Recovering after a surgical procedure is different for everyone. The decision to have a major surgery like a joint replacement surgery will be life-changing. Managing expectations is key to a healthy recovery. Many active individuals struggle with restricted activities during their postsurgical recovery. This loss of activity, coupled with postsurgical challenges, can lead to experiencing some mild depression during the recovery time.
Overcoming depression after surgery:
- Educate yourself about the surgery you are having, how long it will take to recover fully and how to best help your body heal. Taking a proactive approach will help you manage the expectation and allow you to feel in control even when you may need extra hands for help.
- Rely on your friends, neighbors, and family. Depression makes you want to isolate yourself, but making that extra effort to reach out to others will help in your recovery.
- Get moving every day. There may be days where getting out of bed can feel like a huge task. Making an effort to get out of bed every day, making your bed, and getting dressed, may boost your mood and give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Participating in physical therapy or doing exercises as suggested by your surgeon at home can help with depression. Make sure to follow your surgeon’s recommendation on activity restrictions to prevent complications.
- Follow a healthy diet. A diet that consists of fruit, vegetables, and other vitamin rich foods is associated with a decreased risk of depression.
- Create a sleep schedule to make sure you are getting adequate sleep. Poor sleep hygiene can lower serotonin and add to fatigue and depression.
- Get outside when you can. Research shows that even a short walk in nature can help lift depression and the movement is good for uplifting your mood.
- Be patient. This recovery process will come to an end. On the other side of recovery is a life enjoying the relief your new joint replacement will bring.
Taking care of how you are thinking is very important during this time, as a positive attitude can take you out of the depression, speed up your recovery, and motivate you to return to a full and active life. You deserve the support you need to help your recovery from any post-operative depression, do not hesitate to ask for help.
Dr. Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as complex primary and revision surgery. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. For all appointments & inquiries, please contact our offices located in Rochester, River District, or Tawas City, MI.