Recovery after surgery is different for everyone — some may experience a fast rehabilitation while others recover more slowly.
Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments of post-surgery depression can help you better manage the mental health effects and recover faster.
What Is Post-Surgery Depression?
Post-surgery depression is a persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness after an operation. It’s important to note that it’s typical for people to feel sad or vulnerable after surgery. After-surgery symptoms can affect your appetite, sleep, and energy. However, if those feelings last longer than two weeks, it could be depression.
Causes of Post-Surgery Depression
People may feel bad after surgery, and they might find certain tasks difficult that weren’t before. This scenario can cause stress, disappointment, and discouragement, which can lead to depression.
Other factors that can contribute to post-surgery depression include:
Having depression beforehand;
Reaction to anesthesia;
The stress of surgery;
Reaction to medication;
Facing your mortality;
Concerns about your recovery;
Anxiety over the surgery;
Feelings of guilt depending on others;
Concerns that the surgery may not help;
Stress-related to financial costs.
Additionally, some people may be more susceptible to post-surgery depression than others. For instance, due to an increase in hormones, new mothers may experience a multitude of emotional and physical changes. In contrast, many mothers may want to partake in mommy makeovers to obtain a physical goal. However, they should ensure they are not experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression before they partake in surgeries.
Symptoms of Post-Surgery Depression
Even if you are getting cosmetic surgery like a facelift or a tummy tuck and do not have any apprehensions going into it, you still may experience depression afterward. Common symptoms include:
Difficulty making decisions;
Change in appetite;
Change in sleep;
A loss of interest in activities;
Slow movements and speech;
Feelings of anxiety, guilt, or stress;
Feelings of despair or hopelessness;
Thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harming others.
It’s important to take time to understand if you are experiencing post-surgery depression.
Since everyone’s recovery is different, it’s crucial to prepare for depressive symptoms just in case. That way, you can use your recovery time to heal both physically and mentally.
How to Cope With Post-Surgery Depression
Knowing how to cope with post-surgery depression can help you make more informed decisions about your recovery method. For instance, you may find it prudent to enroll in support groups or therapy to manage overwhelming feelings. Additionally, there are various ways to cope with this depression that many people have found helpful.
Setting goals for recovery can help you remember that there is an end time to healing. Additionally, keeping track of your recovery progress can help you manage your depression. Your improvement goals should be simple and attainable. Some examples include being able to perform tasks every day, like physical therapy exercises or walking.
Although recovering from surgery can take time and is different for everyone, most people return to their lifestyle before surgery. However, depression can lengthen the recovery process. If you are feeling symptoms of depression, be sure to talk to your doctor.