Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN
Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, and owner of Level Up Bariatrics, LLC, a bariatric lifestyle coaching program that provides pre and post-op support for weight loss surgery patients.
If you've had weight loss surgery, you might be dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. The process of losing weight can be scary, overwhelming, and difficult. If you're struggling with your emotions or mental health after weight loss surgery, it might be time to seek professional help. However, navigating the world of mental health professionals can be confusing. There are many types of professionals, and figuring out who you should see for your particular issues can be challenging — but don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need and deserve. In this blog post, we'll break down the differences between psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and others so you can make an informed decision about your mental health.
1) Psychologists. Psychologists are professionals who study the science of behavior and mental processes. They hold an advanced degree in psychology and have completed extensive training in psychology research and therapy. Psychologists are experts in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, but they cannot prescribe medication. If you're struggling with mental health issues but don't want to take medication, a psychologist might be a good option for you.
2) Psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. They can diagnose and treat mental health disorders and prescribe medication. If you're struggling with a mental health disorder requiring medication, a psychiatrist might be your best choice.
3) Licensed therapists. Licensed therapists, also known as licensed professional counselors or licensed clinical social workers, are professionals who are trained to provide counseling and psychotherapy services. They hold a master's degree in counseling or social work and have completed extensive training in counseling techniques and therapy. Licensed therapists can diagnose and treat mental health disorders and provide therapy to individuals, couples, and families. If you're struggling with mental health issues and want to try therapy, a licensed therapist might be a good option for you.
4) Other mental health professionals. Other professionals include licensed clinical social workers and mental health counselors. These professionals may offer counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, medication management, and other mental health services. They have different training and backgrounds but are all qualified to provide mental health care to patients.
Understanding the differences between psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and others can be extremely helpful when seeking mental health help. By knowing the strengths and limitations of each type of professional, you can make an informed decision about who to see for your specific issues. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help for your mental health.
It’s very common to experience uncomfortable feelings about the ever-changing things in life after WLS. It’s not just weight loss. It’s a life change, and you’re growing into a different person than you used to be. That can affect relationships both with yourself and with others. It takes tremendous strength and courage to ask for help. So, if you're struggling, don't hesitate to reach out. You deserve to feel just as good on the inside as on the outside!
BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.