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Cataracts are Depressing

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

A few weeks ago, I wrote about needing cataract surgery and the fear that I had about it. The surgeries went well and I am the proud owner of new intraocular lenses. This is a complication of diabetes, so often considered a failure, so needing the surgery was depressing.

After I had the first one done, there was a two-week wait before the second eye would be operated on so I was wearing my glasses with only one lens so I could see. I found myself cleaning my glasses, often trying to clean both lenses… And now I catch myself trying to adjust my non-existent glasses. I am such a creature of habit.

The biggest thing I have noticed is how bad my vision had become. Not unfocused, but how dark everything was appearing to me. The restroom at mom’s, the one I have used for the last 3 years was always a pleasant, light beige color not the bright white I see now. Lamps that always appeared yellow were actually white.

I’ve turned all the computer monitors I use down by about 30%, full sunlight is painfully bright as are some room lights.

I had no idea that I was simply not seeing fully. No clue that the world was dimmer, substantially dimmer, than it really was.

So I began to wonder, could the diminished light be playing into the several serious bouts of depression I’ve experienced the last couple of years?

Could cataracts literally be depressing?

I wonder what will happen over the next few months now that the days are getting longer and it won’t be long before the boys are back again… err… sorry 80’s flashback.

Seriously though, I do wonder if the increased light I am able to actually see will have a positive effect on my depression. The problem for me with any type of treatment for depression is how long it takes to see a change. I always doubt the change, not believing that I actually feel better. Not believing that I will ever be able to feel better.

That last sentence is depression talking.

And depression lies.

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Glad to know the surgery went well. Time to splurge on a very good pair of wrap around sunglasses. You’ll need to protect your eyes whenever outside.

  • Heather Gabel

    I love your exploration here, Scott. The curiosity and wonder and back and forth feels very real and current. I know a woman who was moving through a rough period of depression and a very bright light helped her a lot. I’d like to know more about this and will read whatever else you write on the subject. Thank you for sharing your experience and introspection with us. Hugs.

  • natsera

    So glad the surgeries went well and you are seeing things that you haven’t seen in a long time!! And glad that you could benefit from modern techniques — my grandmother, in the 1950’s, had cataract surgery, and had to lie with her head between sandbags for a couple of days, and then had to wear Coke-bottle glasses, and didn’t see very well, anyway. I don’t know if she had retinopathy as well — there were no real treatments for that, either. So lucky us, living now instead of then!! 🙂

  • Colleen

    Yay! Interesting thought about the relationship between sight and depression.

  • rpederse

    I’m guessing you’ve done this, but if not, you might find a Google search “cataracts depression” to be, um, illuminating. Glad the surgery went well.

  • Hi Scott!

    I’m so glad to hear things went well. I’m sorry I’m so behind the times that I missed the opportunity to wish you well before it all happened. Your post about the fear really resonated with me.

    Please keep us posted on how things are going – I think this is a really interesting question you’re asking, and it makes a lot of sense!