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Taking Care of Your Mental Health after Bariatric Surgery

Man mediating at top of mountainThe stress of trying to lose a massive amount of weight and related lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on a patient’s mental health after bariatric surgery. The team working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center in Tijuana, Mexico, can counsel patients on the best way to prepare and minimize these effects. Knowing what to expect and understanding your options can help you achieve the best outcome in the healthiest way possible.

How are Mental Health and Obesity Related?

Obesity is a systemic condition that impacts the function of the entire body. As a result, it is linked to many mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and a number of eating disorders. It is a complicated relationship: obesity can create stresses that cause mental illness and mental illness can undermine an individual’s ability to plan, carry out, and maintain weight loss. Unfortunately, this can often result in a repetitive cycle of health problems.

How Does Bariatric Surgery Factor In?

Unfortunately, simply losing weight does not eliminate these conditions. Bariatric treatment is difficult. Adjusting to a new routine and new eating habits can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Furthermore, the resulting stress can disrupt your sleep schedule, further undermining a healthy mental state. Even patients who have no previous history of mental illness can develop problems.

The issue of maintaining balance is further complicated by diet. The human body requires a certain amount of protein and nutrients on a daily basis. But due to the limited space in the stomach after bariatric surgery, important dietary building blocks can be overlooked. Compromised nutrition, combined with a sense of anger or frustration over food restrictions, can quickly snowball without treatment.

The effect of this stress on a person’s mental health can be unpredictable. In some cases, the combined effects of post-bariatric recovery and adjustment to a new lifestyle can exacerbate anxiety or eating disorders. But in others, massive weight loss can relieve some of the mental stress tied to weight and improve a patient’s overall mental health. Patients who struggle with binge eating, in particular, often report that bariatric surgery helps to take the edge off of their condition.

Am I Still a Candidate for Treatment?

Because of the complicated relationship between weight and mental health, the doctors working alongside the Tijuana Bariatric Center always analyze mental health when evaluating a patient for candidacy. A history of mental illness can have a significant impact on a patient’s recovery and long-term success. By discussing this issue with patients beforehand, the doctors can get a sense for how that history may affect an individual’s results and plan accordingly.

A history of mental illness does not necessarily disqualify a patient from bariatric treatment. You can still undergo surgery, you can still recover safely, and you can still enjoy success. A number of studies have demonstrated that there is no correlation between psychological conditions and failed bariatric recovery.

If you suffer from mental illness, your doctor will likely recommend pursuing treatment for any conditions well before bariatric surgery – either via support groups or from a professional.

If you suffer from mental illness, your bariatric doctor will likely recommend pursuing treatment for any conditions well before surgery – either via support groups or from a professional. That way, patients will already have healthy options for stress management in place before treatment begins.

Learn More by Contacting the Practice

No patient should have to face mental health concerns and bariatric recovery on their own. Contact the doctors coordinating with the Tijuana Bariatric Center to learn whether bariatric surgery is the right option for your needs.

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