According to recent statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who suffer from obesity, have a 20% greater chance of developing depression. Numerous debates have occurred within the medical and psychological fields about which of the two ailments causes the other, but most experts agree the two are closely related. Most of us know someone who is suffering from depression, though the signs and symptoms may not be as obvious as obesity. Many of the people who suffer from these two crippling illnesses are the victims of genetics, while others suffer from mental illness and unhealthy habits. Whatever the cause, obesity and depression are serious illnesses and anyone suffering from them needs a lot of support from those closest to them.
Finding support for obesity
The Obesity Action Coalition suggests anyone suffering from obesity find a local support group. By finding a support group, the person is able to interact with others who are suffering from the same thing. While meeting people who can relate to your struggles, you also meet many people who have triumphed in their fight against obesity. Family members and friends also play a big role in helping a person overcome obesity. Encouraging words and consistently challenging a loved one battling obesity, by holding them accountable in their eating and living habits, have proven to be effective methods of helping. People who use cruel words and jokes do more harm than good, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. While many people suffering from obesity do benefit from tough love in certain circumstances, experts say constantly attacking them with cruel words and jokes will only raise their anger, or push them deeper into depression. Tough love simply means holding them accountable and challenging them, rather than name calling and using harmful words.
Finding support for depression
Individuals suffering from depression also need strong support to overcome their illness. A recent study conducted by the World Health Organization found depression to be the number one cause of disability in the United States. Depression is often genetic, with family history of mental illness being a common denominator for those suffering from it. Many people suffering from depression are misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. Depression affects the mood and the eating and sleeping habits of those who suffer from it. Depression linked to obesity produces signs including changes in appetite, sadness, loss of interest in numerous things, anger, fatigue, and changes in sleep patterns. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers online support groups, and connections to local support groups in every state. Experts suggest anyone who thinks they or a loved one is suffering from depression seek medical attention to get a true diagnosis. While having support is a positive part of overcoming depression, medication is often prescribed by a doctor.
While obesity and depression are both on the rise in the United States, both are treatable with the right approach. If you or someone you love is suffering from either illness, help is available, and many people are overcoming both obesity and depression. No matter what the cause of someone’s obesity or depression, a strong support system and people around them to keep them encouraged goes a long way in helping them defeat both illnesses.