How do you cope with depression after open heart surgery?


Quick Answer

Depression is a common postoperative complication following open heart surgery, according to PsychCentral and the New York Times. Increased physical activity following the surgical operation has been shown to be helpful in alleviating depression, according to PsychCentral. Additionally, traditional clinical depression treatments may have a positive effect.

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Full Answer

Depression is a psychiatric disorder, and is classified as a mood disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Treatment options for depression range from therapy to medication, to more extreme measures, including electroconvulsive therapy, according to WebMD. Psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are commonly used in the treatment of depression. Each type of therapy takes a different approach to addressing symptoms of depression.

Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, are sometimes used during depression treatment, states WebMD. In modern psychiatry, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most commonly used type of antidepressant medication.

In addition to medication and therapy, there are other ways to deal with minor depression after a patient undergoes open heart surgery. These include increased exercise, meditation, yoga, bright light therapy, acupuncture, and adding fish oil and saffron to a diet, according to Health Magazine.

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