Depression And Weight Loss
Weight loss is considered a typical symptom of depression. In the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , weight changes, including weight loss, are one of the possible diagnostic criteria for depression. People with depression often feel too depressed to eat and lose weight. Depression and weight loss may also be linked as a person with depression may feel no pleasure from eating, and thus is less motivated to do it.
What Could The Connection Be
Stop and think about all the possibilities for depression to accompany obesity. To begin with, childhood obesity frequently leads to painful ridicule and exclusion from peer activities. Problems with body image, social isolation and self-esteem might easily follow. Being seriously overweight at any age is a major source of dissatisfaction, sadness and frustration. Extra pounds often cause chronic joint and extremity pain, making individuals less able to get around, enjoy life or exercise.
Serious illness such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea can threaten or shorten life. People with excess weight are often stereotyped and discriminated against by airlines, department stores, insurance companies and even doctors.
The Link Between Depression And Changes In Weight
Depression can cause weight changes, but its not the same for everyone, says Dr. Roberta Ballard, a clinical psychologist in Marietta, Georgia.
Some people lose their appetite when they and lose a lot of weight. Other people experience an increase in their appetite , she explains. This can be due to physical changes related to depression that suppress your satiety signals.
Appetite changes are a formal symptom of major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition .
A 2019 study notes that several factors may contribute to weight changes, including:
- change in eating habits
- reduced physical activity
- challenges adhering to lifestyle recommendations
In addition, research from 2018 shows that depression and challenges with executive functioning may lead to a higher BMI and increased body fat.
This could, in part, help explain the link between depression and eating disorders.
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Prioritize Nutrition And Whole
Weight loss can offer certain health benefits in some cases, but it isnt the answer for everyone. Its also not an automatic solution to a happier or healthier life. Some people dont want to lose any weight at all.
In all cases, accepting your body as it is, even when you dont exactly love it, can boost a more positive self-concept and improve your mood and outlook.
Your identity and value as a person go beyond your body size and shape. Instead of focusing on changes in your body, or the absence of desired changes, consider instead the foods and activities that help you feel good.
Practices like mindful eating and intuitive eating can also help you choose foods and eating habits that boost energy, allowing you to enjoy life more fully.
Depression Leads To Weight Gain Study Confirms
ByPsychCentral News Editorpublished 11 June 10
A new study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham confirms the relationship between depression and abdominal obesity, which has been linked to an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“We found that in a sample of young adults during a 15-year period, those who started out reporting high levels of depression gained weight at a faster rate than others in the study, but starting out overweight did not lead to changes in depression,” said UAB Assistant Professor of Sociology Belinda Needham, PhD. The study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
“Our study is important because if you are interested in controlling obesity, and ultimately eliminating the risk of obesity-related diseases, then it makes sense to treat people’s depression,” said Needham, who teaches in the UAB department of sociology and social work. “It’s another reason to take depression seriously and not to think about it just in terms of mental health, but to also think about the physical consequences of mental health problems.”
CARDIA study scientists weighed and measured the waist circumference and BMI of study participants. The waist circumference was measured to the nearest half centimeter. CARDIA researchers also asked study participants in years five, 10, 15 and 20 to rank their own level of depression.
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Tips To Stop Depression From Causing Weight Gain
If you suffer from depression and are trying to shed excess pounds, treatment should address both of those problems. Here are a few tips to make sure your mental state doesnt get in the way of your weight loss efforts:
Am I Obese Know Your Body Mass Index
Gaining excess pounds and obesity are different. How do you know if youre obese? Thats by measuring your body mass index . The BMI is an excellent way to determine if youre underweight, in normal weight, overweight or obese. The BMI is determined if your weight is in proportion to your height.
Being overweight increases the risk for physical ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, fertility issues in women, and increased blood sugar levels. In addition to a higher risk of developing certain diseases, your mental health can be at stake too.
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How To Take Care Of Depression Weight Gain Or Weight Loss
Despite how depression might make you feel about yourself, you are worthy, and you are able. You can empower yourself to take charge of weight changes and depression. As you do, its important to think in terms of working on both together. Its been shown that treating them simultaneously is more effective than addressing just one.
