Why Am I Depressed Since My Hysterectomy?
Christmas is coming, but instead of feeling full of holiday cheer, you’ve got the winter blues. You had a hysterectomy to solve some health problems, never dreaming you’d miss your uterus enough to sing, I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. What’s going on?
Estrogen, estrogen, estrogen.
That’s right – once again, estrogen may be the culprit. It plays a key role in fighting depression and helping you feel good about yourself. If you’ve also had your ovaries removed, you may not have enough estrogen to go around. If you’ve kept your ovaries, they may not be up to par just yet.
If your hysterectomy didn’t go as you had planned – whether you had complications, there was more pain than you had expected, or recovery took longer than you had planned – feelings of melancholy can settle in.
Your age may have something to do with it.
The more birthdays that are behind you, the greater your risk of experiencing life events that can stretch your emotions and cause some depression. You know, things like perimenopause, age related health issues, empty nest syndrome, caring for an older relative, and job changes.
Losing your fertility – even if your family was complete.
If you were never able to carry the children you so desperately wanted, it’s more than understandable that a hysterectomy would lead to depression. But oddly enough, there’s something about having your uterus removed that pulls at the heart strings of many women, even those who have completed their families. You might be the old woman who lived in a shoe with so many children you don’t know what to do, yet the permanency of not having a uterus still makes you sad. You may not have even wanted to have kids, so it’s confusing to find your heart is hurting now.
Don’t worry – you’re normal!
Depression can be common after any surgery. The trauma, anesthesia, medications, exhaustion, and changes in schedule that go along with a visit to the operating room can all play havoc on your emotions. Throw in hormones and removing an organ that’s connected to your sense of womanhood, and it makes sense that you’re feeling a bit blue.
The father along you are in your recovery, the better you may feel. Learning to manage menopause symptoms can help, too. You can also seek counseling to help you manage any grief you are feeling over your loss. If your symptoms of menopause persist, you may want to consider medications – at least temporarily. They can get you over the hump, giving you time to heal physically, treat menopause, and put some depression fighting tactics into action.
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. Reprinted with permission: Why Am I Depressed Since My Hysterectomy?