View Full Version : Dieting before Surgery, and depression
11-23-2010, 06:57 AM
I am probable a little to open on some things but lately I have been going to therapy for depression and the Dr asked why I wasn't dieting before the surgery and my response was if I was successful at dieting without the lap band I wouldn't be getting it. Kinda aggravates me that no one gets it. Just a little venting there.
On to the real question, did anyone else battle depression before the band or even after? I think my weight and self a steam have a lot to do with it. And a few other personal reasons. But did losing weight help it? I am hoping it does, I know I have to work on it also but, just wanna see what you guys have to say. :gossip2:
11-23-2010, 08:52 AM
Alot of people go through kind of a post partum depression. I did exactly that after my first weight loss surgery. I thought the surgery was going to fix everything wrong in my life. I lost weight yes....but my marriage still stucked....even worse than before.....like having high expectations about weight loss changing everything. Which it does change alot and makes you feel better about yourself. It changes your weight ....it's up to you to change the things in your life that make you sad. Losing weight alone isn't going to fix everything.
11-23-2010, 09:24 AM
Wow, this is a topic that many of us can relate to. Five years ago, when I was going thru pre-approval for banding, I failed the psych test because of depression. I remember looking at the psychologist in complete shock when he said he wouldn't approve me for the surgery because I was too depressed. I said, "Are you serious? Don't you get it? I am depressed because I weigh 300 pounds! Don't take away my only hope!" Because I had started taking anti-depressants only four weeks earlier, he agreed to let me retake the test in 2 weeks. (they say it takes 6 wks to see a change) I did go back in and retook the test, and passed.
Here I am, five years later (wow.. already?!) and 140 pounds lighter. Has the weight loss improved my self esteem? changed my life for the better? YES! Has it cured my depression? No. For many of us, obesity is an outward sign of inward problems. The band is a remarkable tool that will help you control the weight issues while you work on the head issues that brought you to this point in your life. For complete success in your journey toward good mental and physical health, you will need to approach this journey with the understanding that reaching a weight goal is not going to be the answer you are looking for. It will require attention to both your physical and mental health. While you are losing the weight, learn how to care for your mind, spirit, and body. Find a positive support group or individual counselor who specializes in eating disorders and cognitive therapy. Start a reasonable exercise program to strengthen your body - a thin saggy body looks and feels just as awful as a fat bloated body. Find a good nutritionist that will teach you about eating foods which promote a healthy mind and body - many foods we eat are depressants! Approaching your journey with the mindset of taking care of your whole self will put you miles ahead of those who rush into this thinking that reaching 130 pounds by eating 600 calories a day is the answer to all problems in life. ;-)
Oh, and a word from someone who knows... beware of alcohol. Many of us have transfered our addiction to food over to alcohol, which has a crazy amount of calories AND is a major depressant.
You're on the right track by being here and talking to others who are going thru the same things. Stay plugged in to positive support and never ever forget to enjoy each step of this amazing journey. You may not reach your goals over night, but each little step in the right direction is SO sweet when you take the time to recognize the small but wonderful changes in your life.
All the best,
11-23-2010, 10:06 AM
It really is so very different for each person. I was in very intensive therapy to try to deal with the emotions and depression that came after I followed through on a request my mom had asked of me. That was to take her off life support if it got to a no-return place. The mental trip that put me through was more than I could stand without psychiatric help.
I had undergone a lot of cancer, treatments and surgeries. And was starting to think my cancer ordeal wasn't a journey I had gone through, but a final destination. I wasn't fearful of dying, but dying a lingering death, dependent on others, frightened me into checking every bump and oddity. (It's a good thing I did, as 3 surgeries were needed and had I not watched, it would have been widespread throughout my body)That was depressing. I skydive, scuba dive and ride my 1600cc motorcycle cross country. Fear wasn't in my vocabulary. But, I learned, we are bullet-proof....until we take a bullet.
Fast and tremendous weight gain from anti-cancer meds to suppress estrogen (5-years) was unbearable. My Oncologist said: "But, we are saving your life" I said: But I'm FAT! Once we get out of being trapped in a box where the only thing we think about is needing air, we start to think about the other things.
