personality change after gastric bypass

ez

<font color=green>Yoshi Lover<br><font color=deepp
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
One of my best friends had this surgery over a year ago. She was obese and is quite slender now and looks great although maybe older in the face. There has been an aloofness in her that I've noticed coming on for quite some time and now I am actually thinking she seems kinda like a different person, not responding to texts or messages, we used to be so connected. AT first I wasnt thinking much of it but now Im at the point of wondering if her surgery has changed her personality. I want to add I have always been a very supportive friend and when she was heavy we never talked about it and now that shes lost weight I always encourage her and tell her how good she looks. I'm thin so it was never that misery loves company thing. I know she is very into shopping now and new clothes and all that, stuff she was never really into before. Maybe she just doesnt have time for me now. I was wondering if anyone had experienced this, thanks!!!
 

ForMyBoys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
I would try not to take it personal. If she was very obese maybe she spent a lot of her days just sitting around and was a lot more connected and responsive when you called. Now that she has dropped the weight she probably has figured out that there is a lot she has missed out on and is likely out and about more and just trying to do some of the things she felt she couldn't do before.
 

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
I"ve known a few people who had this done and every one of them changed. Not necessarily the way you describe. I remember one woman, in particular, who was very sweet and kind of shy while heavy. She had the surgery, got very thin and became somewhat of an aggressive person.

Two other had it done and then divorced their spouses.

I think there is a LOT going on when a person is THAT heavy and losing that weight is probably very liberating and they get the confidence to act on feelings that they were too miserable to act on before. It's not always a negative things but, in your case, it doesn't sound to be overly positive.
 

DVC-Don

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
One of my brother in laws had this surgery a couple of years ago. Last year he started an affair that his wife found out about. Was not pretty all the drama, police called a few a times, threatened suicide (him) and now he claims its all over. Recently we had info he's at it again with the same woman. His wife is devistated.
 

MrsPete

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Yes, I've seen this very thing. I know perhaps ten people who've had this surgery, and all but two have changed their personalities afterward. AND most of them have divorced (I cannot say whether the divorces were caused by their personality changes, or their spouses' lack of change, or whatever).

Some time back we were talking about this very thing at work, and one of the non-changers whom I know was involved in the conversation. She said she'd heard this before her surgery, but she didn't think it'd happen to her because "in her head" she had always thought of herself as a thin person -- she still saw herself in her teenaged body. She didn't have a "fat identity" to lose, and before her surgery when she caught an unexpected glimpse of herself in a store mirror, she sometimes didn't recognize herself. I don't know whether she's right or wrong, but her surgery was wildly successful, yet her personality and marriage didn't change an iota.

The other non-changer I know was heavy but not particularly obese -- she had stomach cancer, so she had most of her stomach removed for medical reasons -- she didn't mind losing the weight, but that was not her motive for surgery. Not a typical situation, though it was essentially gastric bypass. I can see why her situation wouldn't be typical.
 

minkydog

DIS Cast Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
My neighbor had gastric bypass several years ago and she definitely changed. She talked about it with me. She said she felt sad and depressed because her diet was so restricted. Even a cookie would cause severe gastric upset. She missed eating comfort foods. My neighbor knew that she used food to calm her anxiety, but she wasn't prepared for the depression that followed her surgery. Shortly after surgery she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is strongly associated with addictive behaviors such as overeating and substance abuse. Once she could no longer feed her addiction, she had a very hard time dealing with her life. She looks much thinner, but she does not seem happy.

I have toyed with the idea of having gastric bypass, but after talking with my neighbor and a few other people I think I've decided to just be fat. The diet is too restrictive for me and I have a long history if depression. I dont' need anything to push me closer to the edge.
 

FlyingDumbo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Yes. It changes a person. That big of a change is going to effect your personality and give you a big confidence boost. some people have a positive outcome. I used to work with someone who had the surgery and she was awful to deal with post surgery. Ever read the donuts gate sue threads? There are usually issues that lead someone to eat themselves that big. Some people rush to get the surgery and do not deal with the issues, they lose the weight and get smacked with all the emotion. Donutgate sue ended up becoming an alcoholic and in rehab last I heard. I am not talking about everyone who has surgery, but some people eat their feelings.

