On obesity/excess weight and mental health

I am a peer counselor at my university and the more I read, the more I realize that mental illness is an epidemic in our society. But when someone gains weight we cringe rather than ask them how they're doing; when someone loses weight we fawn and assume they're doing something incredible for themselves. But you can't decouple weight from mental health, and addressing the symptom of excess weight without addressing the underlying mental health issues is deeply traumatic.

I'm a hypocrite for saying this because I resist going to therapy so hard; but if you, like me, struggle with the emotional/mental aspect of weight gain/loss, PLEASE seek professional help and not only advice from strangers on this forum.



  • TnZMom
    TnZMom Posts: 222 Member
    So true. People can't just think themselves out of major psychiatric illnesses. See a doctor, meet a therapist, and follow their advice. Don't blame yourself if you aren't happy all the time.
  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
    edited July 2018
    Obesity is related to mental health of the general population. There's no diet on the face of the earth that will fix that.


    Pain is the precursor to change. We only bounce up against the mental aspect of obesity with a glancing blow or ignore it altogether. Gutting it out may only last for a few days or weeks. If you've been struggling with obesity all of the days of your life, a diet won't fix it. Sit down with someone. Face-to-Face. Look them directly in the eye and reach out for help. There's no substitute for actual connection with others that can fix it. Social media cannot repair a broken relationship with food that's been in place for decades.
  • RelCanonical
    RelCanonical Posts: 3,882 Member
    My eating became better naturally when my mental health became better (through professional individual therapy). I had to learn to cope with stress in ways that weren't eating, and also learn how to not let things stress me out so I didn't have to find other ways to cope - I could just continue living. It hasn't been cheap, but there is so much value I've gained from my appointments that I never regret swiping my credit card.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    Yes I think that people who have mental health issues should seek professional health if at all possible. I would be really careful, however, about ascribing the weight related issues of the majority of people to their mental health issues. My depression has been around for much longer than my being over weight (at the very least a decade longer) and my coping mechanisms (or lack there of) aren't food or exercise related.