Bariatric Advice: 5 Ways to Avoid Depression After Surgery

Posted by Patrick Domkowski on Fri, Jul 24, 2015

Weight loss surgery not only affects you physically, but you will also experience changes emotionally and socially. After reaching your goals, your dramatic weight loss will lead to changes in the way you are perceived by others and most importantly, in how you perceive yourself.

bariatric-avoid-depression-after-surgeryThe emotional and social changes of weight loss surgery are different for everyone. As we go through our day to day lives and experience the multitude of ups and downs, we can no longer use food as an outlet for relieving stress or as a way to find solace when our other emotions get the better of us.

This is why we have to become even more aware of the reality of depression after surgery. If you are able to identify the signs and symptoms of depression early, you can easily treat and deal with any emotional hardships you may be facing.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression after Bariatric Surgery

You are not alone if you are experiencing symptoms of depression after having weight loss surgery. Even with proper education from your bariatric psychologist, you may still need help identifying the onset of depression.

Identifying Depression

Someone suffering from depression does not need to have all of the listed symptoms to be considered depressed, but having at least 5 of these symptoms present within a period of two weeks are symptoms of clinical depression.

  1. A depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.

  2. Loss of pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed, nearly every day.

  3. Fatigue or loss of energy.

  4. Feelings of guilty or excessive worthlessness

  5. Significant changes in appetite. (Of course take surgery into account)

  6. Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.

  7. Increased irritability.

  8. Loss of ability to concentrate or indecisiveness.

  9. Insomnia or long periods of feeling sleepy

Treating Depression

The many changes that you experience after surgery and the adaptation you are making can lead to depression, but there are ways for it to be treated.

  1. Therapy: Therapy is a great way for you to sort through your feelings and address and ease depression. There are many psychologists available, but finding one with a bariatric background may be difficult. Ask your bariatrician for a referral if an in-house therapist is not available.

  2. Support Groups: Support groups are an incredible option, especially when dealing with the uncertainties you are facing after weight loss surgery.

  3. Adding an antidepressant: Just like your weight loss surgery, an antidepressant is a tool that you can use in conjunction with therapy and support groups. It can take up to three weeks for antidepressants to become fully effective.

Avoiding Depression after Surgery

  1. Develop healthy coping skills to deal with the stressors in your life. The most stressful time for bariatric patients in the first few months after surgery, so start using your coping skills early.

  2. Make the switch from eating as the main event at social activities. This is one of the most difficult changes for bariatric patients, but with determination, you can make the focus on the activity and not on the edibles.

  3. Become body positive! Start using daily affirmations and keep your health in mind.

  4. Exercise regularly. Not only will you get your endorphins pumping, but you will be taking the steps to a healthier lifestyle.

  5. Get your family involved. Even though this is your journey, it is still helpful to all involved to get them involved in the decision making process.

If you are struggling with managing the emotional impact of your weight loss surgery, talk to your bariatric team.

 

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Tags: Weight Loss Surgery Support

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