By its very nature, gynaecology is an emotive subject. Psychological problems may underlie gynaecological symptoms and gynaecological disease may result in psychological disturbance.

Stress is more often emotional than physical as we all experience the downs as well as the ups that life has to offer. In theUSA it is thought that each year between 5 and 8% of the population have an anxiety related disorder. A similar number are prone to depression. Learning to cope with stress can reduce the risk of depression.

With bereavement, we become depressed after an initial shock feeling of numbness. We may lose our appetite and wonder whether life is worthwhile. We may become angry and, perhaps inappropriately, blame ourselves or others for the loss. These feelings are natural when we lose a member of our family or a friend. The emotional turmoil associated with bereavement may be encountered in a number of gynaecological situations. A miscarriage may feel just like a bereavement. For those with infertility, each period may seem like a bereavement for a baby. Many women undergoing hysterectomy (hysterectomy) seem to have no more emotional attachment to their uterus than to their appendix, but others find the experience as devastating as the loss of a friend. A diagnosis of cancer could cause bereavement symptoms for the patient and her family. Counselling may play in an important place in the caring management of these difficult situations.

Some illnesses are psychosomatic: the patient seems to have a physical disorder such as pain or breathing difficulty but the cause is emotional. These illnesses are never easy to diagnose as a physical causation needs to be excluded. To complicate the issue, every physical illness is associated with emotional overlay.




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The aim of this web site is to provide a general guide and it is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with an appropriate specialist in respect of individual care and treatment.

David Viniker retired from active clinical practice in 2012.
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