Depression can have many causes, and one of those contributing factors may be being overweight or obese. When a person acquires any of the major illnesses associated with being overweight, they may become overanxious and depressed because of their change in health. A person living in a poorly functioning body may have sentiments of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, and sadness. While in many cases depression can be treated by a mental health professional, lifestyle changes, and/or medication, it is better to try and limit the start of depression as much as possible.
Persons who feel constantly overwhelmed, lack sufficient sleep, and maybe even suffer from sleep apnea related to obesity, are at higher risk of developing more
severe depression symptoms. Other contributing factors to depression may include major stressful events, a debilitating illness, or a psychiatric disorder such as borderline personality disorder. (10)
If you feel symptoms such as restlessness, worthlessness, sadness, or worry excessively, seek advice from your healthcare professional. They will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and provide you with some treatment options. Some types of depression can be dealt with by increasing one’s coping mechanisms. For a suggested list, see the section in the book on WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS, under STEP 5.
Studies have shown a significant benefit between exercise and a sense of well being, with lower rates of depression and anxiety. This is because people who exercise regularly sleep better at night and usually have a higher overall pain tolerance.
When you exercise, your body releases natural endorphins from areas like the nervous system. These endorphins are opiate like neurotransmitters and act like
morphine in your body, although they are not addictive, and cause you to feel less pain and more energized. (17)
When a person is depressed they may feel the desire to skip exercise. But this can exacerbate symptoms, as exercise tends to relieve you from feelings of depression.
Depressed people often seek junk food as a comfort, which can make things worse. Junk food is just that, “junk:” high sugar content and little to no nutritional value. They may feel better for a short period of time, but the sugar high wears off quickly and they are left with feeling down and groggy.
Focusing on the positive often helps to limit feelings of helplessness and depression. Be grateful for the things you have, and realize that bad days don’t last forever.
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