LAP BAND and mental illness

on 7/22/11 5:23 am - Kettleby, Canada
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 20 years ago and have been stable for several years.  I am strongly considering a LAP BAND but my mother is very frightened that I will find a vice to replace emotional eating.  She feels that I may lose my stability and will turn to gambling, drugs or shopping.  Is this a real concern?  What can I do to prevent this?
on 7/22/11 5:36 am
I too have bi-polar. I have been banded about a year and a half. Yes, substituting another "vice" is a real concern. It is known as addiction transfer. I have other addictions, and the psychologist involved with my lapband team was concerned about addiction transfer. She was glad I was in therapy. I am working on healthier ways to deal with my emotions and stress. That's good you've been stable for several years. If your not in any kind of therapy I would do it. That would be huge in preventing addiction transfer. I don't know you, but it may be that you have an addictive personality, food being your "drug" of choice. You may need to realize you just need to completely abstain from drugs (including drinking alcohol), gambling and the like.
As part of pre-op for the band, you will probably have a psyc. eval. Be honest, I was and it didn't stop me from being banded. I hope this helps a little, keep us posted on how your doing.
on 7/22/11 12:19 pm
I am not banded yet... well I haven't even decided on the lap band yet, but I have done a little research as to the "mental Health" topic.  I have a severe panic disorder.  A couple things I worry about myself it the ability to swallow my pills appriopriatley because of the banded stomach. although I'm strongly considering the lap band because you do not "malabsorb" with the band, which means it does not change the way your medications would absorb into the blood stream.

They have a mental health forum on this website, you may want to check there:)

Good luck in your research :)
Jean M.
on 7/22/11 1:31 pm
Revision on 08/16/12
Cross addiction or addiction transfer is a risk for all WLS patients. From what I've read, if your bipolar symptoms are well controlled and you're in frequent contact with the doctor who's treating you for it (in case you need your dose adjusted at some point), I don't think your addiction transfer risk is any greater or less than any other patient with a mood disorder. I've suffered from major depression for 40 years and I'm doing much better since losing weight, am taking half the meds I did as a pre-op, and although I have to be vigilant about "acting out" with substances or behaviors unrelated to food and eating, overall I'm doing great these days.

The fact that you and your mother are concerned about this is a good sign in itself - with that concern in mind, you can educate yourselves and talk with your psychiatrist and/or counselor and your bariatric surgeon about how to manage your medication and what other steps you can take to prevent future behavioral problems.

Good luck!

Jean McMillan c.2009-2013 - Always a bandster at heart
author of Bandwagon (TM), Strategies for Success  with the Adjustable Gastric Band & Bandwagon Cookery. Bandwagon for Kindle now available on Amazon.  Read my blog at: 





on 7/23/11 1:47 am - Canada

Sorry, I have to say this ... when I saw your subject line, for some reason the name "Maria" popped into my head.

There, I said it.

on 7/23/11 1:00 pm, edited 7/23/11 1:03 pm
Saw your pic. It is the cutest picture ever!! I am viewing this website for first time. Bear with me?

I am obese and all my health issues are created and might be aleviated by significant weight reduction. I am new to medicare and looking for support basically. I am going to approach topic of weightloss & surgery with my primary. I noticed how expensive the diets are. I also know insurance make you jump through those hoops in order to get anything covered. Like sleep apnea testing was denied. I had a prior procedure in 2009 for sleep deprivation and I still have same issues with it/back injuries/heel injuries/arthritis/pre-hyper tension etc.

I am 44 yr old woman who will soon be housebound and wont be able to walk.Things are spiraling out of control. My doctors are all up in arms because I have Fibromyalgia and they dont take my issues seriously( It seems to me). Ive just recently gained an additonal 50 lbs since last year when I hurt back(pinched nerve). When will doctors RECOMMEND a surgery to reduce my weight? It seems I am feeling overwhelmed by lack of income & being diagnosed "diabled" this past year.

Any ideas as how to just start the ball rolling? Those medically supervised diets are 300.00 plus a month and Im on SSI/SSDI. I am single mom now w/two daughters and no energy or ability to do things since last year. Ugg. Im looking for a good/safe procedure . What is your experience? How are you drawn to this site? I am interested to know.

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