Keep trying to reach out to her. She is experiencing her new life now. You need to try t be a part of it if you want to stay friends.
 
  • SingWithFlowers

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2013
    I have a family member whose had it and the personality change echoes everything that been mentioned here. Shes been diagnosed as bi polar as well, but doesn't accept that diagnoses. The aggression and highs and lows are pretty prominent.

    I've lost 50 pounds myself, but slowly and naturally. I don't think there's been a drastic change in my personality I'm just more confident and happy. I think there's something about losing all the weight so rapidly that negatively effects the person. Your body probably thinks something's wrong and it's like quitting an addiction cold turkey without learning the coping skills.

    I know it's common for people with eating disorders and other addictions to have dual diagnoses that are kind of revealed once their drug of choice is cut off.

    But the family member I know still, years later (at least 6), over eats until she's sick all the time. The only difference is that the amount she can eat is much smaller and she's somewhat limited (no soda, rice, or too much spice).

    My neighbor was very sick recently and told me her intestine went out. Well now she elaborates that she had gastric bypass and couldn't quit the Cola (her words: addicted to it) so her intestine eventually (I think she said it burst).
     

    nanienamou

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2008
    It changes you totally. I've had a gastric sleeve in November 2011 and lost 190 pounds since. I'm much more outgoing, but still have the same friends and I'm happily married (we've been together for almost 16 years). I've returned working, and I enjoy going out shopping with my friends.

    However, my main goal was to get healthier, I really didn't care about the weight loss. I would have been more than happy to weigh 200 pounds, as long as I was healthy. Now, I'm about 160 pounds. I have been dealing with low blood pressure and of course digestive issues. It's now really hard to go out to eat at friends' houses or at the restaurant. I have trouble digesting certain things, in particular dairy.

    What is difficult is dealing with the psychological aspect of it all. I was addicted to food and I don't want to transfer that addiction to something else, so it's always at the back of my mind to be careful about that. I went to counseling, but still have depression and anxiety issues (I had them way before surgery) so my big struggle is mental health.

    I would do it again, but it's really not an easy way out. People have to be aware of that, it's not a magical operation, you will suffer, you can gain weight back if you are not cautious and you can loose yourself in the process.
     

    Disneylover99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2012
    I liken it to someone who has an addictive personality. Some (but not all) people who have had gastric bypass surgery became so big because they were addicted to food. Give them the surgery and that addiction manifests itself into different types of addiction. It could be a shopping addiction, or sex addictions. So in a sense you are fixing a symptom, but not the problem itself.
     

    mmouse37

    DCL Diva!!
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2001
    I think it is pretty normal to have a change in personality after this surgery. I know in the past I have read of people who have had this surgery all of a sudden started shoplifting, having affairs, gambling, etc. Never knew it had a real name but it does. it is called addiction swapping. Your body/mind is still seeks an addiction but instead of food it manifests in other addictions.

    this article talks about it a bit.

    http://mercyhealth.webhealthyrecipes.com/Weight-Loss-Surgery/Good-Health/Weight-Loss-Surgery/Emotional-Changes-after-Bariatric-Surgery.html

    I know three people who have it done but none of them changed their personality, but two of them regained all the weight they lost. One of those two then relost the weight and looks great. The third lost the weight and kept it off.

    I often think to myself...just eat the amount of food people who had gastic surgery are allowed to eat and you will probably lose weight.

    MJ
     
  • The Mystery Machine

    Sunrise at my house. :+)
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2001
    I can see where food is manifesting itself as an addiction and forcing the person to give up that addiction will reveal "other things".

    It is interesting 2 people mention bi polar because I know someone who also had the surgery and is bi polar. She has since been gaining her weight back.
     

    joviroxx

    <font color=blue>rectally reporters television pro
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    Jul 31, 2008
    Ive gone through a big weight loss, not through gastric bypass, but 110 pounds none the less. There is a huge psychological component to losing weight. I don't want to say it "changes" your personality but there are very real changes going on inside of you.

