No one wants to think about being depressed, but the truth is depression can be a common “after” effect of any surgery – even for cosmetic surgery. It may seem counterintuitive to think of someone being depressed right after improving their appearance, but the dramatic change, stress and expectations of the patient can often converge to give patients the “after surgery blues.”
Because depression can and does happen, it’s important to prepare yourself to avoid it during recovery. Here are some tips I give to my Tampa eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) patients, but really these can apply for many facial plastic surgery procedures.
- Evaluate your mental state:
Divorce, deaths in the family, and other traumatic life changes might promote higher rates of depression. Additionally, a history of mental illness or a predisposition to depression and anxiety can trigger depression. If you feel unstable in any way, you should discuss it with your surgeon before surgery.
- Manage your expectations:
Rejuvenating your eyes does not guarantee you will get a better job or that people will like you more. Set realistic goals for your eyelid surgery and consider your reasons for having surgery. If you want to undergo the surgery for your own reasons and not someone else’s, then you may be on the right track.
- Don’t look in the mirror:
Your face with the bruising and swelling after eyelid surgery does not reflect the way your face will look after it heals. It’s best to be confident in the results and accept the change as positive. It can help you adapt to the change much more easily.
- Have someone who cares about you nearby:
The support of a loved one or friend can be vital in your recovery. When you feel upset, it can be good to have someone there to cheer you up and help you feel confident.