Bariatric surgery is a big step for anyone who decides to go through with it. It’s a big financial commitment, but it also requires a significant change in lifestyle. For those who decide to take the plunge and stick with the post-op program, though, rapid weight loss is expected.
But with rapid weight loss comes rapid changes to one’s body and brain chemistry. These things can cause serious shifts in personality and mood. This can be scary for someone who doesn’t expect it, and it might make one feel as if they’ve made a mistake. We’re here to let you know of the possibilities of personality and mood changes and to tell you that if you experience these changes, it’s okay! You’re not alone and you have options for support
For someone who has been obese their whole life, it might be a bit difficult to imagine weight loss having a significant effect on one’s confidence. Most people can’t imagine themselves more confident than they already are (whether or not they see themselves as a confident person or not).
Despite this, people do take notice when you’re losing a significant amount of weight. Each positive comment reinforces positive beliefs in oneself. Not only that, finally losing weight when you’ve struggled for so long is an empowering feeling that will make you feel like you can do anything.
Along with increased confidence is an improvement in self-image. Not only will others notice your rapid weight loss, you’ll notice it too. Whenever you look in the mirror, you’ll see someone who looks healthier and more fit.
When you’re obese, you deal with many more health issues than the average person. These health issues can lead to a negative view of one’s health.
It’s important to note that bariatric surgery can lessen these issues (or make them go away entirely):
● Type 2 diabetes
● Sleep apnea
● Joint pain
● Back pain
The science of mood is complicated. Your mood is influenced by a wide array of factors. One of these factors is serotonin, a neurotransmitter produced by the brain.
Because of the surgery, your diet becomes much more restrictive. This restrictive diet reduces the amount of carbohydrates you can take in, which causes serotonin levels to go down.
Decreased serotonin can cause depressive symptoms. You may also deal with mood swings as a result of your low-carb diet.
It’s important to note that if you’ve had a history of depression, you are at increased risk for post-bariatric depressive symptoms.
Dealing with depression is not easy, and our hearts go out to anyone affected by it. We highly recommend seeking therapy as soon as possible, even if you have not experienced any symptoms of depression. In fact, we recommend that you seek therapy before you go through with the procedure and keep your therapist informed about what you experience after surgery. Being proactive about your mental health is the most effective way to prevent depression from setting in.
If you have been obese their whole life, it might seem impossible to look at a thinner person in the mirror and believe that it’s actually you that you’re looking at. You might see someone who is more obese than they actually are.
Body dysmorphia is a serious issue, but you’re not alone. It takes some time for your mind to catch up to your body’s current weight. We recommend seeking therapy if you’re dealing with body dysmorphia.