Depression & Anxiety Post-Bariatric Surgery
If you begin to type “depression after...” in the Google search bar, you may notice that one of the most searched phrases attached to that query is “depression after surgery”. There are many factors that lead to a post-surgery mood alteration, especially in a routine-altering case such as a bariatrically-based procedure.
If you notice that you are experiencing a shift in your overall frame of mind, you are not alone. What may be alarming to you is that the shift may not be a positive one, necessarily. There may be heightened anxiety and, as mentioned before, depressive episodes. We repeat, you are not alone, and we have reason to believe you are not in the wrong to feel these things. If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or others, we implore you to either call or start an online chat with the national suicide prevention lifeline:
National Suicide Prevention:
phone number: 1.800.273.8255
direct chat link: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
You have or will have had, gone through a drastic lifestyle change in an appreciably short span of time. Not to mention, there may be other stressful factors added to the mix. You may be worried about medical bills, recovery, and even feel anxious about how it is you are feeling!
If you feel a bit overwhelmed at any given point during your recovery process, there are ways you can cope. Studies have shown that people typically lose touch with their bodies after gaining a certain amount of weight, so losing significant mass so quickly may elicit a reaction similar to shock. With that shock may come those feelings of being overwhelmed.
Not only do your doctors want you to succeed physically post-surgery, but they also want you to be mentally healthy as well. If you are feeling particularly anxious or low, reach out. Whether you are in contact with your doctor, a counselor, or your loved ones, it is important not to isolate yourself during this period of transition. Overthinking can be just as detrimental to your progress as, let’s say, not following a meal plan or watching what you eat.
This is something you can overcome. It may not be easy, and it will inevitably take some work, but it is possible. You won’t have to feel this way forever. Much like any other side effect associated with a procedure, there is also a chance you won’t experience a mood shift.
We encourage you to not let this deter you from bariatric surgery as it may be necessary for your overall health and well-being. If you would like to learn more about our processes and procedures, contact us here!
To make an appointment with our bariatric therapist, Bridget Baechtel, LISW, who specializes in treating pre- and post-bariatric clients for issues related to coping, mental health, stress, etc. Please feel free to contact her toll-free at 866-613-4323 if you have questions or concerns.