As someone who loves her father dearly, it is hard for me to admit that my dad has had to get the services of psychologists to feel better mentally after his spinal surgery. A few months ago, he complained about being unable to walk and his lower back hurting. When we brought him to the hospital, the doctor diagnosed that one of the discs that were supposed to keep his spinal column from touching each other just got ruptured, and so the operation had to be done at once.
I can tell you now that the surgery has gone well. My old man is walking again, although there is a slightly noticeable limp now because his right foot has become a little numb post-operation. What has depressed him, though, is the fact that he cannot lift things and do heavy chores anymore either at home or at work. I cannot blame him for it; I can only imagine how difficult it must be to feel like you are incapable of doing the things that your family has relied on you to do before.
“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core. ” –Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC
Nevertheless, thanks to the help of the psychologists that his surgeons have recommended, my father has managed to cope with his current situation now. The last few months have been tough for the entire family, but we have never doubted dad’s ability to get over his depression.
In case you are in the same rough patch as my father, you should know that you can stop feeling depressed over time. It is possible to live with the fact that there are some things that you cannot do anymore, and that’s okay. Here are some tips that I would like to share with you.
Assess Your Feelings
The first thing to ask yourself is, “Why do I feel so depressed?”
Chances are, if you are like my dad, the doctor will only discourage you from lifting heavy objects or bending down too much. It does not mean, though, that you cannot walk, drive, go to work, or play with your kids. It does not mean that you cannot bring your spouse out on a date or be the main man in the family. So, you should figure out what genuinely causes your depression so that you can understand where the issue is coming from. “Many people mistakenly believe that if you can’t see it like you can a broken bone, it must be less significant and therefore can be overcome by simply using willpower. If not, they mistakenly believe that people who suffer from depression are weak.” Simon Rego, PsyD said.
Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol is not the best companion when you are trying to recover from surgery or depression. It will fog your mind more than clear it. Not to mention, it will make you assume that you can drown your hopelessness with bottles of whiskey or gin. Thus, you should not even touch any alcoholic beverage if you want to get over your problems sooner than later.
Don’t EVER Say You Can’t Do Something
What has hurt me and my family members the most is hearing my father say, “I am useless now.” He said that one time, when my mom needed help to fix the curtains, and we all stopped him from stepping on a stool chair to do it for her. “The worst thing we can do is say to ourselves, ‘I can’t handle it,’ while the best thing we can say is, ‘I may not like it, but I can handle it,” says Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist.
The truth is that being unable to fix the curtains does not make my dad useless. Not everyone can do everything, and it should not make anyone feel like they are inadequate because of that. You should remember that, too.
Despite the physical restrictions that come with your current condition, I am pretty certain that there are activities that can make you happy without having to move much. For instance, you can go to karaoke with your friends if that’s your jam. You can go on a short trip out of town with your grandkids and show them your favorite place. Furthermore, you can stop thinking that the surgery has taken a huge part of your identity. By doing all of that and more, you will be able to get over depression.
Stop Pulling People Into Your Depression
Often, when you’re feeling blue, the people around you can adapt your mood and then they’ll be depressed too. Instead of pulling people down to your depressed state, just pull yourself up so that you will not have to worry about anyone or anything in the future.
Read The Bible
Lastly, reacquainting yourself to the teachings of God might be the only thing that can move you out of your miserable state so if you haven’t started doing it or you’ve never even tried before, read the Bible now.
The people around you love you so much. You may be going through a tough situation now, but you are not alone. Let your family and friends in your life and follow the tips above to get over your depression post-surgery. Good luck!