    Everyone is different. I know I went through periods where I HATED anyone to tell me how great I looked and was very uncomfortable with people congratulating me. It made me feel like people thought that NOW I was worth something. Inside I felt like, Im the same person I was. Im still kind, sensitive, responsible, a good mother, a good friend. Why is the weight such a big deal? I hated being defined as a "heavy" person and felt I was still being defined by my weight. I fixed the outside, but I had to work to fix the inside, which wasn't as easy. You hide behind weight for so many years, now that's gone, and you really hve nothing to blame anymore.

    That was MY experience. So, maybe give your friend a break. She needs to readjust and find who she is now. It might not make sense to you but it might just be a readjustment period for her..
     

    Sabeking

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2004
    My neighbor had gastric bypass several years ago and she definitely changed. She talked about it with me. She said she felt sad and depressed because her diet was so restricted. Even a cookie would cause severe gastric upset. She missed eating comfort foods. My neighbor knew that she used food to calm her anxiety, but she wasn't prepared for the depression that followed her surgery. Shortly after surgery she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is strongly associated with addictive behaviors such as overeating and substance abuse. Once she could no longer feed her addiction, she had a very hard time dealing with her life. She looks much thinner, but she does not seem happy.

    I have toyed with the idea of having gastric bypass, but after talking with my neighbor and a few other people I think I've decided to just be fat. The diet is too restrictive for me and I have a long history if depression. I dont' need anything to push me closer to the edge.
    :hug:
     

    Disney Doll

    DIS Security Matron
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2000
    There's a lot of info out there now about the gut as the "2nd brain". Our gut controls a lot more in our body than just digestion.

    One of my biggest gripes about Gastric Bypass as a healthcare professional is the lack of psychological evaluation before the surgery and the lack of psychological follow-up after the surgery.

    I am speaking as a woman who is not "petite" by any means, so I am not a "skinny person" looking to pick on "fat people". But when someone gets 100lbs or more overweight, there are psychological issues that are causing that. And they need to get to the bottom of those issues and resolve them or their post-op course is going to be rocky.

    You have to fix the inside even as you fix the outside.
     

    spacemountainmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2010
    I have a family member who had it 2-3 years ago and it hasn't been a good thing. She's lost some weight, but has so much trouble eating pretty much anything. She seems so depressed now, she stresses over every bite of food, wondering if she's going to feel sick. She eats so little, I find it hard to believe that she hasn't lost more weight.

    I can see where a person who lost quite a bit of weight would feel like a completely different person. It's sad if they change so much that old friends would feel cut off from them. Maybe they just so want to get away from their "fat self" that they cut all ties?
     

    dawnn12

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2008
    I had wls in 08 yes its hard yes you go through a roller coaster of emotions. some surgerys are worse the others but all can have complaintions. during the rapid weight loss phase its the worse a lot of the hormones are stored in the fat in your body during the rapid phase they are released. I sometimes went a few months not talking to friends because I was emotionaly a wreck. Some people let the "new" body takeover but they will realize its still about the person on the inside not just on the outside.(I had surgery so I could be here for my family- am I skinny no, am I healthier then I was when I was 360 lbs? yup. would I change anything? yup - I should of had my surgery before when I had it so I had more time to do things with my kids) I know alot of people who have had the gastric bypass and who have regained the weight no matter what wls someone has you can regain if you dont change the eating habits.(I had the duodenal switch wls, but I have friends who have had the bypass and one who has the lapband)
     

    disfan07

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2006
    Ive gone through a big weight loss, not through gastric bypass, but 110 pounds none the less. There is a huge psychological component to losing weight. I don't want to say it "changes" your personality but there are very real changes going on inside of you.

    Everyone is different. I know I went through periods where I HATED anyone to tell me how great I looked and was very uncomfortable with people congratulating me. It made me feel like people thought that NOW I was worth something. Inside I felt like, Im the same person I was. Im still kind, sensitive, responsible, a good mother, a good friend. Why is the weight such a big deal? I hated being defined as a "heavy" person and felt I was still being defined by my weight. I fixed the outside, but I had to work to fix the inside, which wasn't as easy. You hide behind weight for so many years, now that's gone, and you really hve nothing to blame anymore.

