Is it just me? Depression after major spine surgery?

I had surgery the day before Thanksgiving 2018.  I had about a week to wrap my brain around the fact that at 36, my lower lumbar area was trashed. Relieved that I had answers for the constant pain for four plus years prior, I was terrified. Now here I am, 3 months post surgery (almost to the day), and I feel like a zombie! Anything but what I used to feel like. The pain has gotten far better, the nerve and muscle pain is worse on same days and better on others. This surgery has changed my life. I’m grateful for the fact that I can walk, I’m healthy (had cancer in my twenties).  After loosing my job because I wasn’t able to return to work after two weeks, I was so fortunate to find a good paying remote position that lets me work from home on a flexible schedule.. Life is good, so why do I feel so restless, “blue”, cut off from the world and just in a funk? Anyone else experience this? My surgery left me with 2 cavadvar vertebrae, Rods and pins from L1 to S1, 23 bone grafts and almost 400 stitches to hopefully mend the nerve damage.. 



  • challengercchallenger Posts: 2,069
    edited 07/15/2019 - 11:40 AM

    dfritzler, Welcome to Spine Health. I was able to go back to work I slowly began to get better, the best thing you can do is talk about it with somebody, it can be family or a trusted friend or if you feel it is severe a professional. but talk to somebody, you have made a very good choice by coming here, there are some very good listeners here and a ton of experience in everything related to the spine, anytime you need to get something off your chest you can come here and do it and I promise there are very caring people that will listen to you. Take care of yourself and keep us posted on your progress.


  • I’ve suffered from major depressive disorder since 17 and am now 40. I’ve seen a therapist weekly for years. There are periods when I’m doing really good, so-so, bad, and debilitating. My past years after 2 failed microdiscectomies, injections, every Tx for herniated disc/DDD you can think of never lasted longer than a week.

    The past 6+ months have been debilitating. At it’s worst I lay in bed, most of the time awake, racing thoughts & praying that God would take me in my sleep. In the same pair of pajamas 7-10 days and showering once every 4-6 weeks.

    I’m only 3 weeks post op and the first week and a half my mood was great. To wake up with my leg & foot pain 90% better was a dream come true. Past week and a half, I’m going backwards. Showering less, in bed more (even though there are 6-7 other people in my house at all times I could go interact with). I’m getting back to my weekly therapy appointments next week. I think getting cleared to drive will help me too.

    There’s nothing wrong with you. Depression is so common in the general population, even more so in the chronic pain/post surgery/medical issue populations. I always suggest a professional because they are impartial, you can say anything and everything to them (most of us hold back some details when talking to loved ones/friends) and they can help determine if this is a situational depression or something that might need the help of a psychiatrist. Group therapy has helped me a ton as everyone in the group understands first hand what you’re going through. I get all my services through my county human services center, as insurance didn’t cover all I needed for long enough.

    Praying for everyone struggling.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343
    edited 07/30/2019 - 3:57 PM


    I have been seeing a psychologist for 4 yrs. now. When my back finally gave out again and scoliosis hit, I went in a deep hole. I had to give up so much of my life all at one time and realized I needed help. And he has been awesome!! 
    Now, I try to pass what I have learned to others that are struggling.
    You are only 3 weeks post-op and you need to be up walking as much as you can. You know it as well as I do, laying in bed all the time is not good for mentally. Have faith that you are going to feel better and will be able to get on with your life.
    If you need someone to talk to, we are always here.

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