Monday, January 05, 2009

How Does Depression Affect Your Weight?
By Dr. Jennifer Baxt, DMFT

When people think of depression, they tend to focus more on how it affects a person mentally. It is true that depression is caused by either a chemical imbalance, a traumatic event or is a condition that is passed down through genetics; however, regardless of the reason why someone has developed depression, it can have an negative impact on a person's physical health. It could be that they have lost interest in caring for their appearance, or lost interest in an activity they would normally enjoy on a regular business. Depression can even affect a person's weight by either gaining or losing weight, depending on whether they have decided to try and self-medicate their depression with food or by ignoring food all together.

It is common for depression to affect a person's weight, more so than most realize. The change in weight has even been caused by some anti-depressants that some depressed people have been prescribed; however, the common result of serious depression appears to be the loss of weight. In this situation, the person has lost interest in food or they feel they don't deserve to eat it. It could be that they are unhappy with their appearance and they feel that they don't deserve to eat anymore because they are already too overweight. It could be that a person feels that they don't deserve the right to live, whether it is because they are being bullied unmercifully by others at school, or a past traumatic event has cost them a loved one who they feel should not have died. The list could go on for all the reasons why a person would lose their appetite. The point is that if this condition is allowed to go on without proper treatment, the individual can develop other conditions, such as anorexia or bulimia, where they will let themselves starve to death.

Weight loss, regardless of the reasons is a serious issue. A person who appears to be depressed, is losing weight and does not appear to have an interest in eating at all, especially as a result of guilt or just loss of interest, needs to consult a therapist or a counselor. An online therapist can help the individual figure out why they are depressed and they can also help the patient deal with their loss of appetite and weight. People who are this depressed often find it easier to get help from an online counselor, especially if they are a teenager who is worried about their personal image. Many people in the past have avoided getting the help they need because they were afraid that others would see them going in to see a therapist or counselor in person. Now, thanks to the internet, online therapy is available. People can contact an online therapist and get the help they need from the comfort of their home and their confidentiality is guaranteed. Online counseling is becoming more popular all the time as more people prefer to use it. Also, many people who have decided to go with online therapy have been successfully treated.

Jennifer Baxt is the owner of which offers a variety of online counseling services. If you would like to know more about Jennifer or any of our online therapists, visit our website.

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