WLS Tips: How to Manage Anxiety After Surgery

Posted by Jason Radecke on Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Weight loss surgery is a life changing event, and you can start to feel anxiety after surgery for many reasons. Whether you are scared of upcoming social and relationship changes or the adjustments that you need to make to your daily routines when it comes to exercise and your eating habits, know that you are not alone when you are having these feelings.

manage-anxiety-after-surgeryYou have grown accustomed to using food as a coping mechanism when you have felt stress and anxiety in the past, but this will no longer be a method that is suitable since you are now dedicated to an improved lifestyle. One of the best strategies for dealing with anxiety after surgery is to replace the comfort you get with eating with healthy activities.

Staying as positive as you possibly can during this life changing time in your life will benefit you as new challenges arise in your life. By developing coping and problem solving skills you will be able to deal with any stressors that may come up.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of anxiety can help you to develop a strategy to control putting yourself in a situation cause you to feel anxious or stressed.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is defined as a persistent feeling of worry, uneasiness, or dread that is linked with a certain stressor. Anxiety after surgery can be associated with a feeling that you have lost control in areas of your life, and it is understandable since those who have experienced the highs and lows that accompany weight loss surgery have grown accustomed to living life a certain way and now you have new rules that you must follow to be successful in your journey.

What is important to remember is that anxiety after surgery is not uncommon and if it is not addressed if can start to impact many aspects of your daily life. Your bariatric team will be able to help you address any feelings of stress or anxiety.

Anxiety Attacks and Their Symptoms

When you are start to feel anxious you will often have physical symptoms. These physical cues along with your racing thoughts are often referred to as anxiety or panic attacks. The indications of an attack are:

  • Upset Stomach

  • Excessive Sweating

  • Loss of Appetite

  • Severe or Migraine Headaches

  • Pain in the Back, Neck, or Shoulders

  • Tightness in your Chest

  • Difficulty Breathing


Dealing with Anxiety of Surgery

You can start to develop tactics to manage anxiety as it presents itself so you can prevent being overwhelmed by feelings of panic, misery, and agitation. You may have ways that you have learned to deal with feelings of anxiety, but if you did not experience anxiety until after you had your weight loss surgery, the following lines of attack will help you manage stress and anxiety after surgery.

  • Exercise daily! This will be part of your new lifestyle, but when you get your endorphins moving you will start relieving your stress the natural way.

  • Journaling is helpful to keep track of any thoughts that may be lingering. Being able to write down your feelings and work through them can help clear your mind and identify your stressors.

  • Just Breathe. Practicing deep breathing can help you curb an anxiety attack before it happens. Just take a minute, clear your mind, and breath through your anxiousness.

The changes you are experiencing would cause these feelings in anyone, but learning to not let them control your life is imperative. By focusing on your new lifestyle and practicing the techniques above you will be able to control your feelings of anxiety.

Tags: Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

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