So here’s a thought – could there be a similarity between the environment that
creates the anxiety and depression that women experience during infertility, and
the environment that triggers experiences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
experienced by troops who have been in a war zone?
This may seem like an unlikely question however recently, while watching
Sebastian Junger’s Ted Talk on “Our lonely society makes it hard to come home
from war”, I was reminded of the loneliness and isolation, told to us by women
Junger points out the tribal closeness of being in the military, especially while in
combat. He suggests that we need to consider the feelings of alienation when
our military come back into a society that doesn’t understand what they have
experienced. “Maybe if you come back to a close, cohesive, tribal society, you can
get over trauma pretty quickly?”
This got me thinking about infertility.
Why would it be that women experiencing infertility can have levels of mental
illness such as depression and anxiety, equal to those women experiencing
cancer – a life-threatening disease?
We know that infertility is still an issue that brings the burden of shame,
isolation and misunderstanding.
We know that often people in families, friends, colleagues and others, don’t think
about the impact of some of their words when they say things like – “oh well it
will be your turn soon” or “I’m surprised you haven’t started your family yet” or
“you know your time’s running out?”
We know that others all have an opinion on what causes infertility and a
‘magical’ remedy to ‘cure’ it!
And we know, that women experiencing infertility struggle with social and
family events, and tend to withdraw from these to save themselves pain.
Can it be, that by denying an open discussion about infertility; by maintaining a
culture of shame; and by our own lack of understanding, we are in fact isolating
and alienating women experiencing fertility issues?
In times of struggle and trauma we need to tribalize to support good health and
Without devaluing the trauma on war veterans, I just thought this amazing
concept was relevant. Continued isolation in our culture and community ignites
enormous psychological pain and distress, and gives women/couples nowhere to
At Positive Mind Body Australia we believe that one of the powerful aspects of
our Mind Body Program for Fertility is bringing a group of women/couples
together to normalise their pain and suffering.
We create a place for them to tell their story and not be judged or lectured to.
We help build a community where they not only feel supported but a place to
gain the skills and strategies to go out into that isolating community and not just
survive, but thrive!
If you would like more information on our Mind Body Program for Fertility
please go to www.positivemindbody.com.au and leave us a message. We would
love to speak with you and listen to your story.