Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2024; 13(2):(346-346)


Maternal Object Loss and Feminine Identity: A Single Case Study of a Hysterectomized Nun

Ndje Ndje Mireille, Dongmo Tetsopguim Chesly Nira, Tsala Tsala Jacques Philippe.

Abstract
Hysterectomy is a gynecological surgery that puts an end to the dream of pregnancy and questions the feminine identity as well as the destiny of the fem ininity. The theory of choice stipulates that when a choice is made, the subject anticipates the result of the said choice and integrates it. Moreover, when the loss of the object confirms one's beliefs, the grieving process is facilitated. Put together the above, one would expect that a religious celibate woman, following a consented surgical removal of her uterus, which represents a concrete renunciation of the fantasy and the reality of reproduction, would no longer be subject to suffering related to the said loss. Conversely, we observed the manifestation of psychological suffering linked to the absence of the uterus in a nun. The goal of this study is to understand the place of the uterus in the feminine identity of a religious nun. We used the clinical method, more specifically a single case study. Our data was collected from nonstructured interviews with a nun who had undergone a hysterectomy. The data collected was subject to content analysis and interpretation based on a dual phenomenological and psychodynamic approach. As a result of this inductive approach, it is clear that the psychological distress is due to the loss of an important object of attachment (Uterus) but the reason for this suffering is linked to the covenant made to God which is revealed as the foundation of her life of faith, of an offering of oneself as a whole. The results of this study therefore provide a clinical conclusion that although some lay and religious women may have difficulty adapting to hysterectomy, the object behind this suffering is different.
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