February 26, 2024

Can Anesthesia Cause Depression?

According to most medical sources, anesthesia does not cause depression. This medication does carry with it numerous side effects and negative attributes. Although it is not thought to be a cause of depression, the resulting side effects and underlying factors can attribute to the development of depression.

Side Effects of Anesthesia

After receiving anesthesia, patients may experience higher blood pressure, nerve damage or a racing heartbeat. Regional anesthesia can cause heart problems, difficulty breathing, hear aches, infections and swelling. Although many of these side effects are rare, most people will experience a head ache after their treatment. Individuals who already have health issues may experience gagging or problems swallowing. If this happens during surgery, medical practitioners will insert a breathing tube into the patient’s throat. This prevents the stomach contents from entering the lungs. Medical practitioners know of this side effect and will often advise individuals not to eat food or drink liquids before their surgery.

Can Anesthesia Cause Depression?

Strictly speaking, anesthesia does not cause depression. However, patients who have undergone surgeries with anesthesia will often develop depression afterward. This can be attributed to the side effects associated with anesthesia. Whenever someone places their body under that much stress, it can change the way the body and mind functions. On its own, continued amounts of stress can actually cause a patient to develop depression.

An individual who has required anesthesia for a surgery often has had a recent medical issue. Surgeries are generally not done without an underlying reason. This medical problem can be a source of continued stress and anxiety for an individual. Anytime someone faces heightened stress or anxiety in their life, they are more likely to develop depression. If the anesthesia produces ongoing side effects, the health issues that arise may contribute to mental disorders. In cases where the patient already has a family history or predisposition toward depression, their chance of developing this mental disorder is heightened.

Logically, it seems like anytime the body and mind are shut down for a period of time can cause harm. Doctors rarely talk about the high incidence of mental problems associated with anesthesia. Patients need to be informed about all possible risks before they undergo any medical treatment. Although it is wise to avoid anesthesia if possible, this cannot be done in many surgeries. If the patient feels that they have developed depression after receiving anesthesia, they should always visit a qualified medical practitioner to seek treatment.


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