The close relationship between obesity and depression

The close relationship between obesity and depression

Obesity has become an epidemic in today ‘s society. Over 78 million adults in USA are obese. In addition, its relationship with depression is dangerous: obesity would be associated with an increased risk of depression and in turn, this would relate to a higher likelihood of developing obesity.

The depression can be a cause of some cases of obesity [1]. Ingesting food awakens our parasympathetic system, which makes us feel calm, placid and at ease, improving to some extent the feeling of helplessness that has a depressed person. Depressed people usually do not have the strength or desire to engage in any activity, whether physical or social. Usually they reclusive indoors with nothing to do for hours, having to face days and nights are made ​​eternal. Eating for them can be an automatic activity to fill part of that time.

The fact besides not having energy to perform any activity makes lifestyle very passive. For them it is unthinkable to do some sport. Even to take a simple walk can seem a challenge not seen the strength to cope. In fact, many suffer depression and weariness excessive sleep and can sleep more than twelve hours a day. That makes calorie expenditure very low, so the tendency to gain weight increase. If we add that some of psychiatric medications used to treat depression that cause considerable weight gain, we find that the chances of getting morbid obesity [2] are very high.

Depression, besides being able to cause obesity, may also be a result. The obese people suffer social rejection, self – esteem is often low because of their physical appearance, have more difficulty finding partner or work and often harshly criticized and punished themselves with negative and destructive thoughts. All these problems arising from morbid obesity may be sapping the people to make him fall into a depression.

The way a person can get out of this situation is forcing himself to go out of dormancy gradually. This is going to increase the activity to the extent that can be tolerated. Sleep patterns must start being regulated, sleeping up to eight hours a day. Should also be regulated meals, personal hygiene, household chores … Slowly you must go including trips away from home to exercise, visit someone, do some management …
All this may seem unattainable to a person with depression but should be aware that he is stuck in a vicious circle of inactivity and self-pity that only leads to more inactivity and self-pity. The only way out of this situation is to break the circle.

Psychotherapy in obesity and depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy is indicated for obese people suffering from depression. The focus is on learning dietary guidelines, improve self-esteem, develop social skills, encourage the motivation to lose weight and get guidelines for exercise. Apart from reducing the weight on an ongoing basis, we also learn to resolve conflicts without resorting to evasion and immediate gratification that provides food.

It is necessary that psychotherapy work many aspects of the life of the person as irrational ideas that end up devaluing many affected. An example is the technique of cognitive restructuring, modifying negative thoughts with more adaptive. Similarly, it is usually a component of anxiety that can become an impulse to overeat, so also insists on relaxation techniques.

Psychotherapy is structured in three stages to ensure that the patient does not fail. In a first step, it tries to lose weight but also work motivation. In a second stage, body image is made, you learn to spend free time in a healthy way and are encouraged to practice more exercise. Finally, it continues to work and psycho-educational focus is on improving social skills, as well as the relationship with food.


1- What causes obesity – the risk factors –

2- Obesity definition: what is considered obese or overweight

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