Depression/Loneliness after brain surgery. - Headway


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Depression/Loneliness after brain surgery.


I am four years post operation from having a brain tumour removed when I was 17. I developed epilepsy and lost half my eyesight as side effects to the operation. Although very lucky to be here, I feel guilt that I have been given a second shot at life and I am not enjoying it. I have seeked help with my gp and wellbeing services, and even been admitted to the crisis teamdue to my low moods, however they have not been of help to me at all- cancelling therapy sessions, discharging too soon etc. Is there anyone else out there who is/has struggling with their brain injury? I have no confidence, no job and I crave someone who knows this feeling to talk to.

13 Replies

MY TBI was the result of a subarachnoid hemorrhage and I've met many people with the same injury and their experience hasn't been the same as mine, so this may not be applicable.

I consulted my GP due to depression in 2008 and referred to the mental health team by Neuro-rehab as they didn't have Neuropsychologist. Mental health didn't understand brain injury so declined to help, over the next 6 years I moved across the country and experienced the same problem. Eventually in 2014 I was able to see a Neuropsychatrist and Neuropsychologist at the second session I was prescribed antidepressant and started counseling. NHS provision is patchy and very much a lottery.

I would hope all young people are protected as much as possible by their parents, after years of being a "old" you begin to understand life can be cr@p and I think this does make it easier to deal with really bad times.

So realise you're a very strong person, you had the courage to start this thread.

I'm reading that you're probably experiencing depression, which is very common.

Given what I've said about mainstream mental health care a GP referral to Neuro-rehab may be advisable if you've fallen through the net like many people. It took years before I spoke to a ABI team about depression, you may find you live where TBI support is excellent, mine is now.

Thank you so much for your response, I have now seeked more specialist help. I have very supportive parents too. I will face my fears with a push and hope this low mood can be shifted with this new support. I’m glad you’ve manage to find great support, I really hope it was worth searching for.

Good on you Beth, stay strong and all the best


hi im steve, i dont suffer from depression, i do suffer from behavoural problems as a result of my brain injury plus epilepsy, adhd, noise something or other ( oh and short term memory loss ha ha ha ), i have a people phobia, ( noise intolerance was the word i was looking for ) oh and im deaf in my left ear the same side i had my stroke and i get noises in it.

have you seen a psychiatrist and neurologist and been properly diagnosed?

BethVictoria in reply to steve55

Hi Steve, sounds like you’ve been through an awful lot too. I have seen a psychiatrist and have been diagnosed with depression and a form of ptsd. I hope you have good support? I’m in the midsts of finding an effective service to help me. I wish you well and thank you for replying to my post. It means a lot to me to have contact with others in similar situations.

Hi Beth. I have a long history of depression since adolescence and was prescribed an antidepressant aged 17. I used the tricyclic meds until SSRIs became the preferred treatment and have continued with those ever since ; all attempts at stopping them resulted in crisis so they became a permanent fixture for me.

And when my family and I faced years of bereavement on a relentless scale followed by my meningitis, breast cancer and a brain haemorrhage, I obviously wobbled but actually coped pretty well. All this 'coping' I attribute to my antidepressants which are, without doubt, an essential and permanent stabilising element in my brain chemistry.

I don't know your stance on medication Beth but I'd be interested to hear whether you've tried, or considered trying, what is essentially a mind altering medication to give you back some quality of life......... Best wishes, Cat x

BethVictoria in reply to cat3

Hi Cat, thank you so much for replying to me. I can empathise with you to a huge extent, family bereavements started my vulnerable state and then my op excelled this mood. I also had meningitis and a haemorrhage, so I understand the wobbles! You’re really brave.

I have spoken about medicine to help cope, although doctors reluctant to give me them as my brain is still healing. It is definitely an option I will push for though as I have heard many positive reviews from them, including yours. So thank you again for getting in touch x

ive always been anti medication, but i dont knock people who take anti depressants.

im on one now for my adhd to help me to concentrate.

something you may find helpful is meditation. you sit on a chair and try and clear your mind, concentrating only on the seat of the chair, eyes closed, breathing out through the mouth very slowly and the in through the nose again very slowly eventually turning your attention to the back of the chair using the same breathing method.

eventually, with practice, youll get a floating sensation.

give it a try, its great if you cant sleep too.

BethVictoria in reply to steve55

Thank you Steve, definitely will give it a try x

Hi there dont know if this is any help but i am 9 years this september since my fall witch resulted in a is not the same and some dayz i wish i wasnt here no more life is hard not just for me but for my family too.but i sometimes think i am lucky as there is people out there worse than me.its going to be a hard struggle for u and i wish u all the best.when your feeling down jus remember your not alone there is a lot of us feel the same.good luck,thinking of u👋👋

Thank you so much for your reply, I have found so many people who can relate now, I now don’t feel quite so alone in this feeling. You’re right, family and friends have been effected too and there are people worse off. Thank you for sharing your story, I’ll hopefully learn to feel more happy soon. I wish you good luck too xx

It must be awful for you I had a brain injury back at home but feel in a vegetative state x

Hi babe, you can contact me anytime for a chat or question, take care xxx

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