“So, it’s not just me?” Mental Health and Menopause

When I think about my fears of being thrust into an early menopause because of female reproduction problems, I know they were founded in watching my mother struggle through an early menopause at the age of 23.  She voluntarily consented to a hysterectomy when they told her she had fibroid tumors because she did not want any additional children.  My father recounts how she changed from the intense and beautiful woman he fell in love with into a sad and irritable woman who saw no joy in life.  She was no longer carefree and creative and he was clueless as to how to love her.  Instead, they divorced and I was left to watch how her life completely fell apart.  I told my gynecologist when he insisted I have the hysterectomy that I was afraid of “losing it” as I had watched my mother do through my childhood.  He laughingly coaxed me into acceptance by assuring me modern medicine had accounted for that problem and I should have no problems.   Since I had been with him through the birth of my two children and 15 years total, I trusted him when he said I would not have the same experience as my mother.

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