Depression due to an unfulfilled desire for children
Do you suffer from an unfulfilled desire for children? Is your pain so strong that it completely paralyzes you, plunges you into a deep life crisis? You are not alone in this.
An unfulfilled desire to have children can push a woman into a serious crisis that she has to deal with. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, for although it is possible to medically eliminate the inability to conceive, it is not socially accepted. From a social point of view, artificial insemination is still a taboo, since having children is considered as the fruit of physical love between a man and a woman.
As a result, affected women suffer secretly, silently and quietly. They feel worthless, guilty and punished. They question themselves and are afraid of the future, also of the perspective concerning their partnership, because their own infertility also denies their partners heart’s desire.
Their hidden grief and the associated melancholy, when all of the advertised femininity is suddenly called into question, can lead women to slide into a deep depression, from which they find it difficult to find their way out again. Other women’s experiences make it clear how high the psychological burden actually is for the individual woman. An unfulfilled desire to have children places an enormous burden on a woman’s psyche.
What exactly is depression?
Depression, to which an unfulfilled desire for children can lead, is to be understood as a serious mental illness, a never-ending crisis, from which the affected women find it difficult to get out. Often professional help is advisable to get back into normal life. Depressed mood, negative thoughts, diminished drive, loss of joy, sense of pleasure, self-esteem, performance or empathy are some of the central symptoms associated with depression. The pain of unwanted childlessness is difficult to bear.
Women who suffer from depression often complain about a lack of drive. Nothing gives pleasure anymore. A perceived senselessness of all activities and one’s own existence can be so strong that depressive patients can no longer even get out of bed in the morning. They actually have no strength to do so.
Depressions do not always have comprehensible causes for the outside world. In the case of an unfulfilled desire to have children, it can be assumed that the depression is more of an episodic nature and with the acceptance of one’s own infertility and the consequences for one’s own life, the healing of this life crisis can begin. Accepting one’s own life situation without evaluating it is an important step to rearrange oneself, to give one’s own life a new direction.
What can you do?
After you have recovered from the consequences of your unfulfilled desire for children, perhaps with the help of a professional, and after you have coped with this deep emotional crisis and burden, it is advisable to look for other ways and possibilities to fill your own life, your own partnership with subjectively felt meaningfulness and vitality. These can be very different ways, with whose variety there are no limits:
- seek therapeutic help (psychotherapy, day clinic, self-help groups, etc.)
- admit that you suffer from depression
- in cases of severe depression, drugs may sometimes be required
- a healthy, balanced diet to ensure a sufficient supply of minerals, vitamins and vital substances
- avoid social isolation and seclusion
- exercise in the fresh air
- relaxation techniques such as yoga, fantasy travel, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation
- practice mindfulness
- conversations with others
- reflect on one’s own life, sort it out
- create a new perspective on life (possibly with the help of a coach)
Context – involuntary childlessness and depression
At some point in the life of almost every woman comes the deep inner need to start a family, have children, build a nest. In connection with the desire to have children, motives such as social conformity are mentioned in addition to preservation of species, self-realization and economic security. Unwanted childlessness, which can be based on various reasons, is a deep crisis in the woman’s life, because a longing that can hardly be quenched may remain unfulfilled forever.
Unfortunately, a woman’s self-image is still strongly influenced by qualities based on what we understand by femininity. These still mainly include fertility and the ability to reproduce, not to mention evolutionary aspects, to save one’s tribe from extinction. However, it is now the case that, as a result of social change, the empowerment of women within society, particularly in terms of gainful employment and the opportunities for self-fulfilment, women have for a long time been denied the opportunity to participate, uncertainties with regard to changing social systems, world political events, financial crises and climate change mean that women are increasingly choosing to have children.
Many women today are very well educated and would like to work for a while and create a foundation for their family planning. Moreover, the labor market demands a lot of flexibility from women and, despite all the positive tendencies happening, there is still no compatibility between family and career.
Unfortunately, many women pay a high price for this and realize only too late that the biological clock of women, especially the ability of fertility, cannot be tricked by the common belief in eternal youth, which is widespread in the media. From a medical point of view, the probability of becoming pregnant at the age of 30 is only around 60 percent and at 40 it has already fallen to below 40 percent – according to the statistics. Every year, the possibility of becoming pregnant decreases. As a result, more than half of all women have low chances of becoming pregnant when they finally feel they want to.
In conclusion, it can be said that the unfulfilled longing for a baby can have effects on a woman’s life and mental well-being, but also that there are many possibilities for healing and hopes for a new beginning.