I tried to accept my new bloated self. I say bloated, because meds make a body very bloated. AND...the female body works hard to keep making estrogen - and after it no longer can with organs and hormones, it does in fat. Fat and an increasing fat estrogen supply were threatening my cancer again. I tried everything I could to lose weight. Couldn't do it. Also, couldn't stop the anti-depressants as the next shoe to drop, was the horrible crash and death of my second son. It seemed no therapy could reach me to remove the guilt, loss and grief. It truly was to be a process...no shortcuts. Anti-depressants kept me from taking my own life.
My life felt completely out of control. I had gone into full-blown agoraphobia, not leaving the house for weeks, even to get the mail, which got sent back and I was warned I would lose delivery service. Working remote, due to cancer, allowed me to stay isolated and still work at a reduced level. But, the walls were closing in smaller and smaller. No control over whatever would be the next thing to happen to me.
I had never been a heavy person. I struggled with the by-then 70lb weight gain. And needed to lose weight to prevent my cancer cells turning on again and spreading.
My mother's death started the self loathing and self mistreatment. She always told me I was 'mean, hateful and no one would ever love me'. It triggered all that and I bought into it at a very cellular, sub-conscious level.
So....at BMI of 33.4 and two co-morbidities (I also have extreme sleep apnea, even before weight gain), I had to do something.
I didn't realize how much control I would be gaining, just from the point of making my decision to care enough for myself to do WLS. Now, my band allows me to slow down and be aware of when I would mistreat...I am more in touch with issues at a level where I can hear them, work on them, let them go. The band isn't a magic bullet. Neither is weight loss. But, for me, it is my band-of-hope and is working.
It has helped me leave my self-abuse about my weight gain behind. But, I have to work it each day. More exciting to me than my weight loss (surprising!) is my change of head/heart. There wasn't an enemy more dangerous to me, than I had been to myself.
Each person's journey is different. It's really important to work to connect with what YOUR issues are. And, once you can find a way to face them, start knocking them down to size, one by one. If the band is a part of that process, awesome! But, even with the band, without working the head-game, it won't be happy for you. Skinny doesn't equal happy, just for skinny sake. But love of self is oh-so-healing!!!
Now - Who feels too open? ---- Well, I've kept this all bottled up for years of isolation - and if we can't talk about it in a support forum, well..?
Like in life, we are not looking for the multitude of people to agree with us, we do, however, want to be open and recognize when we know we meet someone who accepts us, as we try to learn to do the same for ourselves.
Wishing you the very best!!!!
oh...and pictures? Scary for me, but I just loaded some on my blog. Stepping out and stepping up! http://bandmyhope.blogspot.com/
11-23-2010, 10:32 AM
I did go through a grieving period after the surgery because it was such a big change and I couldn't turn to food anymore to comfort myself. Eating was such a big part of my life prior to banding that I really felt the loss when it was gone.
On the plus side, the post-surgery blues didn't last very long. Maybe a week or two? Then I started focusing on my success and filled my life w/ other activities (I started taking a sewing class) and it's only improved since then. Without my fat to feel depressed about or bad eating to feel guilty about, I feel much better mentally.
11-23-2010, 04:56 PM
This is a "safe" place to share; thank you for sharing your story. I am sure, you cannot know who and how this will touch lives.
You have words of wisdom for all of us that we have to do the head game and skinny for skinny's sake just won't cut it.
11-24-2010, 12:38 AM
I've never suffered from depression but one thing I found when I lost weight was that I felt so much more in control of EVERYTHING in my life. I had mastered my body and my problems and done something really strong AND succeeded. That's given me confidence like nothing else and I do believe that to feel deep down that satisfied and proud of yourself can only be beneficial if you're prone to depression.
there's nothing like sitting miserably on the couch stuffing your face, wondering why the hell you're doing that and why the hell your body betrays you so badly by creating these self deestructive urges to make you feel out of control. I echo Band-of-Hope's sentiments there, control is vital for your wellbeing.
And it doesnt matter if nobody gets it. I've noticed the same thing with regard to other medical issues I've been having, people just look to the surface and dont appreciate your unique outlook. What matters is that YOU have made the decision to improve your life and only you need to know and understand precisely why.
Depression is an illness like any other and weight loss wont necessarily fix it, but like anything, if you create an environment for good health - physical or mental - that good health often does follow.
12-01-2010, 10:24 PM
I am about 2-3 weeks out from my surgery and I have a serious case of white coat syndrome, this has put me into a serious funk. Primarily because of the surgical anxieties.
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