lisa18

Anyone Suffer From PostOp Depression?

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I would love to hear from people who have went through this or know someone who has ? I just feel alone in this. I question everything & cry ALL THE TIME. I am a month & a half out. Even at work, I can be regular one sec & the next have to go to the br to cry for a few... Has anyone went through this & overcome it ? I’m going to bring this up my next appt, but what I don’t want are antidepressants (I hear they have so many side effects).

Edited by lisa18

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6 hours ago, lisa18 said:

...but what I don’t want are antidepressants (I hear they have so many side effects).

Hi Lisa.

I can't help you on the main question, since I haven't had the operation yet, however I do have a lot of experience with anti-depressants (I currently take 6 kinds. That is very, very unusual though. By far most people only need one. And nobody will force you to take more than you're comfortable with.). As with all medication, anti-depressants do come with the potential of side effects, but not many. However serious side effects are very rare (I don't have anything serious despite the crazy amount I take.). These medications can be a huge help and really, really raise quality of life. And remember, if you get side effects that outweigh the positive effects you get from the medication, you can always get off it again. Most people don't take anti-depressants forever, but only for a while until their mood is stabilized again. So it could very well be a good help for you to get through this first time after surgery. I can also highly recommend a bit of therapy, in combination with the medication or on it's own. Talking things through with a professional is a huge relief. 

There is a lot of stigma around anti-depressants and you'll hear a lot of false rumors about them (like them having a lot of side effects). I definitely suggest you talk to a doctor about the benefits and risks of medication before you make up your mind.

I hope you feel better soon. :)

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10 hours ago, lisa18 said:

I would love to hear from people who have went through this or know someone who has ? I just feel alone in this. I question everything & cry ALL THE TIME. I am a month & a half out. Even at work, I can be regular one sec & the next have to go to the br to cry for a few... Has anyone went through this & overcome it ? I’m going to bring this up my next appt, but what I don’t want are antidepressants (I hear they have so many side effects).

Hi Lisa, 

What you're going through sounds really awful, but unfortunately not very unusual for post-op people! There are a bunch of reasons people think it happens, but it basically happens to a large percentage of people. I certainly experienced it from time to time in the early days out from surgery.

It will probably just go away on its own, but no harm in bringing it up with your doctor. What may help you feel less alone, anyway, is to do a search on this site for "post-op depression" and see all the questions and answers that come up. It seems like most people suffer from it at least to some degree. Another thing you can do is look into the Blog area of this site and read a few people's blogs, right from the beginning, so you can sort of experience how they felt as they moved through that stage, as many of them did. 

Big hugs from me. You will find a lot of support here. 

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9 hours ago, LadyDay said:

Hi Lisa.

I can't help you on the main question, since I haven't had the operation yet, however I do have a lot of experience with anti-depressants (I currently take 6 kinds. That is very, very unusual though. By far most people only need one. And nobody will force you to take more than you're comfortable with.). As with all medication, anti-depressants do come with the potential of side effects, but not many. However serious side effects are very rare (I don't have anything serious despite the crazy amount I take.). These medications can be a huge help and really, really raise quality of life. And remember, if you get side effects that outweigh the positive effects you get from the medication, you can always get off it again. Most people don't take anti-depressants forever, but only for a while until their mood is stabilized again. So it could very well be a good help for you to get through this first time after surgery. I can also highly recommend a bit of therapy, in combination with the medication or on it's own. Talking things through with a professional is a huge relief. 

There is a lot of stigma around anti-depressants and you'll hear a lot of false rumors about them (like them having a lot of side effects). I definitely suggest you talk to a doctor about the benefits and risks of medication before you make up your mind.

I hope you feel better soon. :)

Thank you for this, I will bring it up at my appt. I want to see a therapist, hopefully I can find one not too far who takes my insurance. 

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5 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

Hi Lisa, 

What you're going through sounds really awful, but unfortunately not very unusual for post-op people! There are a bunch of reasons people think it happens, but it basically happens to a large percentage of people. I certainly experienced it from time to time in the early days out from surgery.

It will probably just go away on its own, but no harm in bringing it up with your doctor. What may help you feel less alone, anyway, is to do a search on this site for "post-op depression" and see all the questions and answers that come up. It seems like most people suffer from it at least to some degree. Another thing you can do is look into the Blog area of this site and read a few people's blogs, right from the beginning, so you can sort of experience how they felt as they moved through that stage, as many of them did. 

