So, I had my psychological evaluation done on Friday, May 25th. I was pretty anxious about the appointment because I wasn’t sure what to really expect. So, of course, I googled what to expect in a bariatric surgery psychological evaluation. And what I found online was actually pretty true to what happened. The goal of this evaluation is to determine whether you have a risk of being unable to succeed at this bariatric program (you can’t drink/smoke/do drugs and it is not recommended for those who suffer from depression).
First, the psychologist conducted a mini interview that lasted about 10 minutes. The types of questions he asked were pretty straight-forward ones,
- Who do you live with?
- Do you have the support of your family & friends?
- What do you typically eat in a day? What times?
- Have you ever been treated for depression?
- Have you ever wanted to kill yourself?
- Do you or did you ever smoke? And for how long?
- Do you use drugs?
- How often do you drink?
These are all to help the psychologist spot any red flags that may deter him/her from recommending that you get the surgery. This part was really easy — fortunately, I don’t suffer from depression, or any type of substance abuse.
After documenting my answers, the psychologist explained that the next part of the evaluation would be my filling out several questionnaires. Several was quite an understatement. I probably answered about 1000 questions in 8 surveys.
What was nice was that the psychologist put them in order that had me filling out the longer ones first. Which I really appreciated.
The first survey had about 200-250 questions. It was meant to evaluate my personality — for the most part it was pretty straight-forward. The survey was formatted with a bunch of statements. I had to mark whether the statement was False, Slightly True, Mostly True, or Very True. Some of the statements were about whether I was happy, social person. Others were about my ability to get over things that worry me. And every now and again, there would be several statements randomly placed regarding drugs, alcohol, depression, and suicide. I think these were meant to try and trip up people who were lying.
There were a couple times that I had to catch myself and really read the statement. For instance, one said “I have never had a problem with drugs and/or other substances.” Now I immediately circled False because I disregarded the never had and thought it was saying I have a problem with drugs. I immediately changed it, but you have to be careful and make sure your reading the statements thoroughly.
The next ones weren’t too bad, I think I spent the most time on the first one. The others were maybe about 2-3 pages long and as I got further into the pile they were shorter in length (1-2 pages long). The whole thing probably took me about an hour or so to complete.
At the end, the psychologist commented that he didn’t think there were any red flags while glancing at the reports, but that he would go over them more thoroughly and write up a report and recommendation. I’m not really expecting to hear anything about the report/evaluation until I meet with the surgeon again and he has all my evaluations in front of him.
I hope this helps those that are apprehensive or anxious about a psychological evaluation for bariatric surgery. Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions about the process that I didn’t answer.
Thanks for reading,