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Hi everyone,

I'm just starting on my research for weight loss surgery, and just requested my first appointment. I've been reading through posts here and am curious how pre-existing mental health issues played into your surgery decisions. I am diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, but have found a good med combination and am stable overall. Most of my depression issues relate to my weight and self esteem. How has the pre-op, actual surgery, and short and long term post-op impacted your mental health?

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I was stable with treated anxiety and depression before and am now, almost 2 years later. The surgery didn't make much of a difference, but my depression pre-exists my gaining a lot of weight. I think it's predominantly chemical/genetic.

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In order to have the best chance of success, I tried to ensure that my symptoms of depression and anxiety were well managed before surgery. I also continued to work with my psychologists and psychiatrists.

I think it's helpful to remember that WLS or losing weight won't magically solve all your problems. It's quite common to go through relationship issues (divorce rates are statistically higher according to most bariatric studies) and even transference to other addition issues (you can go from food to alcohol or even opiates). I think it's also quite easy to slip into orthorexia (an eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating).

On the other hand, losing weight can be great for your mental health. You can find self esteem and confidence that you have been missing your whole life. I definitely put myself "out there" more.

I think everyone's journey is different. Best of luck!

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Thank you both very much! I'm in a good place right now, but I had read that post surgery depression can get worse. I'll make sure to keep in close contact with my psychiatric team throughout and after surgery. My main depression obstacle right now is an extreme lack of energy and a lot of sleeping. My mood is fine, and I'm sure it could simply be the weight that's so draining.

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3 hours ago, Tiernan1212 said:

Thank you both very much! I'm in a good place right now, but I had read that post surgery depression can get worse. I'll make sure to keep in close contact with my psychiatric team throughout and after surgery. My main depression obstacle right now is an extreme lack of energy and a lot of sleeping. My mood is fine, and I'm sure it could simply be the weight that's so draining. 

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I think you are on the right track, as long as you are monitoring your symptoms and have a plan, you should be OK. I know what you're going through, there was a period of many months where I couldn't get out of bed for lack of energy and I was sleeping about 14-16 hours a day. I call this my "Koala mode" (as an Aussie). Other times, I will get Patches of insomnia.

I actually think WLS helped me because it gave me a sense of purpose and hope. For me, mental health and weight are both issues that I will deal with for life. I think you have to accept that and put together a "tool kit" for dealing with both. I try and set daily goals and go easy on myself when I need to, and push myself when I need to. A daily walk, medication and therapy are important components of my treatment plan. For others, it might be quiet time, attending church, self care, a hobby etc.

Things can get better, I promise. My symptoms are very light at the moment, but I do work very hard to "look after myself". Losing weight has been great for energy levels. My sleeping is much better. I don't know if it's the sleep apnea getting better or something else. I do have some chronic illnesses, so I will just go and take a nap if I need it, and I try not to be hard on myself. But I've definitely seen improvements in the three years since I had surgery. I really hope that you do too!

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I suffer from anxiety and I had been talking to my therapist before I had the surgery to prep. I know having this surgery won’t solve all my issues but it will help improve the quality of my life. My mental health as of now has been stable. I have a tool kit to help me. I do my best to give myself a daily goal. Even if it’s just making the bed. This way I don’t back slide. I’m 6 days post op so my goal is to walk as much as I can within reason and that seems to be helping. In the psych evaluation for the surgery I was open about my anxiety issues and that wasn’t used against me. Turns old my old therapist used to work there. Small world!

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I think you are on the right track, as long as you are monitoring your symptoms and have a plan, you should be OK. I know what you're going through, there was a period of many months where I couldn't get out of bed for lack of energy and I was sleeping about 14-16 hours a day. I call this my "Koala mode" (as an Aussie). Other times, I will get Patches of insomnia.
I actually think WLS helped me because it gave me a sense of purpose and hope. For me, mental health and weight are both issues that I will deal with for life. I think you have to accept that and put together a "tool kit" for dealing with both. I try and set daily goals and go easy on myself when I need to, and push myself when I need to. A daily walk, medication and therapy are important components of my treatment plan. For others, it might be quiet time, attending church, self care, a hobby etc.
Things can get better, I promise. My symptoms are very light at the moment, but I do work very hard to "look after myself". Losing weight has been great for energy levels. My sleeping is much better. I don't know if it's the sleep apnea getting better or something else. I do have some chronic illnesses, so I will just go and take a nap if I need it, and I try not to be hard on myself. But I've definitely seen improvements in the three years since I had surgery. I really hope that you do too!