    That was MY experience. So, maybe give your friend a break. She needs to readjust and find who she is now. It might not make sense to you but it might just be a readjustment period for her..
    I agree with everything you said. I'm younger than most who have gone through this. I am 23. At 19 I weighed my heaviest....fluctuated between 195-200lbs. During high school I has gone from being an athletic 130lb size 4/6 to 195lb size 18/20. Think abut having that happen during high school. And I really had no control over the situation because I was put on prednisone for about 3 years. Once I was properly diagnosed and taken off steroids I lost 40lbs but then I gained 10 after a major surgery. In the past 1 1/2 years I've gone from 160lbs size 12 to 110lbs size 0/2. But the last 15 lbs of weight loss have been primarily because of GI issues.

    But as you were saying......when I was fat, I was defined by my weight and it got to the point where I tried to kill myself. All that time, I thought that if I lost the weight I would be happy. Not the case. What is the case was that I was suffering from depression and anxiety all along and the weight gain and bullying in high school just sent me over the edge.

    I'm now the "skinny" one. So I still feel like I am defined by my weight. And I used to think....okay....now I'm skinny.....so why am I still not happy? It's because in reality, changing the outside of me did nothing to change then inside. I stil suffered greatly and had lingering issues from high school but I've been working for 2 years to "fix" myself on the inside.

    What I think happens with a lot of people is that they think that losing the weight will solve all of their problems. That they think the weight is the only problem. But in reality, there is probably a lot more going on inside that they don't realize and they lose the weight but still might not be truly happy and they can't figure out why and it changes their personality. I went through periods of that. But with a good therapist, I have figured out that I would have these problems whether I was fat or skinny. It's part of who I am andi have to work to fix it. Losing weight did not "fix" it.
     

    StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    I've known 4 people that have gotten weight loss surgery. 3 of them became bitter and angry because they didn't like that their diet was restricted. I think this goes back to what other posters have said, food was a psychological issue for them that they didn't deal with, and now they didn't have it to fall back on. Unfortunately 2 of them have passed due to complications of not following the diet.

    The 4th person just had hers done and I haven't seen a change yet. She is noticing that it is getting easier and easier for her to play her favorite sports, so she is super excited about that. I don't know if this made a difference, but her doctor made her follow the special diet for weeks BEFORE her surgery. If he saw any indication that she was not following it (like not losing weight) he would cancel the surgery. This gave her time to decide if she could live with the diet for the rest of her life. She lost as much weight during those weeks on the diet before the surgery than she has in the same amount of weeks after. Only before the diet she didn't have any pain. Someone asked her why she didn't just stick with the diet and save her self the risk and the pain. Her answer was that the surgery makes it harder for her to revert back to her old ways.
     

    nanienamou

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2008
    Another thing to mention is that you really need to research your surgery before having it. I chose the vertical sleeve gastrectomy because basically, they remove the stomach pouch and the tube you are left with will not, in theory, expand. Also, by cutting out the pouch, you cut out the part that create the "hungry enzymes" so you basically are never hungry. I have to be cautious about that because even 2 years and a half out, sometimes I forget to eat and start shaking and having hypoglycemic issues.

    As for the diet, as long as your lean protein is your priority, you can eat what you want. HOWEVER, I used to eat 2-3 pieces of chocolate cake, now, one little bite just to taste satisfies me. More will likely make me queasy. Same thing with ice cream or dairy: you literally have to count the bites.

    Another interesting fact is that food does not attract me as much as it used too and sometimes does not even taste as good. I've had some aversions that come and go, too, just like when I was pregnant.

    I found that the best way to eat is tapas or cocktail style. A couple of bites over the course of a meal time. Forget eating the traditionnal way, with an appetizer, a big main meal and desert. Just have 2 or 3 bites of each courses, concentrating on the protein and ignoring the carbs. Carbs are killer. Go for meat, nuts, eggs, green veggies, etc.

    It's a lifestyle change. If you are not aware of it before the surgery or ignore it, you will not succeed, sadly.
     

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