Anxiety, Depression Among Emotions Associated with Weight Loss Surgery

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Weight loss surgery can be an exciting change in a person’s life and can have even more exciting outcomes that benefit someone’s quality of life. 

Most patients can easily identify positive physical effects of weight loss surgery, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH), including the ability to be more active and the decreased risk of chronic conditions

However, in both the time leading up to having weight loss surgery and the time following the procedure, it’s common for patients to experience feelings of anxiety and depression because of going through such a major life change. 

People typically look forward to the positive changes weight loss surgery has the potential of bringing to their lives. But, there also can be a fear of the unknown that comes along with making such a major life choice, according to the Obesity Action CoalitionOff Site Icon (OAC).

To help ease some of the stress patients can feel leading up to weight loss surgery, most organizations recommend that patients:

  • Find a support group – Being part of a support group can offer motivation and validation of a patient’s choice to lose weight, according to the OAC. It can be helpful for patients to talk to someone who has had firsthand experience with weight loss surgery and who can give advice about how to manage emotions before the procedure.
  • Ready your home for easy care after the surgery – Another way to ease pre-surgery jitters is to do what you can before the surgery to feel prepared. Planning ahead can make you feel calmer leading up to your surgery, according to the NIH. Some steps you can take include having a plan for your new diet, having a new activity plan, planning for wound care needs, and having any medications or vitamins you will need after surgery.
  • Speak with a nutritionist or dietitian about an eating plan – The lifestyle changes you will experience after weight loss surgery, including your change in eating habits, can seem overwhelming to some people, according to the NIH. Talking to a nutritionist or a dietitian before your surgery can help you have a plan for how to successfully follow a new eating plan after surgery that seems manageable instead of exhausting.
  • Talk with a counselor – Having someone you can talk with about your concerns can help manage feelings of anxiety and depression about an upcoming weight loss surgery, according to the OAC. 

The types of ideas and concerns patients often have before weight loss surgery about the lifestyle changes they face are often the same worries they have afterward. 

Anxiety and depression are also common after weight loss surgery, according to the OAC. But there are steps people can take to help combat these issues, including:

  • Keep a journal – Keeping track of the foods you eat and your emotions can help you to feel more in control.
  • Seek help – Reach out to friends, family, a counselor, or your physician if things start to feel overwhelming or frustrating. Support groups also can be helpful because you can share experiences and struggles with other people in similar situations.
  • Stick to realistic goals – Your goals don’t all have to be weight-related. They could include minimizing and getting off of medications, walking without getting winded, or sticking to your eating plan.
  • Take time to reflect – It’s important to focus on the future and keep moving forward. But, it’s also important to remember why you chose to have weight loss surgery and the life you’re looking forward to.
  • Track your successes – No matter how large or small, take pride in your weight loss along the way. Take pictures, take measurements and keep some of your larger clothes. Seeing how far you’ve come can help push you through times when your weight loss plateaus.

For more information about emotions related to weight loss surgery, talk with your doctor or visit Premier Weight Loss Solutions.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.