Big hugs from me. You will find a lot of support here. 

I come on here & search “depression” in hopes to see someone’s full story & I have, which gives me hope that I too will get through this. Sometimes it feels like it’s never ending. This has been such an emotional roller coaster! Thanks for your kind words.

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18 hours ago, lisa18 said:

I’m going to bring this up my next appt, but what I don’t want are antidepressants (I hear they have so many side effects).

I would say, #1, be active. Get outside. Go for a walk. You will notice a change in mood immediately. Go exercise if possible. Try to get in 30-60 mins of light physical activity a day, if possible. And if you're 100% against taking anti depressants, try taking omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B6 & B12 instead, if possible. 

But definitely bring it up at your next appointment. That is a very good plan. And ask your doctor to remind you why you got the surgery in the first place, and what the benefits are. That's really helped me. A little reassurance is always a good thing. I was reminded that I was once pre-diabetic, and had high cholesterol, and very unhappy.

You also brought up wanting to see a therapist. That's a great idea. See if you can find a therapist that specializes in bariatric surgery. As it sounds like this is the catalyst to your depression.

As for not wanting anti depressants. Your doctor won't prescribe you something you're adamantly against. And they certainly can't force you to take it if they do. They're not gonna follow you home, and make you take it.

But my question is, why are you so adamantly against taking something that may or may not have side effects on you? Because right now, you are suffering from a horrible side effect of this surgery. So why not take something that can help take away the suffering?

And also, you should understand that there are also side effects with depression that's left untreated. Right now, you only have mild side effects, such as crying. But they get much worse, like thoughts of self-harm, actual self-harm, thoughts of suicide, and actual suicide. 

I will just say that I take anti-depressants, and I have not experienced any adverse side effects from it. And I'm not here to convert you. But I certainly feel much better than I did not taking them. And I can honestly say that they saved my life. I would not be here today otherwise.

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7 hours ago, Reptar Kay said:

I would say, #1, be active. Get outside. Go for a walk. You will notice a change in mood immediately. Go exercise if possible. Try to get in 30-60 mins of light physical activity a day, if possible. And if you're 100% against taking anti depressants, try taking omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B6 & B12 instead, if possible. 

But definitely bring it up at your next appointment. That is a very good plan. And ask your doctor to remind you why you got the surgery in the first place, and what the benefits are. That's really helped me. A little reassurance is always a good thing. I was reminded that I was once pre-diabetic, and had high cholesterol, and very unhappy.

You also brought up wanting to see a therapist. That's a great idea. See if you can find a therapist that specializes in bariatric surgery. As it sounds like this is the catalyst to your depression.

As for not wanting anti depressants. Your doctor won't prescribe you something you're adamantly against. And they certainly can't force you to take it if they do. They're not gonna follow you home, and make you take it.

But my question is, why are you so adamantly against taking something that may or may not have side effects on you? Because right now, you are suffering from a horrible side effect of this surgery. So why not take something that can help take away the suffering?

And also, you should understand that there are also side effects with depression that's left untreated. Right now, you only have mild side effects, such as crying. But they get much worse, like thoughts of self-harm, actual self-harm, thoughts of suicide, and actual suicide. 

I will just say that I take anti-depressants, and I have not experienced any adverse side effects from it. And I'm not here to convert you. But I certainly feel much better than I did not taking them. And I can honestly say that they saved my life. I would not be here today otherwise.

The reality is, my insurance SUCKS ! Anytime I get prescribed something its the cheapest form, I’m scared they aren’t going to give me a good anti depressant, they are most likely going to give me the one with the MOST side effects possible, like they do with any other pills. & I am so prone to side effects. I also would love to try to get through this naturally, without needing any more pills (not saying there is anything wrong with needing them).

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14 minutes ago, lisa18 said:

The reality is, my insurance SUCKS ! Anytime I get prescribed something its the cheapest form, I’m scared they aren’t going to give me a good anti depressant, they are most likely going to give me the one with the MOST side effects possible, like they do with any other pills. & I am so prone to side effects. I also would love to try to get through this naturally, without needing any more pills (not saying there is anything wrong with needing them).

