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Emotional Distress: Does it Ever Go Away?

From the Emotion Health - Grief - Depression Articles List

When does emotional distress after hysterectomy end?Since my surgery it seems that I find myself thinking about issues I didn't realize I had. I'm considering changing my career or going back to school. Is this normal?

Recovering from a hysterectomy does not only involve physical recovery. Even women who experience a return to physical good health often struggle with psychological ramifications of a hysterectomy. Not all women have these types of challenges, but many do. Don’t be alarmed if you have similar feelings to those described by hysterectomy patients, as follows:
  • “I never felt a strong need or desire to bear children; however, I do feel a sense of loss, and a sense of being displaced.”

  • “I have moments when I feel hollow and emotionally extremely neutral.”

  • “Emotionally bankrupt is how I describe the way I feel. There is just a nothingness. It is weird. I don’t get angry and I don’t laugh the way I used to.”

  • “I was such an intense person before; it was as if I felt with every cell in my body. Now I just exist from day to day—not happy, not sad, not anything. Just breathing, eating, sleeping, doing...without feeling.”

  • “People say that I look good, when I feel terrible inside. They don’t understand that what’s going on is invisible to them.”

  • "I don’t feel like less of a woman, but I feel different. I really can’t put my finger on it, but I sense I’m missing something.”

  • “Will I ever feel like myself again? I wonder, does it ever go away?”
For most women suffering from emotional disturbances and distress following their surgery, that’s really the big question:

“Does it ever go away?”

Almost all negative occurrences in our lives are tolerable, as long as they’re temporary. Will you ever feel like the same person you were before your hysterectomy? No one can answer that question with certainty. But for many women it does transpire that with the passage of time, the “strange and unusual” feelings and unsettling emotions do fade.

But, what if they don’t? Just as the world is constantly evolving, so are our lives. Perhaps if the feelings do not someday truly go away, they will change. And because human beings by nature are adaptable creatures, you will likely adjust to the phases involved in the transition. To put it another way: you will slowly get accustomed to the new and different way that you feel. Its prevalence and steadiness will make it grow ordinary.

You will come to terms with what you have been dealt and adapt accordingly. As one woman put it, “I think the best thing we can all do for ourselves is to ride that wave of change and passage.” Rather than dwell on what you feel you have lost from having had a hysterectomy, spend that energy nourishing your future goals and celebrating the blessings in your life.

And comfort and encourage yourself with the knowledge that others have overcome the hysterectomy challenge, and so can you.

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.

09-30-2003 - 02:19 PM


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