Professional help can be beneficial. Recognizing the legitimate connection, many doctors treat depression and weight together. Primary physicians, therapists, nutritionists, and registered dieticians can all help you be successfuland safewith your mood and weight goals.
These tips can help your mind and body:
- Make gradual dietary changes, systematically replacing processed and refined foods with whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats .
- Keep healthy, easy foods handy, such as bananas, grapes, cut carrots, granola, and yogurt.
- Increase physical activity. Setting an alarm to sound each hour can remind you to move, if only for a few minutes .
Your Body Has A Skewed Response To Pleasure
When your brains pleasure center is so deeply affected by depression, it may be harder to enjoy foods that bring that response. As a result, its easy to overdo consumption and eat more to compensate for the lack of flavor, texture, or enjoyment on its own. Many of us will have a hard time coping with this, and overeating, unfortunately becomes harder to detect.
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Often Medications Make You Gain Weight
Many depression medications can cause significant weight gain because of the way they impact your body. Not only do they have physiological effects like slowed metabolism and increased appetite, but they may also have certain medical properties that increase weight retention and gain. Many people can expect to put on an average of 10 lbs. when taking antidepressants, especially without countermeasures to balance that.
The Role Of Cortisol In The Body
Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
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Our Systems Slow Down When Were Depressed
Despite how complex and intelligent our bodies are, conditions like depression can throw our systems into whack. Not only do many people struggle with slow metabolism due to depression and poor eating, but other hormones such as cortisol may be elevated and cause our bodies to store fat.
Depression is by no means straightforward, and its not as simple as saying it makes you fat or thin. People cope with it in different ways, and having professional help is key to getting better.
You can work on addressing the root cause of your issues with Rekha Shrivastavas hypnosis services in Pittsford and Rochester, NY. At Blossom Hypnosis, we offer hypnosis-based weight loss programs, among other concerns that clients bring. Learn more by reaching out to us today for a free consultation in-person or on Skype.
Can Therapy Help Me Lose Weight
It can certainly contribute to the process. It helps you:
- process the emotions that lead you to overeat
- learn to hear and question your own thoughts about food and eating
- change those thoughts before they turn into unhealthy actions, like overeating
- set achievable goals and actually reach them
- raise your self esteem and self-care.
While any sort of talk therapy helps you raise your sense of self and your esteem, CBT therapy is most often recommended for binge eating and obesity. It helps you gain control of your negative thinking and become more balanced.
Acceptance and commitment therapy can be another option. It guides you to recognise the choices you do have, step into your personal power, set achievable goals, and then actually commit to making them a reality over constantly setting yourself up for failure.
Ready to stop letting your moods sabotage your health? We connect you with a team of top talk therapists in central London locations. Or use our booking site now to access a wide roster of UK-based therapists and online counsellors that match your budget.
Still have a question about weight gain and depression? Or want to share your story with other readers? Post below.
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Tips For Breaking The Cycle Of Depression And Weight Gain
Treating depression and obesity is far from straightforward, and research is still needed into how the inflammation in depression can be targeted as part of treatment. However, there are changes to your lifestyle you can make which can help with both managing your weight and improving your mood.
- Get active: Not only does this increase your energy output which can help with weight management, it has also been shown to boost your mood and energy levels. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous try a 20-30 minute walk each day to start with. This will also help you to keep busy and give you something to aim for, which may improve your mood.
- Increase your intake of fruit and veg: Having a poor diet has negative effects on both your waistline and your mood. Making healthy changes to your diet can help you to watch your calorie intake and will give you the nutrients and energy you need for improved mood. Try a Mediterranean-style diet which incorporates plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, in addition to healthy fats from olive oil, nuts and fish. In addition, Omega 3 fish oils have shown some benefits for depression.
- Eat regular meals: This will also help with keeping your blood sugar levels stable, helping you manage your food intake. With depression, this can help with maintaining an adequate diet and a regular routine.
Try adding these lifestyle tips into your daily routine to help break the cycle of depression and weight gain.
