Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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Depression and Obesity: How Are They Related?

Depression can be associated with overeating, poor choices of food and inactive lifestyle which all cause weight gain. In time, this weight gain leads to obesity, which is one of the causes of depression. Unknowingly, this has become a cycle—an alarming one.

In order to stop this cycle, we need to have more awareness on this issue. In this article, we’ll be highlighting how obesity and depression can be linked to each other and what can we do about them.

People diagnosed with depression may experience either weight gain or weight loss because of their current condition or the medication prescribed to them. Depression can lead people to weight gain which can eventually turn to obesity.

Aside from being associated with physical health issues, obesity is also often linked to emotional issues such as sadness, anxiety and depression.

If there’s anything common between depression and obesity, it is definitely stress. Chronic stress can likely lead to depression. Moreover, someone who’s exposed to a lot of stress may resort to eating as a coping mechanism.

What can we do about depression and obesity?

When a patient has both depression and obesity, the first-line treatment includes employing measures for stress reduction. Once all the emotions linked to stress have been managed, it can be easier to explore all other probable concerns that may lead to depression and obesity.

The prescription antidepressants must also be taken into consideration as most of these have weight gain listed as side effect. On the other hand, weight management programs can also lead to an emotional roller coaster. People who are already dealing with mental health issues may not be able to cope up when they fail their weight management program.

Above all, we need to understand that both obesity and depression are chronic conditions and may be requiring long-term treatment. Patients should have good communication with their therapists or doctors for them to be able to track their progress.

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