Managing Guilt

Emotions and Self
Key Points

  • Guilt happens when we feel responsible for something that happened.
  • Look for all the causes that could have contributed to the outcome.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

What is Guilt?

When trying to conceive, people can often feel guilty or self blame for things they did – or didn’t do -, for not trying to get pregnant earlier in life or even guilty of feeling certain emotions when faced with unpleasant triggers.

Guilt can be described as a bothered conscience or feeling responsible for an action/thought that we regret. It is tied to beliefs about what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. When we violate one of these moral guidelines, it causes us to feel guilty over our actions.

Guilt causes anger, resentment, takes away your energy and prevents you from living a fulfilling life. It keeps us stuck in the past and prevents us from moving forward. It also affects our self esteem and self image.

Types of Guilt

True Guilt: Comes from a lack of internal integrity. True guilt is when we don’t follow our own truth and we do something that we can see is clearly ‘wrong’ (even if we only see this in retrospect).

False Guilt: Is a learned response. It’s triggered by something external to us – an outside demand we could not or did not meet. It’s essentially self blaming. False Guilt is:
  • unreasonable (you can’t reason with it),
  • inappropriate (the guilt is applied incorrectly)
  • and unhealthy (we make ourselves feel terrible).

Managing Guilt and Self Blame

To manage guilt and self blame, we need to acknowledge that there are several factors that could have contributed to the outcome we find ourselves in.
There are several reasons why the cycle didn’t result in a positive pregnancy test; or why the miscarriage happened; or why you haven’t been able to conceive naturally – reasons that are not necessarily related to something you did/didn’t do.

Ask for help when you need it

Sometimes it can be challenging to manage feelings of guilt or self blame by ourselves. Get professional help if any of the answers to the questions below is ‘yes’:
  • Feel unable to manage guilt and self blame?
  • Feel disconnected from yourself, others, work or environment?
  • Feel emotional exhaustion, like you have nothing left to give?
  • Feel lack of accomplishment/pleasure?
  • Feel like your emotions are paralyzing you and keeping you from getting on with life?
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