Here at the Bariatric Center of Kansas City, we respectfully recognize the potential patient concern about the possibility of transfer addictions. This is not just a bariatric concern, as anyone who has had any type of addiction can end up with a transfer addiction simply because our mind tries to find a way to cope with the loss of our original addiction (in this case possibly food). Most often addictions are formed when we do something that at the moment feels comforting similar to a “coping mechanism.” Because we are human a lot of us have a tendency to sweep our underlying problems under that mental rug and choose to not sort through our problem(s) so we continue to overuse whatever was comforting us instantly to get by. This my friends is how addictions are born.
The importance of seeing a licensed mental health professional (specifically one with extensive experience with bariatric surgery) before, during, and after weight loss surgery cannot be stressed enough. We go through a lot of changes during this process and sometimes it takes a moment for our minds to catch up with reality. This is why a new addiction may sneak up on us and we do not even realize it until we pause and reflect. A seasoned, mental health professional can pick up on things we may not even see as a problem.
OTHER WAYS TO COPE –
Instead of creating new addictions by accident it’s better to have healthy habits of purpose like exercise, journaling, eating on plan, a morning and night routine, cleaning schedule, and so on. These things are not only healthy habits, but they can also have pleasant side effects helping people often to be happier, healthier, and more productive.
Enlist the help of your friends and family. Let them know what’s going on and tell them you need a little help. Also, support groups are an amazing tool and you can find online and in-person meetings. We feel the in-person meeting is most effective and research suggests the same.
We at the Bariatric Center of Kansas City strive to take care of the whole person pre and post-op. If you are struggling with transfer addiction or any other mental, physical, or nutritional challenge please reach out to us. We are here for you.
Articles and blog posts, We suggest reading on the topic.
Eight Tips to Avoid Addiction
Could You Be Replacing One Addiction with Another?