Depression on the Road to Weight Loss
Though weight loss surgery can be your first step towards many positive changes, a bariatric surgeon in Jacksonville cannot help you overcome all of life’s problems. For many people who get bariatric surgery, a long struggle with obesity has left behind more than just physical issues—even as the weight continues to fall away, the psychological scars of depression remain.
Whether caused by preexisting issues or inflated expectations, depression is fairly common after weight loss surgery and can cause all sorts of problems in your progress. By tacking on the extra calories of emotional eating or ruining your motivation to continue a healthy lifestyle, depression can stand between you and your weight loss goals, and it can make life difficult to enjoy for anyone.
If you find yourself struggling with depression, it’s best to ask your bariatric surgeon for advice. Sometimes, just getting your problems into the open can make them easier to cope with, and counseling may be an important step for many people who find themselves seriously depressed.
Depression isn’t ever easy to handle, but many strategies can help you manage depression after bariatric surgery, like:
- Maintaining a support network. When we’re depressed, we’re far more likely to isolate ourselves than to seek social situations, but this isolation only makes us feel worse. We all need the help of others, especially when going through the difficult transitions of bariatric surgery. Discuss the things you’re feeling with your closest family members and friends, visit bariatric surgery support groups regularly and, even if you don’t feel like it, continue your involvement in social activities. Simply being around others can help you feel less depressed.
- Caring for yourself. Don’t let depression make you forget how important your healthy habits are—the things that will help you lose weight after bariatric surgery can be just as useful in managing depression. Don’t sleep too much or too little—aim for between seven and nine hours every night. Exercise regularly to reduce stress and boost mood-enhancing endorphins and neurotransmitters. Practice relaxation techniques that make it easier to keep stress under control. Eat a nutritious diet that adheres to your bariatric surgeon’s guidelines and provides everything you need for a healthy body and mind.
- Having fun. Depression can rob us of our will to do just about anything, including our favorite hobbies. You can’t force yourself to have fun, but pushing yourself to do the things you once loved can make you feel significantly better. Engage your mind and foster a better attitude by spending time on your favorite activities, even if you haven’t done them in years.
Remember: if depression gets too hard to handle, your bariatric surgeon in Jacksonville can help you find a better way to cope with what you feel. What else has helped you deal with depression after bariatric surgery? Tell us in the comments below.