How Weight Loss Surgery Affects Mental Health?
Losing weight and recovering physically are usually the main priorities after weight loss surgery, but it is important to be aware of your mental health too.
Weight Loss Surgery and Mental Health
Research has actually shown that the risk of mental health disorders can increase after weight loss surgery. One recent study found that obese teenagers who underwent bariatric surgery were more likely to experience negative changes in their mental health than those who did not. The reasons for this are complicated and are probably linked to the more extreme and rapid physical changes that take place after surgery. It is important to note that more people experience an improvement in their mental health after weight loss surgery than will see it get worse. However, you should be aware that having bariatric surgery could have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing.
Caring for Your Mental Health
Bariatric surgery and the resulting weight loss will have a big impact on your mood, energy levels and relationships. It is important to take good care of yourself to ensure that these effects are as positive as possible:
- Make sure that you know what to expect after the operation. Be aware that your feelings and relationships could be affected in both positive and negative ways.
Remember that losing weight is a slow process and that you should be making permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Identify any anxieties or emotions that drive you to overeat and find a better way to tackle them. For example, pick up a new hobby to prevent boredom or try relaxation exercises to reduce anxiety.
Talk to someone about your positive and negative feelings. Friends and family members can make great listeners, but you might also want to join a weight loss group in your area or online.
Tell your family when you need help. It’s particularly important to get support from the people you live with, so make sure that they understand what you need even if it’s just a hug or help preparing healthy meals.
Ask your GP or obesity specialist for help if you’re struggling or feeling low after weight loss surgery. They may recommend a therapist or other options to help you to cope.