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Hysterectomy caused my Depression


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Old 12-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
STLouisgal
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Hysterectomy caused my Depression

I was always pretty easy-going and happy. Sure, we all have bumps in the road of life but I was always able to take any bumps in stride and they never kept me down. Until I had a hysterectomy at age 49 (one that should have never happened).

I could tell almost immediately that I was a different person. I had lost my zest and joy, that spring in my step. I felt very flat. This lack of feelings quickly gave way to SEVERE depression that I just could not shake. And I ruminated over and over how I had been deceived into this surgery and that I should have seen through my doctor's deception. So not only had I been betrayed by a doctor I had trusted and respected for many years, I beat myself up over "allowing" him to pull the wool over my eyes. This certainly did not help matters. I have gone through some processes to address these feelings and injustices - counseling and filing complaints with my insurance company and the medical board.

But bottom line, the hormonal/chemical changes that ensued were the primary cause of my depression. The estrogen patch my gyn (surgeon) had prescribed evidently was not a good fit for me. But to add insult to injury, he refused to see me when I called his office in desperation just four months post-op. I was left "dangling" by his abandonment. I finally found another doctor (gyn) who checked my estrogen level and sent me on my way saying it was in "therapeutic" range. Well it sure didn't feel therapeutic! I had many other symptoms of estrogen deficiency besides depression, one big clue being waking every couple hours feeling like my body was on fire. And I had lost most of my hair, skin collagen, and muscle mass. Now if THAT isn't depressing!

After 14 months of this nightmare, I finally got more estrogen into my body. The depression gradually lifted. I am still angry and sad that my healthy organs were removed and I am now faced with many health risks. And I am reminded every time I look in the mirror and see how much I have aged and how my figure has been destroyed. And my bowels are a mess too. But I am thankful that my depression is finally gone and has been for over 4 years. I only pray that I can continue to get a prescription for estrogen for my mental and physical health. So many doctors seem to treat all menopause (surgical and natural) the same when they are VERY different.

 
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Hello StLouisgal...I've followed your posts since I joined the board, as I too had a bad experience with hysterectomy/bilateral oophorectomy at age 33. I think the MANY gynecologists that didn't listen to me from my first pelvic exam @ 20 are to blame for my ultimate "neutering". If they had diagnosed endometriosis at least 13 years earlier (and in retrospect I KNOW I had it) it would have changed the entire trajectory of my life. They could have treated it aggressively, but conservatively in its early stages, but instead they (as many as 9 top-notch specialists) told me that I was just having difficult periods..."Deal with it". The disease was IGNORED until it progressed to stage 4, shutting down my liver and digestive system.

It's easy to see that I, too, am bitter. I try very hard to put those feelings away in my "apothecary" chest of heartaches. The many "drawers" are filled with "if onlys" and "what ifs"...more than anything "why?". I'm ashamed to say it out loud, but I harbor a deep hatred for those doctors in my life who have failed me.

It's hard to just get over it, when your body is aged beyond it's years...you're coping with issues of someone twice your age. You are blessed in that you are able to at least take estrogen. I cannot, ever. Perhaps that's helped you to "kick" your depression. I am not so lucky.

Thank you again, for being such a strong and outspoken "warrior" for women's reproductive issues. Your test has brought forth your testimony. You are helping others to navigate the issues that doctors won't discuss.

P.S. I tried to give you a HUG, but was disallowed...I dunno. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year=)

 
Old 12-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Thank you for your kind, compassionate words, WhistleDixie. I am so sorry that you too were a victim of medical care that has harmed you. And I am sorry that you cannot take estrogen to mitigate some of the effects. I understand your hatred for doctors. That's how I feel about the surgeon and others involved in my "neutering." I still try to hide this embarrassing truth about myself except when I can remain anonymous.

 
Old 12-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

I understand more than you know. None of the things I experience are acceptable topics over coffee, with even my sisters. I have lived in shame with my physical and emotional issues, hiding behind the mask of "fake it until I feel it". What woman wants the world to know that they feel like an "it". I have no sexual feelings or desires. I require local anesthetic for a simple pelvic examination. Yet I'm told that my "depression is causing my pain" as recently as last week. I BEG to differ...How about reversing that theory...2/3 of my life spent in pain has caused my depression? I would never discuss these issues either, without anonymity...I am too ashamed. I don't want ANYONE to know that the flesh of my vagina is so dry, that it tears and bleeds when I "tamp" it with toilet tissue. I'd certainly not shout from the rooftops that I battle an incessant UTI caused by e-coli. I have such miserable constipation, I've strained my rectum into 2 surgeries for prolapsed and external hemorrhoids. It literally feels like my rectum is going to rip into my vagina. I've asked the specialists and surgeons, only to be mocked. Yet the fact is that I clean myself (whether pee or poop) front to back with gentle cleansing cloths made just for my situation. I was told recently by the GYN not to flush the toilet post BM while still sitting because the flush sprays miniscule droplets of fecal matter into the air. Therefore, if I am sitting on the toilet when I flush (who isn't?) then my genital area is literally "sprayed" with bacteria. WHAT? How do I win this battle? My flanks hurt so bad I want to cry. My urine wreaks of sulfur as though I've passed gas when I've only peed. That's not normal. I've taken several rounds of antibiotics in the past year, but they haven't touched this.

