One in 10 Americans deals with depression each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC also states that the United States is home to more than 70 million obese people.
But how many of these Americans have both conditions ─ depression AND obesity?
The Link Between Obesity and Depression
There’s no question that obesity and depression are linked. But does depression cause obesity, or does obesity prompt depression? Studies have shown that the two tend to feed off each other in a dangerous and self-destructive spiral.
If You’re Overweight, Your Mindset Can Feed Depression
Obese people are 25% more likely to experience a mood disorder, such as depression, when compared with those who are not obese.
Obesity can cause these common feeders of depression:
- Poor self-image
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
Plus, Obesity-Related Health Problems Can Cause Depression
In addition, excess weight can result in chronic joint pain, as well as serious diseases, like diabetes and hypertension. Unfortunately, these are also diseases known for breeding depression.
People experiencing depression are less likely to care about their health (eating right and exercising) or physical appearance (they are already socially isolated, minimizing this concern). As a result, becoming obese is almost effortless.
From a hormonal perspective, they also exhibit decreased levels of the hormone serotonin and may physiologically eat in an attempt to self-medicate and restore their serotonin levels to normal.
Feeling Better — Both Mentally and Physically
Successfully treating depression with counseling or medication can be faster and easier than overcoming substantial obesity (also called “morbid obesity” — when someone is more than 100 pounds overweight).
Studies show that morbidly obese people who underwent bariatric surgery for their obesity would often shed their depression as they shed pounds.
As a New Jersey bariatric surgeon and an expert on obesity issues here in the Garden State, I have seen firsthand the significant improvement in mental outlook by patients who have lost substantial weight through several means, including:
- Gastric Sleeve
- Gastric Bypass
- Lap-Band (Gastric Banding)
- Plus, other non-surgical weight loss strategies
If you’re dealing with both depression and obesity, rest assured that help is only a phone call or mouse-click away. There are several treatment avenues just waiting to help you get back to enjoying your life, your family and the world around you.
The best place to start is by making a phone call to your family doctor and getting an appointment immediately to discuss your condition. If you’re in New Jersey, you’re also welcome to contact my office at (732)-982-2002.
Depression and obesity are chronic diseases, just like diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. There are a variety of superb medical treatments available today which can help you.
It’s time to take action. Today.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
“Dr. Seun” is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.