HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Depression after Hysterectomy
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
SHARING IS CARING
It's been six weeks since my hysterectomy, and I'm feeling good physically and have returned to work and resumed my normal daily routine. But, I feel so sad. What's wrong with me?
Many women experience a change in their emotions after their hysterectomy. Studies have shown that most women enjoy a better mood, quality of life, and sexual, psychological, and social functioning following their hysterectomy. A high percentage of women who have problems with anxiety or depression before their hysterectomy find that, with their improved physical health after the surgery, their previous depressed feelings go away.
However, some women, including those with no past history of depression or anxiety, feel sad after their hysterectomy. A woman's emotions are often based on her beliefs about the importance of her uterus, her fears about her health or personal relationships after a hysterectomy, and concerns about her enjoyment of sexual activities after surgery. Grieving the loss of childbearing ability is very common after a hysterectomy, even for those who never wanted to give birth, or who had previously felt their family was complete. In most cases, as a post-op hysterectomy patient’s physical healing progresses, and her life gradually gets back to normal, her feelings of sadness fade away. As time passes, she starts to feel “like her former self” again, and her emotional health returns to normal. However, those who experience a long-lasting, persistent low mood, should see their physician for a depression evaluation.
The disease of depression is much more than just a temporary grieving or a bout with the blues. Depression is a medical disorder with a biological and chemical basis. Depression affects a person’s thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior and even physical health. People used to think it was "all in your head" and that if you really tried, you could "snap out of it" or just "get over it." But doctors now know that depression is not a weakness, and it's not something you can treat on your own.
Doctors don’t know for certain what causes depression, and doubt that there is single cause that applies to all patients. It is an illness that often runs in families. People of all ages and races suffer from depression. Depression may commence spontaneously with no identifiable specific cause. It may happen only once in a person's lifetime, or it may occur as repeated episodes, with depression-free periods in between.. It also may be a chronic condition, requiring ongoing treatment over a lifetime.
Experts believe a genetic vulnerability combined with environmental factors, such as stress or physical illness, may trigger an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, resulting in depression. Imbalances in three neurotransmitters — serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine — seem to be linked to depression.
Hormonal changes may be a contributing factor to developing this imbalance, and a period of hormonal disruption usually occurs even for hysterectomy patients who kept their ovaries. Those patients may find that their low mood lifts after their ovaries return to normal functioning. For women who had their ovaries removed, improvement in mood may occur after HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) begins.
Medications are available that are safe and effective, even for the most severe cases. With proper treatment, most people with depression improve, often within weeks, and can return to normal daily activities.
As part of the post-surgery follow-up care they provide, at your post-op medical appointments, your physician should inquire about your mood and sense of well-being, and evaluate and treat any condition of this nature appropriately. If your doctor does not bring up this topic, then you need to do so. Help is available, so there is no reason to continue to suffer.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
08-21-2007 - 01:59 PM
SHARING IS CARING
HysterSisters Free Hysterectomy BookletWhat 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy
with 50 pages of information, helpful tips and hints as you prepare and recover from hysterectomy through an organized timeline.
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
The HysterSisters Store has gathered products made specifically for your recovery from surgery. Here are the best sellers we can recommend to help you:
- The Great Binder Set - We have made it very easy for you and combined the two best binders and the Silky Sac into a great set to save you money! Our favorite is the Perfect Pocket binder with cold/hot packs!
- Deluxe Hyst Prep Set - As you plan, we've gathered the best products into one set for special pricing.
- Post-Op Panty - These great panties speed recovery, and reduces scarring. They contain a medical-grade silicone panel over incision to reduce scar's apperance while they provide support to weakened muscles and tissues from surgery. Excellent!
- Softest Bra Ever - When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. This is the softest bra ever, in microfiber with no hardware or tags to chafe or dig! The comfort-ribbed underband stays in place gently, so it is perfect for sleeping and lounging.
- HysterSisters Accessory Kit - Are you a HysterSisters fan? This set has a fun collection of HysterSisters items.
- Very Private Moisture - Once your doctor gives you the green light for intimacy, this is the stuff! This is a best selling product with a high rate of permanent, satisfied, repeat customers! Relieves vaginal dryness instantly, protects tissue & enhances intimacy.
"Buy it for the problem, use it for the pleasure."
Find a Surgeon
|Katherine Hsiao, M.D.
3905 Sacramento Street, Suite 204
San Francisco CA 94118
|Larry R. Glazerman, M.D.
1098 W Baltimore Ave
Riddle HLTH Ctr 3 #3404
Media PA 19063
|Lauren Streicher, M.D.
Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern, S.C
680 N. Lake Shore Dr., Suite 117
Chicago IL 60611
|Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Columbia Ob/Gyn Midtown
51 West 51st St, 3rd FL
New York NY 10019
|Antonio Gargiulo, M.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston MA 02115
|Kym Boyman, M.D.
1775 Williston Rd., Ste. 110
South Burlington VT 05403
|Jonathan Y Song, M.D.
2455 Dean St.
St. Charles IL 60175
|Tamer Seckin, M.D.
872 FIFTH AVE
NEW YORK NY 10065
|John Lenihan, M.D.
314 ML King Jr. Way
Tacoma WA 98465