Depressed After Tonsillectomy? You are not alone

Depression after surgery
Depression After Tonsillectomy?

Depression After Tonsillectomy

One challenge that many tonsillectomy patients don’t anticipate is depression after surgery. Even people with the sunniest of dispositions may find themselves in a dark place after enduring the hardships of surgery and its recovery. **Before discussing the topic of depression after surgery any further, let me say that if you are under a doctor’s care for depression before surgery, be sure to work with them to plan treatment after surgery. 

Tonsillectomy Recovery- Day 17: Why don’t I feel better?

Tonsillectomy surgery, like almost any other surgery, requires more of your body than normal. The healing process takes energy. After tonsillectomy, eating and sleeping become difficult. This makes the healing process more of a strain. I have tips for both eating and sleeping on other pages. For now I’d like to address the almost inevitable event of depression after surgery.

Feeling depressed after tonsillectomy
Depression After Tonsillectomy

Two weeks of battling pain, not getting enough sleep, taking narcotic pain medicine, and being removed from your normal social interaction can have a profound effect on your mental state. Being prepared for depression after surgery can help you feel better.

Doing your best to stay nourished, get sleep, and stay ahead of pain will all help. I further recommend planning some simple daily activities like a short walk outside, a relaxing bath, a daily television show. These simple activities can get your mind off the discomfort, give you something to look forward to, and give normalcy to an otherwise abnormal time.

Another trick to beating depression after surgery is to record your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Oddly, this seems to release the struggles a bit. I also suggest participating in the online forums and offering others support. As I’ve often said, when you shine a light for others, you also light your own path.

Finally, let people in. Family, friends, health professionals, even co workers have more compassion than you may realize. Let people help. Ask for help in advance- before you have surgery. I personally would be delighted if a friend asked me to run out for Popsicle’s or chewing gum because they’d run out during their tonsillectomy recovery. Help others to help you. You’ll both benefit.

Finally, try to remember that this is temporary. How you are feeling in the midst of your recovery is not how you’ll always feel. Try to imagine the better life you’ll have without the problems the surgery will have corrected. Again, you can read of success stories in my book and on the forum.

Take care,



  1. My husband had his tonsils removed in 2020 and cannot taste anything. He has lost over 50 pounds is depressed and our lives have been completely ruined because of a Doctor Who caused damage to my husbands glossopharyngeal nerve. If anybody has had something like this or any solutions, please please inform me of this.

  2. I’m currently on Day 8 of my recovery. Doctor said I’m a couple days ahead of most people however. Days 3-7 are nightmarish. I had my first taste of food that wasn’t pudding yesterday and now I crave real food again but still cannot eat it. It’s taken my mental state and thrown it in the garbage. It will get better.

  3. DON’T HAVE A TONSILECTOMY!!!! IT’S THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO. THEY WERE MADE FOR A REASON. I had one and can never go back to normal because I’ll never be able to swallow correctly or have a sore throat.

  4. I am on day 14 of my recovery and the depression and insomnia have really hit me hard. I’m at the point where I have no pain from my tonsillectomy, but honestly I preferred the pain over this sadness and restlessness. I’m thinking that this might have something to do with the pain meds but I can’t confirm it. Hopefully this goes away soon. It is refreshing to see others experiencing the same thing. I was feeling so alone in my thoughts and feelings; this helped me a lot.

    1. On day 14 also feeling the same with what you went through l feel like l am going crazy. Cant even sleep properly, have lost sense of taste

  5. OMG I hope everyone is recovered by now and that it was worth it all in the end!

    I don’t get any sleep anyways since I stopped breathing up to 96 times an hour during my sleep apnea testing and I have chronic pain from a car accident in 2012 and suffer from depression. Hopefully in my case the outcome with outweigh the added misery when it is all said and done.

    I hope you all are all doing great now!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.