Depression and Obesity are the two most common challenging health issues, and scientists continue to explore the complicated psychological and physical links between them. It is really surprising that depression and obesity occur simultaneously. Around ten percent of the worldwide population display some symptoms of depression including two-third with excess weight or obesity. Are these two actually functionally related?
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Emotional Impact of Depression and Obesity
Both depression and obesity can be isolating. Each condition can be condemned and have major health effects beyond its immediate impact. Interestingly, when one health issue occurs, the other also develops.
Usually, people affected by obesity are often self-conscious about their physical abilities or their appearance. They try to withdraw or are excluded from social activities. They find themselves feeling more isolated from friends, loved ones and co-workers. All the while, they lose their self-worth. At the same time, obesity is affecting their organ systems, causing shortness of breath, sleep troubles, aches, chest pains, and digestive problems, which can trigger feelings of sadness and despair, which are hallmarks of depression.
Similarly, depression is exhausting, and someone suffering from it can be less able to follow a diet closely, less motivated to exercise, less time to prepare healthy foods versus grabbing something fast, and less convinced to taking care of their health is a good use of time.
What is Obesity?
The standard measure of obesity is weighing more than 20 percent greater than the ideal body weight for a given height. The other definition is having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30. According to recent research, approximately one-third of the population is affected by obesity. Depression and obesity are linked to each other in numerous ways.
What is Depression?
How to define depression has always been a puzzle. Many people are depressed but they don’t know it. Some may seem depressed to friends but really they are not depressed. Sometimes, it seems that we all have categorized what depression is, but they aren’t always accurate in reality.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a recent report identified depression as “the number one cause of disability in the United States and the third largest, behind heart disease and stroke, in Europe.”
What are the Measures of Depression?
One of the most commonly used instruments for depression measurement is the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
The cognitive subscale contains these items:
- Past failures
- Guilty feelings
- Punishment feelings
- Suicidal thoughts or wishes
The somatic subscale has 13 items:
- Loss of pleasure
- Loss of interest
- Loss of energy
- Change in sleep patterns
- Change in appetite
- Concentration difficulties
- Tiredness and/or fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
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Tips for Avoiding Depression and Obesity:
Regular physical exercise and activity is the most efficient and cheapest way to control your mood. Exercise not only release brain chemicals which fight depression, but it also gives a person a greater sense of control over life.
Get Rid of Anger –
The common definition of depression is “anger turned inward.” Unresolved bitterness can damage both your health and relationships. Chronic anger, as well as hostility can be your worst enemies.
Keep a Positive Attitude –
There is a complete field called “positive psychology,” which has grown from research that indicates the people with positive attitudes which can fight with the disease better and can live healthier lives.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously –
This is a tip that everyone should learn. Humor is one of the important parts of life. People have the ability to laugh at themselves, while others don’t. And each day, everything changes anyway.
Stay Motivated –
Set a goal for yourself, and then develop a plan of small, simple steps to get to the goal. Perhaps exercise is a good thing to start.
Talk to Someone –
If you were seeking a mental health professional before treating your obesity, stay in touch with them after as well. Treating obesity has a major emotional impact, and life will change.
Use Medications if Prescribed –
If you were taking prescribed antidepressant medication before the treatment of your obesity, consult with your doctor to see if you can remain on it.
Depression and obesity can be linked together. If you are taking treatment for obesity then, first of all, you should motivate yourself and come up with the depression which can change your life and if you are one of them who are dealing with it, then don’t think twice and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
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