Fwiw, a lot of antidepressants aren't that expensive, even if your insurance is awful. Because many have been around a while, there are generic forms which typically work as well as name brands. One of my kiddos just started the generic form of Prozac (which has been incredible for her) and her prescription is 13 cents for a month's supply (she has pretty good insurance, but even the cash cost is pretty low). My OTC St. John's Wort tincture is $15 for a bottle that lasts maybe ten days. I wish I could still take generic Zoloft (post op it started making me horrendously nauseous). It would be so much cheaper than my OTC alternative. And if you have a good doctor, they'll prescribe you what you need, taking care to be mindful of bad reactions and side effects. Good doctors want their patients to feel better and will facilitate that. 

The other thing I wanted to mention is that possibly your serotonin might be down if you're sticking to your post-op diet because your carb intake has significantly decreased. If your system is used to getting a boost from carbs, sugar, etc, that might also contribute to your feeling depressed. Once you're cleared for exercise, getting in some daily walking (or whatever form of exercise you prefer) might also help lift your moods. But if you need meds, there's no shame in that. Do what you have to do to take care of your mind & body so you can make the most of your new pouch and this opportunity. 

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Keep in mind that this is likely a passing thing, that will last a few months, then get better. It does get better! Either on it's own, with therapy or with medication. Don't worry. I think it's entirely valid to wait a little bit before you jump into medication, giving it some time and getting some therapy first, if you're not completely comfortable with getting medication. There's no rush. The important part is to keep you as comfortable and safe as possible. And we're all here to talk to! :) But I'd hate for you to miss out on really effective medication out of fear of it though.

I don't know about American insurance, but I'd like to echo @athenarose in that generic versions of medications are just as fine as the name brand. The active content is exactly the same. The only difference is in fillers and such. So it's generally not necessary to pay for the name brand (or have your insurance do so). 

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On 10/8/2019 at 11:26 PM, lisa18 said:

I would love to hear from people who have went through this or know someone who has ? I just feel alone in this. I question everything & cry ALL THE TIME. I am a month & a half out. Even at work, I can be regular one sec & the next have to go to the br to cry for a few... Has anyone went through this & overcome it ? I’m going to bring this up my next appt, but what I don’t want are antidepressants (I hear they have so many side effects).

Lisa, not to speak for you, but would suggest you may also be mourning your prior love of your life ... food. For many of us food, and the act of eating, and the linked pleasures we had were a comfort from 'the slings and arrows' of life. It was for me. It is totally normal to mourn the loss of a friend. 

As @athenarose notes, a change in your diet may change your brain chemistry too. Personally I have become persuaded that eating a lot of carbohydrates, which I did in the past, was a form of addiction on my part. I enjoyed eating a lot of food, and I suspect that at least part of that was the release of serotonin, and of dopamine, in my head. The latter is key to feelings of pleasure, or of reward: and it is released when you smoke cigarettes or use drugs like cocaine or methamphetamines. 

You have done something definitive for yourself that will reduce your reliance on that crutch. You want to live a long time without pain or suffering or ill health, while being happy ... and that means weight loss for all of us who have been obese. 

But you can adapt, you can do things for yourself just as you have taken action to lose weight. Consider taking an anti-depressant (yes there are lots now with low risks of side-effects, and that are generics that are low cost). Get some exercise, even if it is only walking a mile a day at lunch, that has been shown to improve mood. You mention that you feel alone in this - continue to reach out to others who have been in your circumstances, such as by posting here. 

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@athenarose thanks you. I can not wait to start the gym, already joined one just need to get the OK from the surgeon. I have positive feelings about the gym making me feel better!

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@BurgundyBoy I appreciate your advice, im definitely starting the gym soon (i have been walking). I do miss food especially when my family drags me around special events that ALL involve food. 

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@lisa18  

Good! An electronic pat on the back and thumbs up for getting some walking in! Atta-Lisa!

I am much less disciplined than I 'should' be (being very imperfect, perhaps even a bit flawed now and again) - and exercise gives me a bit of a cushion for my behaviors. It's true that when I goof up and mindlessly snack at night watching TV the worst I can do is 500, not 5,000, calories now, but do that for a week and you gain a pound. My typical workouts come in the 500 calorie flavor or the 1000 calorie flavor ... some of us can maintain our weight through just diet, but given all my behavioral flaws, the exercise helps me a lot. When I travel for work and have no pool, cycle, or rowing machine in the gym (my preferred sports) I can always walk. 

Tough when family events involve food at your stage. With time you may no longer miss some foods very much ... you may come to see these food-filled events as a kind of theater going on around you, rather than something you have to participate in. 

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