Depression After Surgery: What you need to know

Depressed man laying down after an injury

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Art of the Arm by DJ Lynn

Physical injuries happen every day. They occur in homes and workplaces around the world. Any injury can reshape life priorities to such a degree that it can be difficult to maintain motivation. Physical injury and depression can go hand in hand. 

If you were previously very ambitious, now you must manage that ambition with a degree of limitation. So, how do you boost your mental health if post-injury depression sets in?

Here are some tips for staying as happy as you can after a bodily injury.

Do what you can, even with an injury. If you have an injury that prevents you from walking or moving as well as before, it doesn’t mean a life sentence of being immobile. Modern advances in medicine constantly redefine what is known about disability.

Physical therapy sessions can help you slowly relearn to walk and regain those motor skills and strengths under the guidance of a dedicated professional. The rehab expert will help you form a personalized plan of recovery, based on the type and extent of your injury.

Keep your mind sharp. Your mind is only as sharp as you train it to be. Retired people often face this issue. Faced with nothing to do, with their best years of productivity behind them, some elderly people spend their days ‘relaxing’ and feel they make little contribution to society now that they aren’t employed. While retirement can be relaxing and peaceful for the first few weeks, it can quickly deaden to your spirit. The same issue is true of a sedentary lifestyle after a physical injury.

As a result, some people experience post-injury depression. It’s important to keep your mind active, learning and engaged. Read, take up a new hobby, meditate, keep up social relationships, and more.

Meaningful friendships are essential to daily happiness. Positive friends make life worth living, so make the most of them.

Assess what’s important to you. A traumatic life event like a physical injury can make you stop and reassess what’s important to you. You might have taken some things for granted before the injury happened. Now is your time to develop your inner maturity and understand just what in your life means the most.

Many people who suffer traumatic events often say that while the event was very difficult to deal and come to terms with, they wouldn’t change it because they ‘wouldn’t be the same person today.’ Keep this in mind during your difficult recovery period. Thinking this way can give you emotional strength that wards off post-injury depression.

Physical injury and depression: The power of thoughts

Fortunately, even people with long-term physical abilities have proven that these limitations are mostly a state of mind, and you can still achieve phenomenal things, depending on how you view your potential. However, if you’re not used to relying on the inner strength that these situations require, you might feel as though you have to re-learn life entirely. Just because you experience a physical limitation though, no matter how permanent, it doesn’t have to dictate your inner life. Try to appreciate the beauty of being alive.

In the meantime, don’t wait. There are many online resources for immediate mental health support. Here are four of the ones we like:

Amwell is accredited by URAC (formerly known as the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission). That recognition provides assurance that the company follows best practices for keeping your information safe and your sessions truly private (such as making video sessions accessible only to you and your therapist, and not recording them). 

Teladoc offers the most affordable out-of-pocket costs among our picks. Plus, at the time of our research, Teladoc had over 100 more therapists to choose from.

MDLive is not accredited by URAC, and the site’s video platform doesn’t allow you to hide your view of your face on the screen. It has almost double the number of therapists that Amwell does (though a fraction of the selection that Teladoc offers). Like Amwell and Teladoc, MDLive accepts some insurance.

Doctor On Demand is URAC accredited. Its therapist roster is filled only with psychologists (Amwell, Teladoc, and MDLive all employ psychologists as well as other mental health professionals). The site accepts insurance but offers fewer therapist choices than the others. The platform lacks the ability to hide your view of your own face on screen. 

**If you are experiencing depression at this time, contact your doctor or a therapist right away.**

OMRON Complete™ Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor + EKG