Way too much information, but why stop now? My body has become one that I do not recognize, even in the past year alone. I'm wearing spanx and shapers to "hide" my previously flat (now fat) belly. I go for up to 9 days if not vigilant, without BM...I don't think I'd ever go without softeners/laxatives/enemas. My belly bloats to a size that I could be pregnant with twins. I reach a point where I lie in the floor, performing multiple enemas to get ANY relief. In fact, we hosted 16 people for an extended family holiday weekend. I was in so much pain requiring meds to function that I allowed myself to go without a BM until I was in dire straits. I would get up in the wee hours of the morning to give myself an enema. By the time everyone got up, I'd have coffee on and breakfast cooking, with no indication of my suffering. Yet one after another would complain of lack of sleep or achy joints, etc. I'd just smile that fake smile and play the perfect hostess....always. I just wanted to throw the iron skillets filled with biscuits at these ungrateful folks and SCREAM "You don't know pain!" Instead, I cooked their eggs to order over-easy, as the bacon grease splattered onto my hand, causing serious burns. Do you think my wicked wounds ruined their home-cooked country breakfast with Smoky Mountain Christmas instrumentals playing in the background? Don't think so. Can you get me some hot coffee???

I'm sorry for the rant. This time of year (and I don't think I'm alone in this) makes me even more sad. I think "If I close my eyes forever...will it all remain the same?" I go through the motions, but I just want to make it all go away.

 
Old 12-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

I cannot even imagine what you have gone through and continue to on a daily basis! I also have sisters and have shared with them a bit but they don't totally get it but at least have shown some compassion.

I oftentimes think about what problems I may have down the road from the alterations to my anatomy. My figure changed pretty quickly and it was obvious that my rib cage had fallen (hence the belly I never had). My bowels have not been normal since surgery and it frustrates and angers me that doctors are so clueless (or at least act as if they are). I mean shouldn't a gastroenterologist know how hysterectomy can affect the bowels? If he's been in practice for many years, would he not see this in the many hysterectomized patients he sees? I'm sure there are plenty of women like us with the high rate of hysterectomies. My GI doctor's first comment to me was "your surgery did not cause this." It was as if he knew or suspected it did but wanted to deny it (so as not to implicate another doctor, my gyn?).

Although I hate admitting that I had a hysterectomy and am an "it", I hope that some day I can be open about it without hiding behind my computer. Until this issue is out in the open, women will continue to be taken in by those that profit from this harm.

 
Old 12-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

I just wanted to add - I hope you also have a Merry Christmas and that next year brings some answers and relief!

 
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Thank you STLouisgal...I wish for you, and all of those on this board, a warm and cozy Christmas and a New Year filled with the hope of healing (or at least adequate pain management).

 
Old 01-08-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Hi, I understand your pain. I, unfortunately, went thru menopause at age 39. Hot flashes and everything. Even my gyno, two years later, still said 'oh it looks like you'll have your period in about a week'. ***, never got it again. Always had suffered from depression, but I can tell you it got 1000% worse after I lost my hormones. Don't let anyone tell you different. If I had known I would have gone on HRT very early, but I didn't. I really didn't understand at the time what was going on, but I'd do it differently now

 
Old 01-08-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Hello Doodle....Welcome to the board. Thanks for sharing with us. It helps to know NOT that other women are suffering, BUT that they have found a forum in which to openly share their experience. We need to support one another through the trials and the triumphs=)

 
Old 01-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Sorry, about that. But just wanted her to know that I had wish I had known the answer at 39 but I didn't.

 
Old 01-09-2014, 06:18 AM   #11
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Doodlecat - I am sorry you went through that and your doctor did not understand the importance of estrogen for mental health (as well as many other aspects of health). I hope you are doing much better now!

 
Old 01-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

I'm sorry again, I got a message as well from the admin. I guess I don't understand the purpose of these boards. I'm trying so hard to stay afloat and just wanted to share my experience with the situation. I'm so sorry it came off as negative or damaging

 
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Hysterectomy caused my Depression

Hey Doodle...I love that username...It just makes me smile=) I've not seen anything negative or damaging from you, so PLEASE do not be DISCOURAGED from posting here. I understand what it's like to feel as thought the world is swallowing you up! I'm looking forward to talking with you and hearing your experiences.

Until then...I hope today is a good one for you.

 
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