ďSlow down, youíre moviní too fast. Got
to make the morning last. Just kickiní down the cobblestones.
Lookiní for fun and feeliní groovy.Ē
Itís the Simon and Garfunkle 59th Street Bridge
Song. Whenever I have been really down, I have tried to remember
that song. For some reason it works for me. It
reminds me of a time when I was truly young and also reminds me how
it feels to be carefree. Itís just a song, an old song at that,
but itís my own personal treatment for depression.
I get many emails from people about depression.
It is a condition that rears its ugly head at many times during our
journey. First, letís take a look at what causes us to be
We are initially depressed because of our lack
of self-esteem from failing at dieting. We wonder what is wrong with
us that we cannot control what we eat.
Depression number 2 hits as we contemplate
surgery. We long for that control yet fear the unknown.
Will I survive the surgery?
How can I give up the role that food has always played in my
life? If your family is not supportive, that adds additional stress
that results in depression.
Then there are the days or weeks waiting for
insurance approval. And if you are denied, it is so difficult to
fight when you are in the depths of depression.
Approximately a week after surgery, most
patients go through a depression as the effects of anesthesia wear
off. I remember this was a very confusing time for me.
I thought I should have been elated because the surgery was
over and I was on my way. Yet
all I felt was blue.
About 3 weeks after surgery, there is generally
another round of depression as our bodies get the message that food
will never have the same place in our lives. It was also at this
time that I realized I was not going to wake up thin.
I was going to have to go through a weight loss process.
I was ready for instant gratification.
I did not want to wait the months that I knew were ahead of
Those people who are having trouble eating will
also go through a time when they wonder why they did this to
themselves. They may
experience frequent nausea or may have other problems eating. When
the patient starts to question if it will always be this way, it can
be a truly depressing thought.
Even dealing with your new body image can cause
stress and problems. Not
recognizing yourself when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the
reflection of a glass can be confusing.
Attention from people who had no interest in you when you
were larger can cause conflicting feelings.
Depression can also occur when you realize that
despite losing a great deal of weight, your life is still not
perfect. If you are in a bad relationship, the relationship may very
well still be bad when you are thin.
If you have financial problems, they donít disappear with
the weight. There is a
tendency to think that if only you were thin, your life would be
perfect. Chances are
that wonít be the case. But
when you look better and feel better it makes dealing with those
problems a bit easier.
Some people also experience depression when
they realize that maintaining their weight requires work.
Most people regain some weight and that can be so frightening
when you speculate that you might regain all of your weight.
Regaining all your weight doesnít happen, but the thought can be terrifying and depressing.
The weight loss surgery journey
definitely has its emotional ups and downs.
I always feel that it is better to be prepared for what lies
ahead. If you enter
into those periods of depression, know that you are not alone in
your feelings. Take the time to do the things that make you feel
better. With me it was
the 59th Street Bridge song. With you it might be a day
of shopping or going out to a movie, or sitting in a favorite chair
and having a cup of tea. If
the little remedies donít work and the depression continues, seek
professional help. Read
the research article from the National Institute of Mental Health
that follows. It may
provide you with an avenue out of your depression so that you can
truly enjoy the new life that you deserve.