Depression

Updated 10 October 2014

Weight-loss surgery may not ease depression

While most severely obese people get a mood boost after weight-loss surgery, some may have a recurrence of depression symptoms months after they have the procedure, a new study finds.

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While most severely obese people get a mood boost after weight-loss surgery, some may have a recurrence of depression symptoms months after they have the procedure, a new study finds.

The study included 94 women and 13 men who were asked about their mood before having weight-loss surgery, and again six and 12 months after the procedure.

Most people had a normal or improved mood after weight-loss surgery, but some said they had negative mood changes. At 12 months after the operation, almost 4 percent of patients said they felt more depressed than before the procedure, the investigators found.

Even more patients (about 13 percent) reported increases in depressive symptoms between six and 12 months after weight-loss surgery, according to the study published recently in the journal Obesity Surgery.

There was also a significant association between negative mood changes and lower levels of self-esteem and social functioning, the study authors reported.

The findings suggest that between six and 12 months after weight-loss surgery may be a critical period for early detection and treatment of depression in patients, Valentina Ivezaj and Carlos Grilo of Yale University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release.

Ivezaj and Grilo pointed out that the levels of symptoms reported were those of a mild mood disturbance. They added it would be important to see if these symptoms worsen past the 12-month time period studied.

Read more:
Single antidepressant dose changes brain connections
Weight can be managed on antipsychotics
Exercise eases depression in obese

 

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Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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