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How do you handle your MH?

(9 Posts)
ivf2019 Fri 12-Apr-19 13:56:15

Hi all,

Infrequent poster/constant lurker. I have a translocation and we're hopefully staring our first IVF+PGD cycle later this year, best guess is currently August/September time but should find out more at the next appointment next week.

I've had mild-moderate depression in the past but it's always been manageable, but since around the time we started TTC it's slowly gotten worse. I'm now at a point where I just cannot cope any more and am finding daily life a real struggle. Last year I managed to get onto a group CBT course which helped a little, and a few weeks ago I self-referred back and was assessed for one on one support. Their assessment was high depression scores and moderate for anxiety which I think fits my symptoms, and they're recommending a course of one on one CBT but it's going to be quite a while before I climb up the waiting list.

Every morning I feel like someone is holding me by the shoulders to the bed, and once I do make it up/into work I alternate between feeling like my brain is made of porridge and unable to concentrate or make any decisions (I cried the other day when DH asked what I wanted for dinner blush) and feeling like a scrambling bag of cats where it won't stop shouting at me and I feel completely overwhelmed. I feel like I'm going to get disciplined in work because my productivity is appalling and I spend half the day on the verge of tears at my desk for no discernible reason.

I'm not sure this is 100% the result of long-term TTC and approaching IVF, but it's a pretty large factor. Does anyone have any advice please? It's such a hard journey and I know a lot of you have unfortunately also been through this/still struggling. I'm considering going to the GP again and raising antidepressants as an option, but not sure whether the side effects are worth it and I'm scared about how they would impact our IVF chances.... has anyone been on them and happy to share how they found it/how the side effects worked with the hormones etc.?

I also am self-medicating with food and alcohol which is not helping my MH or my plan for "my body is a temple"-esque health prior to starting treatment.

Sorry for the long ramble. DH is amazing but other than him I don't really have any friends I feel comfortable talking about this with and I just don't know what to do. Thanks very much in advance to anyone who is comfortable sharing xx

Janevi Fri 12-Apr-19 14:27:09

Hi @ivf2019 just wanted to say hi. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with IVF as I'm new to this and just starting the journey. But I also have huge waves of emotions which are quite something to deal with and very overwhelming. Sorry not to be able to give you any advice but am sending you an hug. Hopefully there will be other people here who can share their experience. xx

Rspu1384 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:51:44

Just wanted to say hi too op, I’m so sorry you are feeling so down, I noticed myself since actually hearing me and dh need ivf I have become more depressed.
Have you spoken to your dh about how you are feeling? It does really help to sort of unload all your worries and even if you can’t put your finger on why you feel as you do (other than ttc) it really does help just to confide in someone who loves you, you need support and communication.
I also said I would stop alcohol/bad food, but I love food too much 😄I have just started cutting down gradually and doing healthy swaps so maybe just ease yourself into it too? You don’t need to give up everything you love as it will just take over your life. Just more fruit/veg and vitamins/supplements and plenty of water to start off with.
Maybe try a class at a gym or some yoga at home? Just little things to take you mind off the ttc journey.
It is hard op, and it takes its toll but you’ve GOT this op.
The work situation- could you ask for some time off? Sounds like you need a little break from the stresses of work, I took 2 weeks off after feeling burned out and feeling the same way you are ( I used to cry in the toilets the second I got into work) but after I went back after the 2 weeks I felt better from the break. I would ask your gp for some anti depressants just start off on a low dose for now. I was on sertraline for anxiety and asked about ttc and my doctor said if o got pregnant they could lower and alter doses to make it safe so don’t worry too much .

Rspu1384 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:53:42

And can I just say ivf and infertility takes its toll mentally even on people that didn’t suffer before hand, so don’t think you haven’t got it all together. The emotionally strongest person would find this hard so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to not feel upset if you want to have a cry then do it. X

Didiusfalco Fri 12-Apr-19 15:04:15

I wasn’t sure whether to post because I’m not where you are anymore, but I really relate to what you are saying. Fertility problems were the worst my mental health has ever been, worse than other stresses that would generally be considered from an outsiders point of view as more distressing. I didn’t go on anti depressants but took St Johns Wort, which may or may not have helped but I felt like I had to do something. I also got to a similar point at work and had to stop have a bit of time off and regroup. I live in a large city and found getting away to the country and having some space somewhere different helped. Not so much a holiday but a change of scenery, a bit of breathing space. Also found fertility friends very helpful because there are people who understand there. So sorry, it’s so tough.

