Depression Due to Weight Problems

I am overweight by 35lbs and can't seem to lose the weight. I currently go to a psychologist to help with my depression. I have a history of sexual and emotional abuse as young child. I'm currently entertaining the thought of going on an anti-depressant. I'm aware of what are good eating habits and what are not. I used to love to exercise everyday.

Feeling hopeless and depressed can be an important reason for a woman's difficulties with managing her weight. Eating healthy, low fat food, and exercising are essential to maintaining a healthy weight, but it is difficult for some of us to initiate these things when we are depressed. Weight gain is a common result of depression. A woman might ask herself when she began gaining the weight, or when she stopped enjoying exercise. The weight gain probably coincides with an emotional event, or a raised level of stress. For many women eating can become both a source of comfort, and frustration. It is a way in which we might respond to stress, and a way in which we might literally feed our low sense of self-esteem. It can become a viscous cycle in which a woman feels elf conscious because she is overweight and in turn responds to this feeling by overeating, or by avoiding exercise.

Many women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse also experience depression as adults. Women with a history of sexual abuse have a higher incidence of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, deliberate self-harm, and substance abuse. There has also been some evidence that childhood sexual abuse can contribute to obesity, and other eating disorders. Obesity may be used by some women as a means to protecting themselves sexually; hoping their obesity makes them undesirable, while contributing to an already low self-esteem. For other women, weight gain may be the result of depression that finds its source in childhood sexual abuse. There are many treatment and support options available for women who are survivors of abuse, including psychotherapy, and drug therapy.

For women who are having difficulty managing their weight as a result of depression, they should be aware that many antidepressants lead to weight gain on their own. This is no reason to avoid antidepressants, but it is also one of many good reasons not to use them for weight management. Increased levels of activity and exercise, in combination with an effort to eat well, will have an effect on a woman's' weight as well as her sense of self-confidence, control, and general well being.

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