Today we’re looking at the link between depression and weight gain or weight loss. The question is, does depression promote weight gain, or does weight gain promote depression?
Depression is a recognised mental illness which needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. It’s characterized by what is known as ‘low mood’ and has been described as feeling like there is a black cloud over their heads. Winston Churchill called it the black dog: JK Rowling says it’s characterized by an empty hollow feeling. Having suffered depression myself in my that rings true with me. In my situation getting out of bed and getting through the day was just about what I could achieve. If I hadn’t had the cats to feed I don’t think I would have never left the house to buy any food. At the time I couldn’t even drive the car I was in such a state with it.
But depression doesn’t have to last forever and it can be beaten. However, depression does run in families: there is a strong indicators that if an adult is depressed in the household, the children and other adults in the household will pick up on this and exhibit the same sorts of behaviour. It’s not catching like a virus but it can be catching in the way that children and adults condition themselves when depression is present.
Does being depressed lead to be overweight or obesity or obesity lead to depression? Well, like anxiety, depression can lead to increased weight or loss of weight depending on the habits of the person who is feeling depressed. If the person has a habit to stuff down their emotions with food, then it’s more likely that they will start to gain weight by making poor food choices because they’re feeling so bad. If the person has depression but they’re not in the habit of stuffing down their emotions with food, they are more likely to lose weight. Children who are depressed are much more likely to gain weight and even reach obesity.
Depression is characterized by:
A Loss of interest in all things that you previously found pleasurable;
An inability to leave your bed or house;
Irregular sleeping patterns;
Feeling very tired and having difficulty functioning;
And. weight gain.
As with anxiety being active physically is a huge boost to the serotonin in your brain which helps relieve some of the symptoms of depression. The fact that depressed people become obese means that they are like less likely to be physically active and so the cycle of depression, more increased weight gain, leads to less physical activity. Practicing relaxation and making sure that if you are stressed you take time to deal with the stress; and the emotions attached to that stress will start to relieve you of your depressed symptoms Talk to your GP about getting proper medication and get some talking therapy to help you manage your depressed State.
In the post is a link to an internationally recognised test to indicate whether you’re depressed or not. If you take the test and the results indicate depression and you haven’t talked to your doctor please do so. If you are also a obese, talk to them about how they can help you with your with your weight issues too.
Tomorrow we will talk about self-esteem.
Sheila Leahy from Snap up success with Savvy Therapy