AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Depression and obesity are two problems that often exist within the same plane of adult ailments. In the United States, more than 14 million people suffer with depression, and approximately 109 million people are obese. Recent studies have concluded that a high percentage of people who suffer from depression become obese, and a large number of obese people become depressed during some stage. Based on those statements, it is fair to conclude that resolving one problem can help to resolve the other problem. Some notable studies have pinpointed that depression treatment aids in decreasing the risk of obesity.

How Depression Leads to Obesity

Many factors such as mental illness and trauma can cause depression. When a person has a bout of depression, he or she is more likely to eat as a way of balancing the mood. Foods such as chocolates and carbohydrates can shift brain chemicals such as serotonin and cause a temporary lift of spirits. However, when the temporary chemical shift ends, the person then transitions into a vicious cycle of overeating to placate recurring depression symptoms. The result is an increase in overall body fat, which can lead to further depression. The best cure system for this harmful situation is treating the depression first.

Reducing the Risk of Obesity by Treating Depression

Depression has several courses of treatments that can help to reduce the risk of developing obesity. The most common treatment for depression is a medical treatment. Antidepressants such as Paxil(Paroxetine Hydrochloride), Celexa, Zoloft (Sertraline) and Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride) work to balance the serotonin in the brain, so that the person will not sink into a depressive state. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also aid in retraining a depressed person’s thought process and teaching that person to partake in healthy activities.

Studies Involving Depression and Obesity

A 2011 study of 12 participants who had major depressive disorder and obesity issues returned remarkable results. The analysts studied the participants for a total of 16 weeks, and they focused on treating the symptoms of depression. They took regular BMI measurements during the course of treatment. They used cognitive behavioral therapy for depression. At the end of the study, one participant had dropped out of the program, one participant had become pregnant, and a third participant had worse depression symptoms. The other nine participants ended the study with a significant reduction in overall body weight. Additionally, one person who had increased depression symptoms still saw a reduction in overall body weight. Therefore, in this study, treating the depression to reduce obesity was 83 percent effective.
Since depression plays a part in a large majority of obesity cases, treating co-morbid conditions using a strong focus on the depressive aspect is strategic and effective.

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