Does depression or obesity come first? It’s similar to the ‘chicken or egg’ scenario as the underlying problem with weight gain and depression can be hard to tell. Symptoms of weight management issues and depression are often linked, as the limbic system (the part of the brain that is responsible for emotion) also controls appetite. When this part of the brain gets disturbed when someone is depressed, appetite will also get affected.
There are also some medications that are used to treat depression, which has weight-related side effects. If you are looking for a natural supplement (with little to no side effects) which can help to relieve symptoms associated with depression and also control appetite, check out Consumer Advisors – they help consumers to shop smart while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Weight Gain Or Weight Loss?
When a person becomes depressed, the brain’s appetite control center can get thrown off in two directions. Some people have a problem with weight loss while depressed while others struggle with weight gain. When you undereat or overeat, it all has to do with your unique body’s biology and underlying coping strategies.
The type of depression that someone is struggling with can also influence whether they shed or gain pounds. People with anxiety symptoms may tremble more and pace a lot and, therefore, their metabolism can become accelerated and, as a result, lose weight. People with a seasonal affective disorder, on the other hand, can gain weight in winter and lose weight again in spring.
In general, weight gain and depression are much more common than weight loss and depression. The chance that weight gain will endanger your health while depressed, is much higher than the chance of weight loss endangering your life. Obese people can develop diabetes, heart disease or other concerning health problems – so the weight issues need to be addressed whatever the severity of depression.
Depression And Eating Disorders
Binge-eating disorder (coping with unwanted emotions through compulsive overeating), as well as bulimia nervosa (overeating and then purging), are two of the most common eating disorders associated with depression.
According to studies, more than 50% of bulimia patients are diagnosed with major depression. Once depression has been treated, weight can more easily be stabilized in people with bulimia. Depression treatments will often also be effective for binge-eating disorder as binge-eating patients frequently eat in order to compensate for depression and stress.
How To Manage Your Weight
As weight and depression are so intertwined, it would be important to tackle both problems if you want to move forward. In order to control weight as well as depression, physical activity needs to be increased and calories need to be decreased.
Here are a few strategies that you can try:
- Try to examine the relationship between food and your depression symptoms. Try to be mindful of when and how you use food and become aware of the feelings you experience when occupied with food and your weight. Try to find a new way to look at food – as a source of nutrition rather than an outlet for your emotions.
- Start slowly! The chances are great that you easily feel overwhelmed by life if you are depressed, so having small weight-related goals is important. Try to introduce one small good habit into your life at a time.
- Try increasing the amount of physical activity you do each day, as every bit will help to increase your mood. Physical activity should also be increased gradually. You can start out by stretching for a few minutes each day for one week. Then add a short walk around the block. If you make incremental changes, you’ll soon feel more in control, become more motivated and have a more positive outlook.
Medications And Depression
Find out from your doctor whether your depression medication isn’t perhaps interfering with your weight-loss efforts as many medications used to treat depression can cause weight gain. You need to clearly communicate with your doctor if weight management is a priority because there definitely are alternatives. You can change your medication or even add a medication in order to counteract any weight-gain effects.