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Post Surgery Depression

Typical Reasons For Post-Surgical Depression

Post-surgical depression can be from the after effects of anesthesia (anesthesia seems to bring out our "sensitive sides" and our anxiety), medications, post-surgical traumatic stress syndrome, constipation from the medications and a general sense of disarray. Plus being instructed to stay in bed and restricted to low impact activities, with the fact that you must sleep upright for 2 weeks doesn't make things any better. Throw on top of that that you are all bruised up and sore. Well, no wonder you're feeling down.

Pain and discomfort can really affect some patients and although this isn't life threatening it isn't exactly fun. As mentioned above, the pain medications (and antibiotics) can cause constipation and other temporary digestive problems and can disrupt your system and make you feel bloated and sometimes even cause you abdominal pain. Some surgeons suggest a mild stool softener like ColaceĀ® or even natural remedies such as eating Daikon (a Chinese root vegetable) after you are finished with your medications. This helps with getting everything in working order again and helps flush out residual meds and what not. Drinking plenty of water most certainly helps and this factor cannot be stressed enough. Please print out our "motivational" Post-operative Emotions Reminder List to help you with your recovery.

That Period of Feeling "Let Down"

The number one reason for depression is usually the adrenaline period is now over, also known as the "Surgical Let Down Period". Imagine that you are expecting something that you have anticipated and you are just so emotionally and mentally excited as well as the physical adrenaline rush you are receiving from it all.  Just when are starting to believe all is going to be wonderful and you think as soon as your surgery is over your face will be that as you desired it. The bandages and sutures are removed and well, you may not look much different. In fact, you are bruised swollen, uncomfortable and you feel the same except you have no bandages and you have less money in the bank. What gives?

Dr Simoni believes depression is very normal, "Quite frequently patients experience a brief period of "let-down" or depression after cosmetic surgery. Some may subconsciously have expected to feel and look better "instantly," even though they rationally understand that this will not be the case. Patients commonly question their decision to have surgery during the first few days after surgery. As the healing occurs, these thoughts usually disappear quickly. If you feel depressed, understanding that this is a "natural" phase of the healing process may help you to cope with this emotional state."

This is normal so take this into account and even write what to expect down so you can note it afterwards when you ARE feeling blue. This will help you keep things in perspective and prepare your mind. It was also remind your brain that you DID know this was going to happen. You're not crazy - you're just going through a low. It should subside. If it does not, speak with your surgeon about it as well as possibly get a referral for a therapist.  It could do more good that you'd think. Print out our "motivational" Post-operative Emotions Reminder List to help you with your recovery.