Bariatric Psychology helps determine how much understanding a prospective patient has about a bariatric procedure and if there is a need for further preparations.
It provides insights to psychologists in recognizing if the patient can follow the required postoperative weight loss plan and handle several lifestyle changes.
A post by the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that bariatric psychology evaluation aims to rule out any major mental issues in those seeking weight loss surgery.
Moreover, it is used as a tool to identify those who might need further preparation prior to bariatric surgery and addresses recurring issues that might have an impact on the success of the procedure.
Weight Loss Candidates
Before getting bariatric surgery you need to meet several guidelines.
According to Dr. Rachel L. Goldman, a bariatric psychologist in the Bellevue Center for Obesity and Weight Management program, it is a must to visit and get evaluated before surgery.
Bariatric Psychology is such an important field as it helps identify:
- Possible eating disorders
- Signs of depression
- Any mental issues that may put the patient’s mental health at risk.
The selection of candidates requires a complete psychological evaluation to reduce any mental adverse effects. The eligibility of a patient depends on some factors:
- The patient must have failed previous nonsurgical weight loss measures.
- A BMI greater than 40.
- Or a BMI greater than 35 in the presence of severe obesity-related comorbidities.
Mental Health in Obese Individuals
Most obese patients show anxiety, low self-esteem, and mood disorders.
Research also shows that obese individuals have suffered from a significant depressive period at some point.
Furthermore, they usually face bullying, body shaming, and other negative issues that usually affect them on a daily basis.
Repeated failed attempts to shed weight among is likely to aggravate depressive symptons, mood disorders, and low self-esteem, which might, in the long run, contribute to continuous weight gain, Psychology Today published.
The importance of bariatric psychology is further emphasized in a statistic that was recently recorded:
- About 25-30% of bariatric patients report depressive symptoms at the time of surgery.
- An additional 50% are said to have had a lifetime history of depression.
Bariatric Surgery for Weight Loss
The Journal of Obesity found that those in the mild-moderate obese group see a noticeable improvement in the short-medium term when they adhere to the lifestyle changes requirements. These include:
- Behavior therapy
Bariatric Psychology Facts
Having a psychological evaluation before undergoing bariatric surgery improves overall postoperative self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and other mental health-related aspects.
Many patients have reported a positively change in mood after surgery as it handles stressful circumstances.
If you are contemplating undergoing bariatric surgery, please make sure that you get a psychological evaluation from a certified specialist. Ideally, it should come within your weight loss surgery package.