Noortje Fri 12-Apr-19 16:16:56

Hi, sorry to read you're struggling. Infertility is so hard on your mental health! I don't have any great tips.. just to say you can self-refer to iAPT services to get support if needed. You should be able to find one near you here: www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological-therapies-(IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008. You don't need to be in the depths of depression to get help; previous mental health problems combined with longterm TTC seems like a very good reason to seek some support.
I totally recognise the 'self-medicating'.. I want to be healthy for IVF but after 2 years of 'being good' I really can't motivate myself anymore to be super healthy all the time.
Good luck!

ivf2019 Fri 12-Apr-19 17:04:18

You are all so, so kind. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

@Noortje great minds, it's a local IAPT where I'm waiting on for the one on one. I did a group thing with them through a self-referral after the GP let me know about it last year, which did help a bit at the time so I'm hopeful I'll get seen for the one on one soon.
The motivation is so hard. I flit between wanting to give myself the best chance and eat well/no booze, and then throwing my toys out of the pram because it's unfair and eating all the chocolate/drinking all the wine!

@Didiusfalco sorry to hear you've been here too, it's shit! I hadn't really given much thought to fertility friends as was scared it might be a bit intense, but I think I'll look into it more. My SIL and best friend had babies last year, another just gave birth and another is due later this year and it's hard to talk to them about it because I just feel pitied. And with our mutual friends I don't want to be the bitter Debbie Downer amongst all the lovely baby photos and bump updates, so maybe some people who understand would be a good option.

@Rspu1384 sorry you're having a rough time too! Lots of good advice there, thank you. I have lots of options for classes as luckily there are a couple of evening metafit classes at my work and I have a hot yoga studio near home that I used to go to, it's just working up the motivation to go! It's so silly isn't it, you know that eating well and exercising will make you feel better but you don't have the drive to go because your head is a mess, and then you feel worse. Vicious cycle! I do think possibly a trip to the GP is in order. What yours said about sertraline is reassuring, thanks for sharing.

@Janevi thank you for the love and sorry to hear you're starting on this journey too! I hope it's a short journey with a positive outcome for you.

Do any of you have rough time frame for when you might be starting treatment? I hope it all goes well and comes around quickly, it's such a long wait. Thanks again for all the advice and sharing your experiences xx

physicskate Fri 12-Apr-19 22:37:18

I lost the plot. Completely. There were points in time when I was suicidal. So I completely changed my life.

I started taking anti-depressants and quit my all-consuming stressful and confidence-sucking job (I was a teacher. You really can't control a class when they're calling you shit and you agree with the rude kids). I went to counselling. I started doing yoga daily. I took up a part-time, no-stress job that I wouldn't have real difficulty walking away from. I ate better and stopped drinking. I lost some weight.

I had to make these changes because I was not safe and had a plan.

But honestly, all of that had only a small amount of impact. I was in a holding pattern that I still, in some ways haven't figured out how to get out of over a year since I was at my lowest.

The best thing for my mental health was a successful cycle, I'm sorry to say. But actually, before the cycle started I had sort of made some peace with none of it working because I had a backup plan: my husband and I were going to sell the house and go travelling for a year (or more) and be frivolous and spontaneous. I was actually looking forward to something.

I wish you the best of luck.

Sometimes knowing I wasn't the only one helped a little bit too.

ivf2019 Mon 15-Apr-19 13:44:40

Thanks @physicskate - I've been on here in various usernames over the last few years and remember a few of your posts. I'm so pleased to see that you got your little girl eventually, huge congratulations! I bet she is an absolute treasure to you.

I think a back-up plan is a great idea. We've been toying with an American road trip and/or getting a dog so I think firming up plans for one of those for if/when the first cycle fails might be good... something to look forward to, like you say.

I don't think I'm quite at the stage you were at, but I have been having daydreams about stepping out into traffic so it's definitely time to take some steps to keep myself safe. I almost feel like I'd be worse if I wasn't in work but I think a request for some reasonable adjustments might be in order. The mornings are so hard and if I could just come in whenever I felt like it (as long as I'm still doing my work/full hours etc.) rather than the added pressure of what time to be at my desk etc. I think it would help.

Just writing it out on here and knowing you're not alone is such a help. Thanks again everyone flowers x

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