In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, scientists discovered that patients who had surgery for weight loss are 50% more likely to attempt suicide post- operation than before it, according to a large Canadian study published Wednesday in the Journal JAMA Surgery. For the entire article, click here.
Startling data reveals that 1/3 of those suicide attempts occurred before the patients had the surgery and 2/3 occurred afterward. Although the hospitals that provide these bariatric surgeries are required to provide mental health screening and counseling it appears that this study reveals the psychological impact of obesity on patients. If you or someone you know is struggling with obesity, urge them to talk to a mental health professional. Whether you are contemplating weight loss surgery or struggling with eating disorders and body image, a therapist can help.
Many people have had this weight loss procedure with much success and others, as this study highlights have not. There is help. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be successful in the treatment for obesity for people who do not meet the criteria for or do not want bariatric surgery. It is important to note that our thoughts influence both feelings and behaviors, and they will be explored when treating obesity. Recognizing how our thoughts affect our behaviors can help change negative eating patterns and incorporate healthy lifestyle changes. In therapy, a professional will help you learn self-monitoring, including food and exercise journals, stress management, challenging self-defeating beliefs and implementing healthy coping strategies. Click here to book an appointment.