Weight loss surgery requires more than just a physical change; it also requires an emotional shift as well. Life post-surgery brings on a variety of emotional changes you might not have expected.
It’s essential you prepare yourself for the potential emotional changes you’ll be facing post-surgery. Let’s take a look at the most common emotional changes bariatric patients face after surgery.
With the combination of sagging skin, dietary changes, and unrealistic expectations that often accompany weight loss surgery, many patients experience depression post-op. Depression can be crippling and may even send a patient into an unhealthy spiral of overeating.
Talking with a loved one often helps. You can also turn to medication or counseling if your depression worsens. Olde Del Mar Surgical offers a patient mentoring program designed to help new patients deal with the emotions associated with weight loss surgery.
2. Replacing One Addiction With Another
Excessive eating is often an addictive behavior that is at the root of obesity. To fill the void that food once occupied, bariatric surgery patients often turn to alcohol and other potentially harmful substances. Essentially one addiction is being traded for another.
It’s crucial you recognize the dangers of picking up a new destructive habit after surgery. If you feel a void, try to focus your attention on positive activities such as a sport or a new hobby. Healthy lifestyle changes, such as working out, can also provide a great mood-boosting habit to take the place of less positive ones.
Olde Del Mar Surgical takes a comprehensive approach to our care. Part of this approach involves giving our patients a supportive team to educate and encourage lifestyle changes after their surgery. This sets up patients for long-lasting success!
3. Changes In Relationship Dynamics
Don’t expect your relationship with family and friends to completely change post-surgery, but also don’t be surprised if things are a little bit different when you get home. For example, you may see an improvement in your sex life with your significant other.
On the other hand, you may see loved ones become jealous of your transformation. Often people will try to make you feel bad when they see you making positive changes because they have trouble dealing with their own insecurities.
Whether you like it or not your relationships will likely change in one way or another (hopefully for the better). Prepare for these changes so you won’t be caught off guard.
The relationship you have with yourself is also likely to undergo changes post surgery. While your confidence will ultimately improve, it’s not always that simple.
Your body may have made a physical transition post weight loss surgery, but your mind may still be a few steps behind. Insecurity is an issue that many post-op patients deal with due to how they perceived themselves prior to surgery.
How do you overcome this problem? Counseling is always an option but reaching out to someone who has gone through the same ordeal as you can serve to help you move past your insecurities and move forward with your life
5. Extra Attention
Due to the discomfort of being overweight, people may have tried to hide themselves away. For example, they may go to the gym at 2 AM so no one can see them work out, or they may go grocery shopping late at night to avoid judgement.
Once you start losing significant weight, you’ll suddenly be thrown into the spotlight as everyone around you showers you with compliments and begins paying attention to you. This sudden surge of attention can make you feel vulnerable and exposed.
It’s natural to feel this way, but you should focus on accepting compliments and using the encouragement of those around you to continue your weight loss journey.
6. Dealing With Unrealistic Expectations
Just because you’re undergoing weight loss surgery doesn’t mean everything in your life will instantly improve. If your marriage was rocky before the surgery, then it’s probably still going to be in the same state post-surgery until you fix the root of the problem.
You won’t suddenly start landing dates without batting an eye; you’ll have to make an effort to put yourself out there. You will still need to go to the gym, eat healthy, and work just as hard as everyone else to stay in shape.
Those who believed their lives would suddenly change for the better post-surgery are in for a rude awakening. Weight loss surgery can be a life-changing tool, but keep yourself in check when it comes to unrealistic expectations.
After weight loss surgery, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of social situations and new activities. Feeling anxious about these new changes in your life is natural and nothing to fear.
With that being said, anxiety can oftentimes be all-consuming and challenging to overcome without professional help. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re experiencing crippling anxiety, you should seek counseling from a therapist.
Learn To Accept And Celebrate The New You
The emotions you experience post-bariatric surgery can be difficult to cope with. Having a support network of family and friends can greatly help you express your emotions and move forward with your life. Olde Del Mar Surgical is also there as a support for each step of the way.