Researchers suggest that bariatric surgery, a weight loss surgery, can trim down weight but cannot reduce depression in an individual.

A team of researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine has found that many people feel happy after losing weight through healthy diet or changes to lifestyle. However, not all people have positive feelings after shedding weight, especially those who have lost the pounds through bariatric surgery.

Researchers suggest that many overweight and obese people suffer from depression. A previous study advises that the level of depression should be measured six and 12 months after a person has undergone bariatric surgery.

Valentina Ivezaj and Carlos Grilo examined if people who have had bariatric surgery still show symptoms of depression and if the signs increase after the weight loss surgery.

The research involved 107 extremely obese people who completed a questionnaire before the weight loss surgery, six months after the surgery and again 12 months after. The participants were asked questions related to the level of depression they experienced, any eating disorders, low or high self-esteem and about their social activeness. Out of the total participants, 13 were men and the rest were women; 73 respondents were white and the rest belonged to other ethnic backgrounds; 24 participants attended and completed college.

The authors of the study found that most of the participants were in high spirits after six and 12 months of surgery. However, some patients reported being in negative spirits between six and 12 months. More than 13 percent of the participants were reported to have increased symptoms of depression in between six and 12 months; 3.7 percent of the sample felt more depressed 12 months after the operation. These patients also reported to have reduced social activeness and low self-esteem.

"The majority of patients whose mood had worsened discernibly experienced these mood changes between six and 12 months post-surgery, suggesting this may be a critical period for early detection and intervention, as needed," says Ivezaj.

Grilo adds that the rise in the symptoms of depression is also notable since these symptoms are associated with lower self-esteem and social functioning.

Ivezaj and Grilo believe that further research is required to understand if the patients show even increased levels of depression symptoms over time.

The findings of the study have been published in the journal Obesity Surgery.

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