How Do You Recover From Depression After Surgery?


Quick Answer

You can recover from depression after surgery by joining a support group, attending one-on-one counseling with a psychologist or guidance counselor, exercising, and maintaining a close relationship with friends and family, according to LifeBeat. Medications for anxiety and depression can be prescribed by your doctor but using holistic, alternative treatments may help as well.

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Full Answer

AlterNet explains that depression can occur after surgery for a number of reasons, including reactions to surgical medications and painkillers, feelings that the surgery may have been unsuccessful, and reactions to a visible scar or stitches. Post-operative depression symptoms such as loss or increase in appetite, mood changes and restlessness can mimic normal post-operation symptoms. Patients of certain types of surgeries, such as heart, brain and bariatric surgery, have a greater risk of developing post-surgery depression.

Many hospitals do not test patients for depression before they are discharged, explains AlterNet. Depression after surgery is often unrecognized by physicians and surgeons, leaving patients feeling helpless to understand what is happening or unaware that their feelings are temporary. The physician should discuss the possibility of depression and anxiety with the patient before surgery so that the patient can be prepared. In general, patients experiencing post-operative depression may recover in six months using various treatments such as psychological or medical help.

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