How Are Obesity and Depression Linked?

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Obesity and Depression Linked?

Obesity and depression are major issues in the world today. 39% of people are obese, while 15% of people are depressed or have a chance of experiencing depression once in their lives. These percentages continue to grow every year. 

But did you know that there have been signs that being obese increases your risk of becoming depressed and vice versa? 43% of people who are depressed are obese. 

The Link Between Obesity and Depression

These two have been observed to strike one after another with both conditions becoming self sustaining after a lack of treatment. It becomes an endless cycle. 

They both have their effects on a person and it is important to understand what is going on in a person’s mind whenever they’re experiencing one or both of these conditions. Most of the time, these effects are psychological and can push someone to take the necessary steps to become either obese or depressed. 

Depression Causing Obesity

Both of these disorders don’t just harm your physical well being, but they also ruin your psychological and mental well being. Several symptoms of depression are directly linked to the causes of obesity. These include:

  • Sedentary lifestyle choices
  • Neglecting proper diet
  • Binge or stress eating

Antidepressants that patients take in can also have an effect on a person’s weight. Some of these medicines that are meant to treat depression can cause a person to steadily gain weight. These antidepressants don’t directly affect a person’s weight but they increase their appetite which then causes the weight gain. 

Obesity Causing Depression

Obesity on the other hand can start depression due to social stigma or discrimination. Being rejected by the community is a painful experience. This isn’t just something a person can get over with, especially since loneliness is something that is hard coded into every person’s brain. It is part of our natural survival instinct and we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. The loneliness a discriminated obese person can slowly become depression and anxiety. 

What Can You Do?

Dealing with one or both of these conditions can be devastating. Knowing how to help yourself is going to be the best bet that you have to escape the vicious cycle of depression and obesity. 

Share Your Feelings

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the negative effects of either depression or obesity, the first step to take is always to seek help. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. This lets someone else know what you’re going through and you’ll feel much better about it after you’ve shared what you feel


Exercise is a great way to both lessen the effect of depression and lose some pounds. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier while also helping you lose some calories that are weighing you down. Start off slow and eventually starting doing more strenuous exercise routines.

Seek Professional Help

If nothing seems to be working then the best way to help you deal with depression, obesity or both is to seek professional help. Professionals can create a treatment plan for you so that you can more easily deal with either problem. It is still up to you to stick to that treatment plan however.

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