American Society of Gastroenterologist and WHO declares Obesity as a disease. As a matter of fact, obesity is the fast growing health issue that has distressed most countries. We think Obesity is only linked to genetic factors. Though there is considerable link to this, it is not fully true. What if you are under constant stress, anxiety and sadness; slowly slipping into even a mild depressed condition? This is where you begin eating more than usual (often referred as binge eating habit). Consequently, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it adds to this problem. Obesity and our mental state are close cousins. As a result, they begin showing stark psychological issues of obesity.
Psychological issues of obesity
The below reasons relate to stress
- Family issues – death of a close relative or friend
- Losing a job
- Work pressure at office
- Any other external factors
All these begin to show in your appearance because you have started binge eating. The reason of binge eating is, during stress the body produces more steroids. The sugar in the food that he consumes increases the endorphin in the brain. This produces a temporary well being or happiness and sleep. So food is a mood elevator giving temporary relief.
As a matter of fact, your obese appearance would add as one more reason to your sadness, anxiety and stress. This induces you to eat more. What a vicious cycle you get into! The mental condition and obesity are two interlinked factors bringing more depression.
Psychological problems of being obese
- low self-esteem
- lack of confidence
- A state of feeling ashamed of oneself
- A manifestation of guilt
- A general mental thinking of not being fit for anything.
- General tendency to avoid social gatherings
- Sleep disturbance
Other Psychological issues of obesity
Child obesity is rather a crucial thing and is often neglected. The fact that they don’t know to express adds to the problems. Especially the peer pressure and the bullying they undergo in their surroundings aggravates the problem.
Furthermore, some studies say that over 50% of obese people have a history of depression which probably went undetected. The biggest issue is the lack of knowledge with the clinicians themselves to diagnose.
The only good news is everything is reversible. This is possible only when you take a psychological counseling. The counseling makes you feel good before you hit any weight loss program or surgery. Remember that it is all about a feeling of having a “Can do” attitude that can make a difference. Take slow steps, do what your physician says, do not expect sudden results and more importantly sustain your efforts.
The simplest, easiest and cheapest way to beat your stress is to exercise.
Dr Maran is an experienced Surgeon in the field of Gastro-enterology. He specializes in Advanced laparoscopic Surgery procedures of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tracts. Dr. Maran is also a leading Bariatric Surgeon in Chennai and has a penchant for addressing problems concerning Obesity.