Why Wellbutrin Or Prozac May Be The Most Sensible Options
Many people with depression have worked hard to treat their disease. You may attend therapy and take your antidepressants, only to find that the numbers on the scale are moving up and your clothes are not fitting like they used to. While you may feel better emotionally and mentally, you might also feel discouraged by your physical appearance or health.
Some of this may be due to the connection between antidepressants and weight gain. It is not a side effect of every medication used to treat depression, and some are more associated with weight loss.
However, any side effectweight gain includeddepends entirely on how your body reacts to the medication. It is possible that you will notice no change in weight or that you will swing in the opposite direction of what’s typical, no matter which medication you take. For some people, the fluctuation in weight is only temporary.
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Can Depression Cause Weight Gain
Many people assume that depression makes you lose weight as you forget about eating and sleeping and wallow in despair and self-pity. But the truth is far more complex, and surprisingly, depression can heavily contribute to weight gain as well.
Theres a deep link between depression and an increase in inches and weight for a variety of different reasons and factors. Some are more straightforward, others more complex. Lets take a look at some of them:
The Insidious Connection Between Depression Unwanted Weight Gain And Obesity
If youre struggling with weight gain and depression, you know how difficult life can be. Perhaps your depression symptoms make it hard to get out of bed, much less exercise. Maybe youve experienced feelings of sadness, shame, self-loathing, or guilt about your body since the pounds have been slowing accumulating. Depression all-too-frequently occurs with both unwanted weight gain and obesity. Understanding that theres an insidious connection can help you stop blaming yourself and empower you to take the necessary steps to break the cycle and regain your physical and emotional well-being.Depression Can Trigger Weight Gain Research has shown that depression can be a trigger for unwanted weight gain. In a study that spanned 20 years, individuals who initially reported more depression symptoms gained weight faster than those who reported having fewer symptoms. There are several reasons why this particular mental health disorder can cause the scale to creep upward:
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Site Sample And Variables
“Stirling County” is a fictitious designation used to protect the identity of an area in Atlantic Canada that is ecologically similar to New England . Sampling procedures have been described elsewhere . While the study as a whole was started in the early 1950s and is longitudinal in design, this report is limited to data gathered in the most recent sample which was selected in 1992. It consists of a representative sample of adults 18 years of age and older.
Subjects were visited in their homes by trained interviewers. The purpose and nature of the interview were explained and a written statement including further contact information was provided. We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations concerning the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during this research. The procedures have been approved by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, the Human Research Committee of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine of Dalhousie University.
In addition, we investigated episode characteristics such as age of onset, number of episodes , the duration of the longest episode , and whether the subject had consulted a physician about the episode.
None of the questions from the Stirling Schedule were specific to the index episode identified by the DIS. They were analyzed in order to implement information about the sample as a whole as well as the subjects with lifetime MDE.
When To Reach Out
It may be time to consider professional support when various strategies dont have an impact on depression symptoms or weight loss.
Getting treatment for depression can lead to improvements in all of your symptoms, including physical ones like fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight gain or loss.
Helpful treatments generally include therapy or a combination of therapy and medication, but a trained mental health professional can help you find the approach thats right for you.
When your depression medication seems a likely culprit for changes in appetite and weight, talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about making changes. It may take some trial and error to find a treatment that improves symptoms without causing unwanted side effects, but your well-being is worth the time and effort.
A nutritionist or dietitian can also help you develop an eating plan that meets your unique needs.
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Focus On Small Changes
Depression can make it difficult to handle day-to-day responsibilities like cooking and food preparation, so you might struggle to adopt new eating habits after losing weight.
Instead of pushing yourself to prepare meals and snacks each day, try easier changes that help you get enough nourishment until you feel more capable of bigger steps.
Keeping your cabinets and refrigerator stocked with easy-to-grab, nutritious snacks can be a helpful first step. Support from a friend or loved one can also make grocery shopping easier, and grocery delivery is a good option, too.
Even if youd rather avoid prepackaged or individually wrapped items that contribute to excess waste, these conveniences can make it easier to take care of yourself. Making the best choice for your health and wellness is nothing to feel guilty about.
Finally, dont get too caught up in making sure everything is healthy and nutritious. Its always better to eat something over nothing, and theres nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself to something special.