Depression following surgery

(7 Posts)
Hopalong28374 Wed 13-Jan-21 10:10:48

Just wondered if anyone else has experienced a depressive episode following (relatively minor) surgery?

I had a hip operation last week, under general anaesthetic and over the last few days have lapsed into a pretty bad depressive episode. Can’t stop crying, intense feelings of despair and hopelessness, feel like there’s something heavy on my chest. I’ve had depression in the past, although I’m no longer on antidepressants, so recognise this as quite a bad episode.

The op was a relatively straightforward one, all went well and I’ve been home for a week now (on crutches). My partner moved in with me to help and I’m pretty mobile again, can do most things except carrying things and driving. Not in any pain.

I’m normally a very active person, so I’m sure the fact that I’m essentially housebound is not helping but I’m shocked and a bit scared at what a strong mental reaction I’ve had. I would understand if it had been major surgery, removal of an organ/body part etc or if I was in a lot of pain, but physically I’m fine, apart from this really intense feelings of doom and sadness.

Can anyone else relate? My partner is supportive and convinced I’ll feel better when I’m more mobile again. But right now it feels like the world is ending. I know that’s likely the depression talking though.

OP’s posts: |
Thousandmiles Wed 13-Jan-21 16:42:59

This might sound mad, but I had a lot of acupuncture when I was TTC and my acupuncturist told me that there is sometimes a connection between operations and mental state due to the scar tissue interrupting one of the body’s “lines of meridian” - which is what acupuncture is based around. It’s something to do with your balance of energy and it can affect mood, and all sorts of other things <— is my very basic understanding of it!

Sorry if I’ve been rubbish at explaining that - I am the least ‘woo’ person ever BUT I found acupuncture to be an absolutely amazing therapy so I do think there’s something in it. Most acupuncture practitioners can treat it really well.

Apparently c section crosses several meridian lines so I later blamed my batshit postnatal meltdowns on that. grin

flowers for you OP, hope you start to feel an improvement soon.

cheeseismydownfall Wed 13-Jan-21 16:46:12

Sorry to hear that OP. Are you taking antibiotics following the surgery? I believe there can be a link between certain antibiotics and low mood/depression.

CRbear Wed 13-Jan-21 16:46:24

I’ve experienced the same and have been told that it’s a common experience post anaesthesia. Passes after a few days for me! Hope you feel better soon.

SoupnSalads Wed 13-Jan-21 16:55:03

Anaesthetic is a pretty major undertaking for the body, to give you an idea it can affect lung function test results for up to a year (minorly but still). I've had two (knees and lungs) without a doubt the knee was the hardest one as my mobility was so affected, it bought my mood right down. Did not realise the effect of this, was v frustrated and irritated!

After the lung one, to be honest I slept 12-14 hours for 2 weeks and went for long walks in between, lots of rest and was ok.

Also recommend taking a multivitamin.

PilatesPeach Wed 13-Jan-21 17:00:40

yes I have and apparently perfectly normal and quite common after it. I thought there was actually some chemical or other in the anaesthetic itself that was a reason. Hope you feel brighter soon flowers

Hopalong28374 Wed 13-Jan-21 17:33:40

Thanks all for your replies, that makes me feel a little better that others have had similar experiences (obviously not that you felt low too!).

Not on antibiotics or even any painkillers anymore, was taking codeine at night but it was more to help me to sleep. I stopped taking that a few days ago in case that was causing the low mood.

I have heard that GA can cause depressed mood, I just hope that’s all it is and it will pass in a few days, I was almost euphoric for the first 48 hours, then my mood has slowly dropped since getting home.

Feeling a little bit stronger this afternoon, a crossword and a good book has been a good distraction

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