Why Many Patients Become Stressed
Despite feeling positive about the initial signs of weight loss, you may also experience anxiety or depression regarding the many changes you face. Patients often cite several factors contributing to increased stress after bariatric surgery, including the following:
- Adjusting to New Eating Habits – Many patients who undergo weight loss surgery have complicated relationships with food. The realization that you may not be able to eat some of your favorite foods or cannot enjoy large meals can lead to feelings of sadness. Learning new eating behaviors and following a bariatric diet may seem daunting. Keeping a food journal can help bariatric patients identify where they are successful and where they need to improve to achieve long-term weight loss.
- Insomnia – Many bariatric surgery patients suffer from insomnia after their procedure, leading to daytime fatigue, depression, and difficulty engaging in regular tasks. Sleep deprivation can further increase stress levels. Set a bedtime, respect it, and have family members and friends support you. If you still have difficulty sleeping, try breathing exercises before bed. Taking slow, deep breaths can help clear your mind so you can get adequate sleep.
- Unrealistic Expectations – While bariatric surgery can help patients achieve their ideal weight, some individuals have unrealistic expectations about the effects on other aspects of their lives, such as romantic relationships. Despite losing weight, patients may also continue to struggle with a negative body image.
- Social Anxiety – Some weight loss surgery patients experience anxiety surrounding social interactions if they are not ready to show off or discuss their dramatic transformation. This may cause you to isolate yourself from friends and loved ones, affecting your overall happiness. While many people will compliment you, you may worry that some will judge you. To avoid feeling insecure, share your weight loss journey only with those you trust. Remember, you don't have to share anything that makes you uncomfortable.