Psychological Changes After Weight Loss Surgery
The psychological effects of obesity are significant and many obese people have difficulty in social situations because of their body image and self-confidence. This can lead to depression and sometimes complete withdrawal from their social circles. Bariatric surgery can help psychological and emotional problems, but losing weight doesn’t always translate into an immediate reversal.
Prior to surgery, patients will meet with a psychologist who will explain the changes that their body will experience after surgery as well as the feelings they may experience once they’ve lost weight.
Some of the most common post bariatric surgery problems include:
- A lingering perception of being obese even after losing weight and falling within normal BMI ranges. Years of convincing oneself that they do not look good does not go away in just a few months.
- Relationships may be affected after weight loss surgery. Most of our patients will experience an increase in self-confidence and good relationships may become stronger while bad relationships may deteriorate further. As patients experience greater self-confidence and enjoy their new body image, they may improve their sex life. This may strengthen an intimate bond with their significant other.
- Extra skin after weight loss surgery can be upsetting or depressing. While this is a normal result of weight loss, it can also derail the patient’s journey. There are surgical options to correct loose or excess skin.
- Prior to weight loss surgery, patients may have eaten anything they’ve wanted. Post surgery, that will no longer be possible. As a result, some patients may feel deprived or resentful. Foods high in fat and sugar are especially bad for the bariatric diet
- Some patients, in not being able to cope with the change in diet, may develop other addictions to fill the void that food once did.
While you will experience challenges after bariatric surgery, there are ways to cope with your changing lifestyle. First, family and friends are important in helping you lose the weight. When family and friends are part of your weight loss solution, you create an intimate group with whom you can brainstorm answers to your problems. It is also important to attend support groups on a regular basis. You will learn about tips and tricks to lose weight, other people’s experiences and learn what others have done in your position. Support groups have been proven to be a very effective tool in losing weight and keeping the weight off as well as avoiding many psychological issues.
In the end every significant change can affect us. Undergoing bariatric surgery requires a great deal of dedication to your health and diet. Keep your eyes on the target and use all of the aftercare resources available to you.