Having gender-affirming surgery is a wonderful thing, if it’s something that you need to feel whole and comfortable in your body. In the long-term, is it most often very much worth it. However, in the time immediately post-op, it can be tough. Some people find themselves going through a period of post-op depression.
While disconcerting, it’s not abnormal to feel down after going through surgery. It can be a result of anesthesia, or of being out of your normal routine, being in pain, etc. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a support system in place for if/when you do find yourself in a negative place, mentally and emotionally, after surgery.
Having a therapist or other mental health professional to talk to is always a good idea, if you have the ability to see one. You may not be able to visit them in-person for a few weeks after surgery, depending on what you’ve had done, but many therapists can do phone sessions. Even if you don’t regularly see a therapist, it might be a good idea to establish a relationship with one if you have enough time to do so pre-op, just in case you find yourself needing to talk to someone who is more objective than a friend or family member.
Have activities that will keep you occupied. Things that are low-key, like watching tv shows and movies (pick ones that make you feel good), playing video games, reading, crafts, puzzles, etc. If you keep your mind occupied, you’ll have less mental energy to put toward focusing on things that are making you feel bad.
Have friends or family members you can talk to. It’s a good idea to let them know beforehand that you may be reaching out when you’re feeling badly. Make sure they’re okay with that and emotionally capable of offering you support when you need it.
Lastly, remember post-op depression is temporary. Eventually, you will heal and be able to get back to your normal activities.