mental health weight loss surgery bariatric depression anxiety

Obesity not just effects physical health but has far reaching consequences on mental health as well. Studies have established that mental health conditions such as depression, mood swings, and anxiety are actually common among patients seeking weight loss surgery. Weight loss surgery has been shown to reduce the severity of the symptoms of depression by between 40 and 60 percent!

However, new studies hint that bariatric procedures not only help with reducing physical ailments of the body but also help with curing mental health conditions, especially depression, which is a prevalent issue for some patients seeking weight loss procedures. While it is well documented that mental health conditions, in some form or another, are widespread in the obese population until recently not much research was done on the benefits of weight loss surgery for these conditions. Fortunately, Dr. Aaron Dawes at the School of Medicine at UCLA conducted a study on the effects of weight loss surgery for patients preexisting mental health conditions. The results were powerful.

The findings discovered that having a bariatric surgery resulted in a dramatic drop in both the frequency and severity of the depression and its symptoms after the operation was noticed.

Findings after Bariatric Procedure

Decrease in rate of depression                

8% – 74%

Drop in severity of depressive symptoms   

40% – 70%

In light of the statistics reported, for many patients with severe obesity, certain mental health conditions should be considered as part of the physical disease itself and not treated as a separately. Furthermore, this research offers the intriguing hint that bariatric surgery not only helps in remission of physical ailments like diabetes and sleep apnea but also offers considerable improvements for mental health conditions as well.

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