Post surgery depression

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome can delay recovery!

Depression manifesting as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) after surgery & a hospital stay is a common complaint, often overlooked by General Practitioners.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is often associated with those people exposed to extreme situations such as war or accidents but it can also occur after other emotional shocks such as surgery or illness.

This can "shock", can also trigger other forms of mental illness such as Bi-polar disorder, psychosis or "borderline" behaviour.

 It can also lie dormant until triggered by some other stressful event. Even something as small as a conflict at home or work can trigger a downturn in a patients mental state. 

Many medical professionals under estimate the effect of illness on patient's mental health. Depression  can effect the patients recovery time & is an important part of the recovery process often overlooked.

PTSS can manifest itself in different ways.

Feelings of "why me?" are the most common. Dreaming of the event, sleeplessness & constantly thinking of the event are others. Feelings of helplessness or frustration, jealousy, of being unable to carry on as usual, losing weight & reliance on others is also part of the condition.  Some people can also become very angry or violent, but this is less common.

Many people do not wish to admit they are feeling this way & often hide the symptoms but this will just delay recovery.

Having a good relationship with your health practitioner is the best way to treat PTSS.  He or she will do a mental health assessment & plan & then decide a plan of action.

Treatment is usually a mix of counselling & medication. Antidepressants such as Citalopram(Celexa), Paroxetine(Paxil, Seroxat), Escitaloram or Prozac are prescribed usually for a minimum of six months but must be closely monitored for side effects. Diet, exercise, pets, social activities & hobbies can also help.

Whatever course of action is taken by the G.P, there is no "quick fix".

The patient must be monitored for the long term as symptoms will often recur when a crisis occurs in the patients life but may be less severe than the initial episode.