Post surgery depression and emotional support

February 5, 2024 Homecare Services, Post-Hospital Care

Post surgery depression and emotional support

What is post-surgery depression?

Post-operative depression is a complication that may arise in individuals recovering from surgery. Despite efforts to alleviate the temporary limitations and with a robust support system, the occurrence of post-operative depression is not uncommon.

While those with a pre-existing baseline of depression are more susceptible to heightened symptoms after surgery, it can affect anyone. The causes of post-operative depression may stem from an individual’s mental health history, medication effects, or physical complications.

Is depression a consequence of surgery?

Depression is acknowledged as a potential post-operative depression symptom, similar to pain and soreness, hence not as widely discussed.

The physical constraints post-surgery can induce a sense of despair, compounded by the need to depend on others for assistance, which may make individuals feel burdensome, contributing to emotional strain and potential depression.

Surgery imposes stress on the body, requiring time for physical recovery, and emotional recuperation may lag behind physical healing. Anxiety and fear related to the circumstances leading to surgery should be openly discussed with the medical team.

Is it normal to feel tearful after surgery?

Experiencing tearfulness after surgery is common. The nature of surgery, both physically and emotionally, coupled with the relief from pain or suffering, can evoke a range of emotions, including tearfulness.

Even if the post-surgery journey is challenging, the acknowledgment that surgery aimed to address a problem can trigger various emotions.

Common signs & symptoms of postoperative depression

Common signs of post-operative depression encompass irritability, hopelessness, and alterations in sleeping patterns.

Specific symptoms include:

  • Anxiety or depression related to concerns about quality of life or mortality
  • Feelings of hopelessness and sadness from ongoing surgery-related pain
  • Emotional responses to the loss of independence
  • Changes in body function
  • Energy loss
  • Changes in eating patterns

Can your personality undergo changes after surgery?

Temporary personality changes may occur depending on the surgery’s circumstances and type. This could involve shifts in mood, such as dealing with depression, or adopting a new perspective post-surgery.

Some individuals may experience ongoing confusion linked to post-operative cognitive dysfunction, warranting discussion with the medical team.

Coping with depression after surgery

Several strategies and lifestyle choices can assist in navigating the recovery process. Whether it involves one’s biological or chosen family, family support has been shown to enhance the recovery journey.

Those who develop depression after surgery may benefit from talking with others. You do not need to be in a crisis to reach out for mental health support. Consider having a psychologist or a psychiatrist on your healthcare team, especially if you have a chronic illness that requires frequent surgeries.

Explore peer support groups and counseling options, available in various formats such as in-person, remote, or hybrid. Investigate offerings from your hospital or local organizations to find relevant peer support groups.

Additionally, consider exploring social media groups dedicated to discussing post-surgical complications.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare, we deliver exceptional post-operative care in the familiar surroundings of your own home, empowering you to regain your sense of self.

To learn more about our services and how we can assist with your hospital discharge, please reach out to our team at 020 3993 7708 or email us at We are here to discuss further and address any questions or concerns you may have.