view it is as riding out the shit storm and hoping for a lull in which I can get my head together flowers flowers

I know you know this but alcohol will add to the anxiety the next day. I've found beta blockers helpful to stop the horrible physical sensations of anxiety but perhaps you've already tried those. For me it's like my body gets anxious and then my brain tries to join in, searching for worrying thoughts confused

Zippybear Fri 14-Apr-17 23:45:49

Sorry for following long rambling post, zippy + wine = bad!!

Yesyesyes I've been there. Brain completely absorbed by infertility for years at the expense of all else. I couldn't read or take pleasure in anything. Its been a bad few years for us full of death, infertility, surgery, botched surgery, failed ivfs. We are just now starting to come to terms with the fact that we may be forever barren. Sometimes I wish I could comfort or advise or even just hug myself a year or two ago as DH and I had no one else..

We had a number of occasions when we were told very bad news with regards to our chances. Each time I actually physically felt like I was freefalling from a great height. Seriously, like walking out of an aeroplane. For days on end. Whilst having to carry on - work, meet people, pretend all was normal. Beyond horrendous. I wish I could hug myself then and say you are amazing, this is the hardest thing that most people have to face and you are surviving and you will get through this.
For me infertility is definitely very similar to grief. Except its worse as grief has a definite timeline, infertility just goes on and on, there is always hope no matter how small, you can never put it to bed. The stress of infertility is known to be at least as bad if not worse than some life threatening illnesses. And yet we all have to keep it private, there's no support, and if you tell anyone they immediately say something very insensitive like 'be positive smile' Cause that will help. yeah.
I guess what I want to say is I feel I am coming out the other side. I have a new job - surprisingly I love it. I thought I had long ago lost all joy in my profession. I have had a hell of a time recently with some noninfertility related awful personal stuff. Its been all absorbing, and horrendously every time I see a little break in the clouds I suddenly remember we are barren like a crushing weight. But its getting less and less.
There are many ways to become a parent. It may not be what you first thought, but my friends who are donor egg parents or parents of adoptive children are no less happy than those who had children easily. In fact they are probably more grateful for what they have.
DH and I finished our 4th round of ivf with a crazy joint euphoria. We just felt if we can survive this...... I count my blessings every day that this hasn't destroyed our relationship as it has so many.
We are not looking at donor or adoption at the minute. we are just having a LONNNNG break. And fucking hell do I need it. I feel a little more whole every month.
And worse case scenario. You get to be DINKis (double income no kids). Its every parents dream!!
Sorry for my rambly post. What I actually wanted to say was that i read something on another thread that suggested people had to choose between a simple medical condition and permanent infertility. It helped me see how my non infertlile self would see our predicament. we would have chosen anything other than this. And so we did - no caffeine/alcohol/money/personal space/holidays/life etc etc etc. Stand tall. We are the barren army. Yesyesyes I've been there. Brain completely absorbed by infertility for years at the expense of all else. I couldn't read or take pleasure in anything. Its been a bad few years for us full of death, infertility, surgery, botched surgery, failed ivfs. We are just now starting to come to terms with the fact that we may be forever barren. Sometimes I wish I could comfort or advise or even just hug myself a year or two ago as me and DH had no one else..

We had a number of occasions when we were told very bad news with regards to our chances. Each time I actually physically felt like I was freefalling from a great height. Seriously, like walking out of an aeroplane. For days on end. Whilst having to carry on - work, meet people, pretend all was normal. Beyond horrendous. I wish I could hug myself then and say you are amazing, this is the hardest thing that most people have to face and you are surviving and you will get through this.
For me infertility is definitely very similar to grief. Except its worse as grief has a definite timeline, infertility just goes on and on, there is always hope no matter how small, you can never put it to bed. The stress of infertility is known to be at least as bad if not worse than some life threatening illnesses. And yet we all have to keep it private, theres no support, and if you tell anyone they immediately say something very insensitive like 'be positive smile' Cause that will help. yeah.
I guess what I want to say is I feel I am coming out the other side. I have a new job - surprisingly I love it. I thought I had long ago lost all joy in my profession. I have had a hell of a time recently with some noninfertility related awful personal stuff. Its been all absorbing, and horrendously every time I see a little break in the clouds I suddenly remember we are barren like a crushing weight. But its getting less and less.
There are many ways to become a parent. It may not be what you first thought, but my friends who are donor egg parents or parents of adoptive children are no less happy than those who had children easily. In fact they are probably more grateful for what they have.
DH and I finished our 4th round of ivf with a crazy joint euphoria. We just felt if we can survive this... I count my blessings everyday that this hasnt destroyed our relationship as it has so many.
We are not looking at donor or adoption at the minute. we are just having a LONNNNG break. And fucking hell do I need it. I feel a little more whole every month.
And worse case scenario. You get to be DINKis (double income no kids). Its every parents dream!!
Sorry for my rambly post. What I actually wanted to say was that i read something on another thread that suggested people had to choose between a simple medical condition and permanent infertility. It helped me see how my non infertlile self would see our predicament. we would have chosen anything other than this. And so we did - no caffeine/alcohol/money/personal space/holidays/life etc etc etc. But there is life at the other side, you just have to hold on till you get there if you can, and come here to chat if you cant.

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