As a culture, we are relatively comfortable with seeking out emotional support in a variety of situations. Whether we have addiction issues, are going through a transition in life, or are struggling with grief or another issue that is posing an emotional challenge, we have been taught to turn to therapists and support groups to help us navigate through this time in our life. There is no difference when it comes to those who are undergoing weight loss surgery. While surgery of this kind is certainly a physical journey, it is much more than that. It is an emotional journey as well and it can often be overwhelming for patients who are thrust into a new kind of life.
Luckily, there are a variety of support groups for people who have undergone bariatric surgery or have made the decision to undergo surgery in the future. Most support groups are facilitated through the weight loss surgery centers so they can be easily accessed by patients.
Weight loss surgery support groups can offer patients:
- Information about the surgery itself. Those who have chosen to undergo surgery will likely be anxious about what the surgery entails and what they can expect in terms of recovery. These questions can be generally answered by your weight loss surgeon but there’s nothing better than being able to hear a firsthand account from someone who has been through the surgery. In support groups, you can hear about other peoples’ experience which can help you learn what to expect from your own surgery.
- Support following surgery. Surgery is only the beginning part of weight loss. A whole host of lifestyle changes are necessary to reach weight loss goals and maintain long-term weight loss. And those lifestyle changes can be challenging in a way that others may not understand. But those in weight loss surgery support groups do understand, which is why it’s so important to connect with those who have been through similar experiences.
- A sounding board for surgery-related questions. Following surgery, a variety of physical changes begin to happen. While every person’s experience is unique, there are some post-surgical issues that are common to everyone. Working with a support group can be a great way to compare what you’re experiencing with what others are going through. It can help you to know you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing.
If you’ve chosen to go forward with weight loss surgery, be sure to include emotional support as a part of your after-care. It’s a great way to care for and support yourself through your journey to great health.