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 Not Feeliní Groovy?
Some Thoughts on Depression
Barbara Thompson

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 depressed.

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 me. 

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.



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