Looking after your mental health and finding your self worth is important but never more imperative than when you are facing or have faced a hysterectomy induced menopause. In this blog, I would like to share with you 3 positive ways to reduce stress, anxiety or depression whilst coming to terms with a hysterectomy induced menopause.
Issues such as stress, anxiety or depression can very often take over your life, impacting on your career, family and social life. This is all the more prominent if you are also faced with having to undergo major surgery such as a hysterectomy.
My initial reaction when I was told I had stage 4 endometriosis and would need a hysterectomy was shock, disbelief, fear but also a sense of relief that I finally had a diagnosis after being under the hospital for two years. The knock on effect of a full hysterectomy such as the one I had, is the menopause and HRT.
What are the symptoms of the menopause?
There are many but here are just a few:
- hot flushes – short, sudden feelings of heat, usually in the face, neck and chest, which can make your skin red and sweaty
- night sweats – hot flushes that occur at night
- difficulty sleeping – this may make you feel tired and irritable during the day
- a reduced sex drive (libido)
- problems with memory and concentration
- vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
- mood changes, such as low mood or anxiety
- palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable
- recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
The menopause can also increase your risk of developing certain other problems, such as weak bones (osteoporosis).
But did you know that these are also symptoms of the menopause?
- Dizzy spells – Vertigo and feeling dizzy during menopause are thought to be caused by the drop in oestrogen production.
- Brittle nails – Dehydration and lower oestrogen levels can leave your nails feeling brittle and can make them snap or break more easily.
- Allergies – You may never have had a problem with certain things before, you may notice allergies or intolerances during or after menopause. This is because hormones are very closely linked to your immune system.
- Depression – In more extreme cases, this change in emotions can lead to depression. Depression is four times more likely to affect women of a menopausal age than a woman below the age of 45.
What are the signs of stress, anxiety or depression?
The signs that you or someone you know may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression are sometimes hard to spot.
Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.” and is an adverse reaction(s) experienced to too much (or too little) pressure.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. Too much anxiety can be debilitating.
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed, you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can snap out of by “pulling yourself together.”
The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery. It is easy to say the symptoms will go away but, they may not and you may need to seek help.
What to look for
Some of the symptoms that are indicators you, or someone you know may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression are:
- Less intuitive & creative
- Negative thinking
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory lapses
- Tearful often for no apparent reason
- Lack of confidence
- Low or lack of self-esteem
- Poor motivation
- Mood swings
- Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teeth
- Allergies/rashes/skin irritations
- Constipation/diarrhoea/ IBS
- Panic attacks/nausea
- Physical tiredness
- Lightheaded or dizzy
- Increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine, recreational or illegal drugs
- Becoming a workaholic
- Poor time management and/or poor standards of work
- Aggressive/anger outbursts
- Avoiding situations
- Worrying about what others think
- Feeling detached
You or they may experience problems with:
- Looking after yourself
- Holding down your job
- Forming or maintaining relationships
- Trying new things
- Simply enjoying your leisure time or life in general
So, to answer the question, what are the 3 Positive Ways To Reduce Stress, Anxiety Or Depression Whilst Coming To Terms With A Hysterectomy Induced Menopause?
Until I had my hysterectomy I used to reject most forms of exercise. Once I was discharged from the consultant (the second time,) he told me to go an get an exercise bike. (Ha, I couldn’t ride it as I was in too much pain still.) But I did join a gym, I worked with a personal trainer for 2 years and I’ve never been fitter. Now I prefer to swim. I’ll be back to it when I can, hopefully in the deep blue ocean. Exercise is one of the best ways to help you recover from a hysterectomy and cope with the menopause. What’s your favourite form of exercise?
We all do it… somewhat automatically without thinking, but our breathing can often be laboured or exaggerated depending on how we feel. Why not take 10-minutes and try this:
- Sit quietly and try to relax
- Slowly breathe in through your nose to a count of 4
- Hold the breath for a count of 4
- Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 5
- Repeat until you feel calmer
Music can affect people in different ways, depending on the mood of the music and the person.
I remember being at a meditation class once, the music we were meditating to was a Native American sound. The sound did not resonate with me at all and, I found I was feeling stressed and uncomfortable and needless to say, I didn’t have a good meditation session…
- Sit alone and find music to listen to that you would consider being soothing or relaxing. (You can download the meditation from my Novel, Katie, A New Chapter here. )
- Sit quietly and ensure you aren’t driving or operating machinery.
- Listen to meditation or music.
If you are struggling to find your self-worth, why not start your journey with me here and grab an eBook copy of my novel for just £.299
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