The Mental Health Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

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Posted: December 12th, 2019
mental health weight loss surgery

The psychological benefits of weight loss are just as important as the physical ones. Learn more about how weight loss surgery can foster a healthier, happier lifestyle. 

   

The many advantages of losing weight are well-known. People who maintain and achieve a healthy weight through bariatric surgery enjoy better sleep, more luminous skin, and a reduced risk of life-threatening diseases like type 2 diabetes. 

Yet often the emotional benefits of weight loss surgery are pushed to the side in favor of the physical perks. In order to understand the full picture, here’s what you need to know about how weight loss surgery can benefit your mental health.

The Emotional Effects Of Obesity

Numerous studies have shown that people who are overweight are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Because of society’s focus on appearance, social stigmas surrounding weight can lead to a lack of self-confidence and social isolation. 

Negative attitudes toward people with excess weight can develop as early as preschool. An Obesity Action Coalition survey found that 63 percent of overweight girls were victimized by their peers or otherwise excluded socially. The discrimination that begins with teasing often escalates throughout high school and college. Overweight adults who are stereotyped or otherwise negatively perceived are also more likely to get passed up for promotions.  

Psychologically, these damaging perceptions can be harmful to a person’s mental health. It’s not unusual for people who have long been criticized for their weight to internalize negativity. Low self-esteem, low self-worth, and negative self-talk are only a few of the ways these attitudes manifest themselves on a daily basis. What’s more, some people end up emotionally overeating to cope with these feelings. 

The Mental Health Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is the first step to changing your body, your life, and your mental health. Research has shown that bariatric surgery lessens the severity of depression symptoms, boosts self-esteem, and improves quality of life for people struggling with obesity. 

A study conducted by the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative in 2018 explored the quality of life and social changes brought about by bariatric surgery. Focus group participants were asked about changes in how they perceived themselves and how they felt perceived by others, in addition to any changes they noticed in their personal relationships.

Here are some of the most inspiring responses from participants: 

  • “I’m more confident!”
  • “I’m no longer invisible.” 
  • “[Weight loss surgery] made my relationship stronger!”
   

After losing weight through bariatric surgery, the majority of people feel happier, more confident, and less isolated. Post-surgery, patients are often encouraged to participate in sports and activities they weren’t able to enjoy before, allowing them to fully experience the physical, social, and emotional benefits of being active. Achieving a healthy weight fosters opportunities to re-engage with others and connect more kindly with oneself. 

If you’re ready to begin your journey to a happier and healthier you, schedule a ten-minute consultation with Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today. Our licensed team of professionals will walk you through your weight loss surgery options and help make the transition as smooth as possible.