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Anxiety after complete hysterectomy

Women's Health | Last Active: Oct 31, 2023 | Replies (16)

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I had a complex ovarian cyst, it turned out not to be cancerous, but of course, going into the surgery that was unknown. My surgeon just was of the notion to take everything since I was post menopause. I really did feel good at first. Then a shift happened and now I don’t feel like myself at all. I did have bouts of anxiety and ocd intrusive thoughts in the past but nothing I could not get past. I have a great book that I could work with by Sally Winston. But now i question am I depressed, anxious or both. I started with a talk therapist while I was having this bout of health problems, just to help me with stress. I feel I shifted the focus from stress to anxiety. I’m seeing my pcp Wednesday, my gyn just felt it was not the surgery and was no help. I’m not sure what to expect from him. I wonder if my cortisol is up, I wake up shaky and nauseous. He will probably recommend an antidepressant but I don’t even know where to start. I’m 65. Thanks for responding. I just wish I could turn the switch and go back but now this has started, I’m afraid that’s impossible.

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Replies to "I had a complex ovarian cyst, it turned out not to be cancerous, but of course,..."

I don't understand why post menopause women are supposed to suffer from low hormone conditions?
There is a reason that HRT was developed, which can help one to live a pretty normal life. I am a patient of the endocrinology group of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and they have me on a HRT regime that makes me feel good and comfortable. I am almost 80 years old, but feel as if I am in my 50's, and I think it is because my hormone levels are there where they should be to make me feel comfortable.

@anon808. It seems to me that you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself. It is frustrating that your gynecologist hasn't been much help to you. What does your therapist say? I'm not sure it makes a difference whether it's stress or anxiety. I think of stress as a physiological - your body's - response whereas anxiety is your body's reaction to that stress. If your therapist has helped you with strategies that reduce physiological stress then that has the potential to lower the level of anxiety. So, when I do a mindfulness practice, and I am following my breath that in turn brings down stress which in turn brings down anxiety. This is what I do when I wake up during the night and have difficulty returning to sleep. I don't always recognize that I'm feeling anxious but I *know* it's there.

Like you, I think I'd like to flip a switch and return to life before cancer and my hysterectomy. But since that's not possible and all I have is what's in front of me right now, I have to figure out a way to accept the present.

And like you, I look for strategies and skills that will help me. I cannot take HRT or any estrogen either. As my doctor said, "that's off the table". I wake up sometimes feeling really anxious in which I want to pull the covers over my head and stay there. Yet I will myself to get out of bed and move around. Just moving my body helps me.

When you see your PCP can you ask them if there are any other physiological things to check for that could be causing your symptoms? Would you like a referral to a doctor who specializes in menopause?