Understanding Post-Op Depression  

Understanding Post-Op Depression  

Recovering from surgery is a physical and emotional process. Operations are often invasive, so feeling very emotional after surgery is expected. 

Learn more about what post-op depression is and how you can prevent or treat it. 

What Is Post-Op Depression?

The post-surgery blues are common. It can be frustrating or physically and emotionally painful to feel a sudden loss of control over your mind or body. Sadness, guilt, body dysmorphia, mood swings and anxiety are common after surgery. 

However, post-op depression is characterized by severe and ongoing feelings of sadness and hopelessness after surgery.

Signs of Post-Op Depression

Coupled with physical pain, post-surgery blues may lead to depression. Depression symptoms are often misinterpreted as post-surgery or medication side effects. 

Signs you may be struggling with depression include:

  • Fatigue or excessive sleeping
  • A loss of appetite
  • Severe anxiety or sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • A loss of interest in normal activities
  • Heightened stress
  • Being easily irritated or agitated

If you are concerned you or a loved one may be experiencing depression, speak with your doctor immediately. 

How to Treat Post-Op Depression

Learn more about how to treat or prevent post-surgery depression: 

  • Get plenty of rest: Rest is vital post-op. Set a sleep schedule by getting up and going to bed at the same times and avoiding long daytime naps. 
  • Eat healthily: A balanced diet provides the nutrition your body needs to recover. Drink water and eat balanced meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can also treat yourself to your favorite goodies — like Oreos and macaroni — within moderation. Avoid alcohol and limit your intake of processed foods. 
  • Go outside: Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for the mind and body. Vitamin D is essential for strengthening the immune system, and the smell of a nearby garden or the feel of soil beneath your toes can instantly boost your mood. 
  • Set goals: Set small goals for yourself. Your objective could be as simple as reading a book or walking around the neighborhood. Accomplishing goals will keep you motivated to continue making progress.
  • Surround yourself with friends and family: Keep your loved ones nearby and stay smiling, laughing and entertained to combat feelings of loneliness or sadness. 
  • Contact your doctor: Stay in touch with your doctor as you heal and report any unusual or tell-tale symptoms of post-surgery depression.

Learn More From NY Spine Institute

Contact our team at the NY Spine Institute to learn more.