Mental Health & Weight
Friday, July 06, 2018
When you think about mental health, something that seems pretty noticeable is that there are a lot of overweight or obese individuals who suffer from some sort of mental health illness. Obviously, there is a connection.
Mental illness doesn't directly cause obesity, but there are many factors that come into play, making the perfect prescription for obesity. So many of the psychiatric medications cause weight gain.
Depression itself can make it very hard to get out of bed, depletes energy levels, and increases hunger in some cases. All these symptoms can greatly affect someone's weight.
Another thing is abuse. Women & children are probably most affected. They are most likely to make themselves undesirable, unnoticeable. A great way to do this in their minds is to become obese.
And then there's the coping methods used. Food has been used for hundreds of years as a central part of our social system. Holidays, get-togethers, etc. all revolves around food in some form. And many of us have found that eating certain foods create a calming or soothing feeling. We learn to cope with things or gain those positive emotions through food. The carbs, the rich foods.
I grew up in a pretty unhealthy family system. My parents split when I was just 5. My mom's boyfriend molested me and my dad is very passive so he was not supportive. My mom's family were alcoholics or addicted to some form of chemical. It was not all sunshine & rainbows. I began gaining weight after I was molested. Potato chips & soda became my feel-good foods. I didn't drink anything but soda.
Over the years, things were rough and I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar, ptsd, ocd, & generalized anxiety. Now that I'm stable and taking responsibility for my life & my body, I'm sure I'm ready.
It's sad but too many people don't ever get to that point...where they take their lives in their own hands.