Thank you SO much for your input! It's taken me 5 years and tons of medication combinations to get to a place where I'm stable, and positive (for the most part). Now that I have the mental part under control, it's time to focus on the physical part. About 10 mins ago I finally got the courage to call and schedule my consultation appt! They were so nice, and it really relaxed the anxious feelings I was having about the whole thing.

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I suffer from anxiety and I had been talking to my therapist before I had the surgery to prep. I know having this surgery won’t solve all my issues but it will help improve the quality of my life. My mental health as of now has been stable. I have a tool kit to help me. I do my best to give myself a daily goal. Even if it’s just making the bed. This way I don’t back slide. I’m 6 days post op so my goal is to walk as much as I can within reason and that seems to be helping. In the psych evaluation for the surgery I was open about my anxiety issues and that wasn’t used against me. Turns old my old therapist used to work there. Small world!
The place I'm looking at for my surgery seems to have a very comprehensive team, including a psychiatric. I'm absolutely going to be open and honest about my mental health. I have an appt with my NP next week, so I'll talk to her about it then as well. It sounds like you have a great plan, thank you for the pointers!

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On 08/25/2020 at 14:00, Tiernan1212 said:


The place I'm looking at for my surgery seems to have a very comprehensive team, including a psychiatric. I'm absolutely going to be open and honest about my mental health. I have an appt with my NP next week, so I'll talk to her about it then as well. It sounds like you have a great plan, thank you for the pointers!

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Happy I could help!! Please keep me posted on how your appointment goes.

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I’m also preop (surgery on 28th Sept) and have followed this thread with interest.

I have bipolar and anxiety disorder- both of which are well controlled with meds.

To have (hopefully) the least impact on my med absorption my surgeon suggested a sleeve instead of a bypass. I really don’t want my bipolar exacerbated by having this surgery.

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I’m also preop (surgery on 28th Sept) and have followed this thread with interest.
I have bipolar and anxiety disorder- both of which are well controlled with meds.
To have (hopefully) the least impact on my med absorption my surgeon suggested a sleeve instead of a bypass. I really don’t want my bipolar exacerbated by having this surgery.

I'm so glad you said something! I take one med 3 times a day (super tiny pill), and two meds once a day. One of the meds is a bit on the bigger side, so I was wondering how that would affect my stomach.

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11 hours ago, Tiernan1212 said:

I'm so glad you said something! I take one med 3 times a day (super tiny pill), and two meds once a day. One of the meds is a bit on the bigger side, so I was wondering how that would affect my stomach.

I take meds and Vitamins with the sleeve and I never had problems swallowing them. I take Claritin D 24 and Women's One a Day vitamins, which are both pretty big without issue. I could take one of my medications that's medium large the day after surgery.

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I take meds and Vitamins with the sleeve and I never had problems swallowing them. I take Claritin D 24 and Women's One a Day Vitamins, which are both pretty big without issue. I could take one of my medications that's medium large the day after surgery.
Oh thank goodness!!! Those one a day vitamins are HUGE lol

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I have major depressive disorder and anxiety. My surgeon and I have decided that gastric sleeve will be best for me. I have the blessing of my Psychiatrist and my therapist. I will also meet with my therapist once a week for 8 weeks to make sure i am stable. Congrats on your decision!!

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I have major depressive disorder and anxiety. My surgeon and I have decided that gastric sleeve will be best for me. I have the blessing of my Psychiatrist and my therapist. I will also meet with my therapist once a week for 8 weeks to make sure i am stable. Congrats on your decision!!

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That's a great plan, I'm definitely going to keep all my doctors informed about everything.

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