The Center for Disease Control (2002) has called obesity a “public health epidemic,” with more than 60% of America’s population currently overweight. Today, obesity has been found to outrank both smoking and drinking as a factor contributing negatively both to the quality and the cost of individuals’ health and life satisfaction.
In many cases, obesity is closely related to depression, often resulting in a frustrating, self-perpetuating “vicious cycle.” Studies have suggested that cultural beliefs about obesity may lead to discrimination, prejudice, self-stigmatization, and poor relationships. These negative social influences can then in turn contribute to the causes of depression in obese persons.
People suffering from depression often have symptoms of apathy and a general lack of motivation, which are not compatible with ideal self-care. Depressed individuals often have an unsatisfactory diet and poor nutritional habits. These habits can lead to an increase in weight, decrease in hygiene, and decrease in overall mood. Given the strong relationship between depression and obesity, it is often necessary to treat both of these issues simultaneously.
It is possible for recovery! The first step is to find a counseling specialist to help steer individuals toward healthy, reasonable fitness goals, then help them to address various emotional obstacles that stand in the way of achieving those goals. Many health and fitness related issues both trigger, and are triggered by, anxiety and depression so it’s important to find a therapist would can aid in simultaneously addressing both physical and psychological issues.