I’m getting back to basics to help both others–and myself. I’m researching the intersection of mental health and childlessness. I’ve realized to have any hope of responding to the needs I’m hearing voiced, from IVF warriors who blog about failed infertility treatments to women who are moving from childless to childfree to filmmakers who have created documentaries about the male experience of childlessness, I need to get educated.
I’ve been trying to conceive for six years now. Six exceptionally long years. My husband and I have tried everything short of IVF, and now that it has been placed at my feet, I’m not sure I want to pursue it. Mental illness makes me unsure I can be a mom.
How do we get back on track with caring for our bodies when struggling with grief due to childlessness?
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my mom and my grandma attended NAMI Family-to-Family classes. It helped them navigate the uncertainty and the fear of my diagnosis with information from other family members. From nami.org: "NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition. NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises."
Are you like me? Are you childless due to mental health circumstances? Or are you coping with both the trauma of mental illness and childlessness? Pill Baby: Motherhood Missed is a mental health podcast for childless women. No matter what stage you’re at in your journey, you can find community and understanding here.