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12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

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Unread 07-19-2010, 07:25 AM
12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

Hello...I am so excited to find this website and hope I can find some support and great knowledge. I am 41 years old and had a partial hysterectomy on April 30 - 12 weeks post-op. About a week before surgery, I had the dumb idea to switch my antidepressants from Lexapro to Zoloft. After the surgery and all my crying spells, depression, and anxiety started - I switched back to Lexapro. No difference. My OBGYN did check my hormone levels and I was a little low in estrogen so she gave me the patch. I didn't notice a big difference in how I felt but I used it for a few weeks. I started seeing a psychiatrist a few weeks ago and I don't like her at all but I'm sticking with her for now. She put me on effexor and has gradually been upping my dose. I do feel somewhat better but still wake up every morning feeling anxious, like I have a brick on my chest. Is this normal after surgery? I have struggled with depression/anxiety issues for years but never like this. I feel like I'm going through postpartum depression again. Will this ever go away????? How long does it take to completely recover from this surgery??? I am so disappointed because SO many people I know who have had hysterectomies told me I would feel so much better afterwards and I keep wishing I had never had it done. Thanks for listening......
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Unread 07-19-2010, 07:38 AM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

I'm wondering if persisting with the patch, maybe a higher dosage, would help now that you're on different meds. I found estrogen helped my mood and got me feeling back to normal. I also noticed improvement in my sleep and hot flashes so I'm sure it wasn't just a coincidence. My Dr told me it could take quite a while to stabilize but I improved quickly, I'm thinking partly because it was a good dose for me. It might be worth a retry, esp since you feel so bad. I hope you feel better soon. PS Vivelle dot and Climara seem to have better adhesion from what ladies report here so if you had adhesion/absorption problems you might want to try a brand change or estradiol pills---just a thought.
Unread 07-19-2010, 08:16 AM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

I am seriously considering going to a compounding pharmacy and having a saliva test done to show exactly what hormones I need/don't need. My OBGYN just told me to use the estrogen patch until I felt like I didn't need it anymore. ????????? Not much help. I just feel like I am running around in circles and my head is so jumbled with everything I have been reading. I don't know if it's just my depression stuff rearing it's ugly head and if so, why now? The surgery has to have something to do with it, right, since it all kinda happened at the same time??? Or does it? Am I just not being patient enough? I have also heard that it can take 6 months til you're feeling back to normal, whatever normal is, I can't remember anymore. Can you tell I'm just a tad frustrated???
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Unread 07-19-2010, 08:28 AM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

Saliva testing is controversial as to its accuracy so keep that in mind if you decide to go that route, esp since its expensive. If you do, consider getting the creams separately not mixed, so you can make adjustments without tossing out a lot of the premix. But consider the patch again, maybe with someone used to dosing them and prescribing HRT, so you aren't your own Dr. It is frustrating, yes I agree. Good luck.
Unread 07-26-2010, 09:04 PM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

Hi Kim,

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing depression and anxiety after your surgery - it can be absolutely debilitating and because it can't be seen from the outside it can almost be crazy making.

You ask if the surgery has something to do with it - most definitely yes. Major surgery is invasive to the body on so many levels, not to mention the side-effects from anaesthetic. The body is a finally balanced system of chemicals & any major disruption to this can enormously affect how it functions. If you have suffered post-partum depression (which can cause changes in hormone levels) it would make sense that your depression and anxiety have been enormously exacerbated by surgery.

It has been 3 weeks since my hysterectomy and I too have experienced a deep depression since the surgery - I had no idea it would affect me quite like this & your message makes a lot of sense to me.

I was sent this a very interesting YouTube clip presented by a professor of science who talks about the nature of depression (which includes the biological implications of it as well as anxiety) which may or may not be useful to you - it helped me.

I would give you the link but it seems that posting links in here is disallowed. If you search you tube for this:
Stanford's Sapolsky On Depression in U.S. - it's the first one that comes up called (Full Lecture).

You asked if it will ever change - I think it will pass, but right now, it's pretty awful while you're in it. It also sounds as if you're being pretty hash on yourself - I think different people respond to surgeries etc. differently from each other - it doesn't make you any less strong in comparison to anyone else. An analogy comes to mind - it's probably a bit like how some people have anaphylactic reactions to peanuts (even just the one peanut!!), for example, for god knows what reason and others don't - same goes for drugs such as peniciiln etc.

Try to be very gentle with yourself while you are healing.. if you can.

Hope this helps.
Unread 07-26-2010, 09:43 PM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

It will get better. It took me the 6 months to feel human again & it does really take up to a year to feel all the way healed. It was major surgery. I heard the stories to of people back at work on the 2nd week. I was still not even sure I was going to make it through in my 2nd week. Your body really has been through a major trauma & if your trying to get all the hormone correct it can take a while. But you will get there. Every day does get a little bit better. It is great that you are getting help for it all because it can be very confusing. Best wishes to you. I hope you are feeling better very soon.
Unread 07-27-2010, 08:22 AM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

Thanks so much for sharing and for your words of wisdom. Although I hate that others have endured (or are enduring) this miserable feeling it does help to know that I am not the only one and makes me feel more "normal". This is a great place!
Unread 09-16-2010, 07:38 PM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

Curious how the depression is now?
Unread 09-20-2010, 06:45 AM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

I am now at almost 5 months post op and the depression/anxiety is MUCH better. I have been taking effexor and although it took a little while to kick in, it is working. I still have my anxious/depressed moments but for the most part I'm feeling better. I still don't think I'm feeling completely back to normal but I keep hearing that 6 months is the "magic" mark so I'm waiting as patiently as possible and hoping......

Thanks for asking!
Unread 09-20-2010, 03:06 PM
Re: 12 weeks post op - depression/anxiety

I am not yet 6 weeks post surgery, and I like you have experienced extreme anxiety to the point of body trembling. I am on the patch, plus progesterone, and testosterone, but something is not clicking. Even if I take a Xanax and Prozac, it's like it does nothing. Any advice?

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