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December 2009             -            Checking In             -            HysterSisters.com
In This Issue
Managing Menopause
Feature: Stress and Emotional Health
Seasonal Affective Disorder
From the Forums
More Good Stuff
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Pre-Op Chats - Preparing for your hysterectomy

You are invited to our special event:

Round Table Discussion Exploring your Options for your Hysterectomy

Jan. 7, 2010
- Sponsor:
da Vinci® Hysterectomy
Managing Menopause
Hormonal changes may be a contributing factor in developing a change in emotions, and a period of hormonal disruption usually occurs even for hysterectomy patients who kept their ovaries. Those patients may find that their low mood lifts after their ovaries return to normal functioning. For women who had their ovaries removed, improvement in mood may occur after HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) begins.

Beyond HRT, medications are available that are safe and effective, even for the most severe cases of anxiety and depression. With proper treatment, most people with depression improve, often within weeks, and can return to normal daily activities.

Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any feelings of depression or anxiety and any other symptoms of menopause: insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats or brain fog. Help is available, so there is no reason to continue to suffer.
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Featured: Stress and Emotional Health

Dora Mae, my red dachshund, managed once again to snag a big bag of treats when we weren't noticing. She gorged on a big portion of the sack and was quite happy.  I confiscated the treats from her and then, a day or two later, I found her happily munching when I hadn't provided an afternoon snack. A quick assessment led me to the backyard where she had buried the leftovers of her abundance, scattered around the backyard in various locations.
Dora Mae

As I spent the afternoon in the backyard with the shovel, uncovering all her buried treats, I thought of the brilliance of this hound dog - she knew something good could be stored  away for a day in the future when she might have none.

I look back over this past year when I have had my share of sadness, grief and stress. In fact, I could create a long a list of woes! But, Dora Mae, the rascally, red dappled dachshund, has taught me something important - once again.

On gray days of discouragement and sadness, I can dig up long-ago buried treasures to encourage me. I can unearth moments of sheer joy that blessed my socks off. My "backyard" is full of such memories and blessings. I only have to dig them up to enjoy them again.

Brilliant dog! What's in your backyard?
Feature: Stress and Emotional Health
SadnessTake action:
Make an Appointment

Even if you have never suffered from stress and other emotional health issues before in your life, the hormonal upheaval which often occurs following a hysterectomy can trigger mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. While getting on the right HRT (hormone replacement therapy) regimen works for most women in alleviating the anxiety and mood fluctuations that commence with surgical menopause, for other women, taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can wind up being the key to "feeling like yourself" again.

Exactly what is depression? It is not a weakness or personality flaw. It isn't temporary worry or situational anxiety about a recent pressing personal problem, family issue or employment dilemma. It's not just a few days of feeling anxious or sad because of current stressful circumstances or challenging occurrences in your life. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status, can suffer from depression. Depression changes the way you think and how you behave. It takes away your feelings of well-being and sense of connectedness to the world around you. It can cause you to sleep or eat too much or not enough. If is gets bad, it can make you feel like your life just isn't worth living. (Depression Symptoms)

Depression is caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain.  You didn't "do anything wrong" to cause this to happen. Depression is a medical condition like any other, and doctors are able to treat it effectively.

If you are several months (or years!) post-op and your mood is still low and you don't "feel right,"  you need to call and make an appointment with your regular medical provider to talk about how you have been feeling. Family physicians are qualified to treat depression. It is actually a common medical condition. Your doctor will ask you some easy questions and may have you fill out a short questionnaire.

Remember, there is effective help available for depression. Make an appointment with your doctor. Take a list of the symptoms you are experiencing. You deserve to be the best "you" that you can be!

Read Entire Article at HysterSisters.com
Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. If you get depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer, you may have SAD.

SAD is most common among women and among people ages 15 to 55, especially those who live in areas where winter days are very short or there are big changes in the amount of daylight in different seasons.

If you have SAD, you may feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious. You may lose interest in your usual activities and eat more and crave carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, gain weight and sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime.

SAD is treated with light therapy, antidepressants, and/or counseling. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of SAD.
From the Forums: Menopause Central
From the Forums Anxiety and Depression

"Since my hysterectomy, my anxiety and depression seems to be getting worse.

Are my hormones causing this and is there a blood test that can determine how much hormone replacement I need?

I'm tired of playing guessing games with doctors that are trying to treat me and the side effects are pure hell.

...Read more of this discussion

More Good Stuff
More Good Stuff from HysterSisters
What's in your backyard that you can unearth now and enjoy once again? I have memories of simpler times, wonderful holidays with family and friends. This holiday season I intend to keep things simple while I take mental snapshots of my family and friends surrounding me.

Happy Holidays and Blessings galore,
Kathy Kelley