Emotional Support After Weight Loss Surgery

Having bariatric surgery can help you lose anywhere from 50-80% of your excess weight. Because of these dramatic results, most people only plan for the physical changes that will come after surgery. But, in reality, these procedures affect your life in numerous ways that go far beyond your appearance alone. As a result, having weight-loss surgery can be a very emotional experience.

At LoneStar Bariatrics, Dr. Chad Carlton and our team specialize in safe and effective weight-loss solutions that provide life-changing results. We understand the deeply personal and emotional nature of bariatric surgery. Fortunately, having the right support before, during, and after your procedure can help on this emotional journey.

Address depression and mood disorders

Mood disorders are a common problem for people considering bariatric surgery. Approximately half report having symptoms of depression at some point in their life, and nearly 48% have anxiety disorders.

You can experience mood disorders for a variety of reasons. For many who are considering bariatric surgery, there's a long history of bullying, fat-shaming, or low self-esteem. Mood disorders can also arise from shame or hopelessness after failed attempts at diet and exercise. 

While it’s common for mood disorders to improve after bariatric surgery, approximately 13% of people experience an increase in depression symptoms after their procedure. It’s important to remember that weight-loss surgery can help you shed unwanted pounds, but it won’t make emotional issues or mood disorders disappear. 

Manage eating disorders

You may see dramatic weight-loss results from bariatric surgery, but they won’t last without making long-term lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to your relationship with food.

An estimated 10-25% of people considering bariatric surgery have a binge eating disorder, and 5-20% live with night eating syndrome. Weight-loss surgeries work by changing the size of your stomach and how you absorb nutrients. However, you have to commit to lifelong dietary changes to maintain your results, including:

Without ongoing support to manage disordered eating, you can experience higher rates of stress, anxiety, and depression, and even regain the weight you lost after surgery.

Learn positive coping mechanisms

When you undergo weight-loss surgery, you enter a new phase of your life that may be unexpected. You may feel as though you’re suddenly the center of attention, which can be hard to manage if you used to find comfort “blending in” to the crowd. You may even have a hard time recognizing yourself in the mirror, or re-learning how to interact in social situations with your new diet and lifestyle. 

All of these changes can create an emotional roller coaster, which can feel harder to manage without previous coping mechanisms, like food. Some people even go through a phase after weight-loss surgery called “food grief.” During this period, you may long for food as if it was a good friend. Without food, it’s common to search for other unhealthy coping strategies. Some become hypervigilant with exercise to reduce their weight and maintain their new body, while others turn to alcohol or drugs.

Fortunately, you can gain the help you need to navigate these unknown emotional waters with the proper support on your weight-loss journey. Whether you opt for traditional, one-on-one psychotherapy or support groups, surrounding yourself with people who understand weight-related issues and the emotional challenges that come with bariatric surgery can put you on the path to long-term success.

To learn more about the importance of emotional support after weight-loss surgery, contact one of our convenient locations in Frisco or Richardson, Texas by calling or booking an appointment online today.

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