4 Common Factors of Depression and Weight Gain

Deression and weight gain

One thing that people with depression find is that they might gain weight because of their condition. This can often result in lower self esteem, which only compounds depression. As depression gets worse, the person will continue to gain weight. Then, they get more depressed because of the weight gain. That’s why its important to combat the problem before it turns into a cycle.

There are many different reasons for sudden weight gain as part of depression. Some common factors include;

  • Lack of activity
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Slower metabolism
  • Medications

The lack of activity is obvious. People who suffer from depression tend to stay inside and avoid recreational activities that will help them burn calories. They might sleep more, but less deeply, resulting in a constant feeling of lethargy.

Poor sleep habits are another culprit. When someone is tired all the time, they won’t have the desire to participate in something more than sedentary activities. As sleep becomes disrupted, the person will feel more and more listless, making it nearly impossible for them to reverse what is already happening.

Another common culprit is slower natural metabolism. Everyone has a metabolism, which determines how many calories their body needs to simply perform all its daily functions. Someone with depression will often be suffering from a depressed system as well, likely causing weight gain.

Finally, medication is a common culprit of weight gain. Certain meds might boost someone’s appetite resulting in the individual eating more. If that person doesn’t adjust their activities to compensate for these new calories, weight gain will become likely.

One of the easiest ways to help combat this is regular exercise. Walks outside or trips to the gym help on multiple levels. They keep the weight gain under control, boost feel good endorphins and help a person be more social. By keeping up your heart rate and avoiding isolation, it’s much easier to avoid unwanted weight gain due to depression.

For some individuals, a slower thyroid might be to blame. In this case, it’s often best to get a change of medication, as there are many medications that can help boost thyroid production. In this case, a person would need the medication, as well as a strictly controlled diet to see the maximum benefits.

The benefits of regular physical activity can’t be underestimated for people with depression. Even a short walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work can help. Avoiding isolation will also have social benefits that will help you feel more comfortable and improve your self esteem.

Any activity that gets you moving will help with weight gain and depression at the same time. If you’ve packed on a few pounds because of your depression, don’t berate yourself and make a small problem worse. Instead, talk to your doctor about changing your diet and starting an exercise program.

Einstein and his therapist – A Picture Worth 1000 words

Albert Einstein and his Therapist

They say depression and intelligence go hand in hand, well this is Einstein and his therapist.
This picture speaks volumes to me.  A man that can be so smart, so ahead of his time, shown struggling with finding happiness within just like you and I.

Not to mention he looks like a cuddly Grand father.

I was able to find the color version.  This photo was in LIFE magazine.  I guess I didn’t realize that Einstein only died in the 1950’s.

This picture makes me sad and brings me hope all at the same time.

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4 Common Issues Misdiagnosed as Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks Mis Diagnosed

It might seem surprising, but often times panic attacks are simply a symptom of another medical condition. While they do occur by themselves, in many cases, they accompany other mental illnesses or even life-threatening medical conditions. That’s why it’s important to get checked out to rule out other conditions like;

Coronary artery disease – In one study completed, nearly 44% of emergency room patients who were suffering from panic attacks had a history of coronary artery disease. This is likely due to the fact that chest pain from anxiety is often confused as a heart attack by many patients. In addition, medical conditions like Angina, where the heartbeat becomes irregular, can make a person feel like they’re having a panic attack when they’re really having heat palpitations. In most cases, before diagnosing a panic disorder, doctors will rule out other conditions to do with heart and respiratory problems.

Social Phobias – Another common misdiagnosis for panic disorder is social phobia. Social phobia is a disorder that is much like anxiety, but only occurs in social situations. When misdiagnosed, the person might find themselves over-medicated. Social phobia is usually only treated when someone is going to an event, while many people with generalized anxiety are medicated all the time.

indexSchizophrenia/Bipolar Disorder – These two are serious conditions that often require lifelong treatment, but are often misdiagnosed all the way to adulthood. This is because these conditions usually don’t start or get severe until someone is in their early thirties. With these conditions, a person will often not see significant improvement with anxiety and panic medications because those meds do not treat the right chemical imbalance.

Adult ADHD – Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms are similar. Despite that, the treatments are polar opposites. A person with ADHD will be given stimulants to stem their issues with concentration. People with panic disorders will be given depressants to calm their system. When misdiagnosed, someone with Adult ADHD will often get worse as they are getting the exact opposite of the treatment they need.

People who have panic disorders are generally treated with anti-anxiety meds, and these meds do not work for all conditions. In order to best determine if you’re accurately diagnosed, you should keep track of your symptoms, while being as specific as possible. When considering these symptoms, you should note the time, the environment, exactly what you felt and any physical symptoms as well. This will help your doctor to determine your exact diagnosis, to be sure that you get the right treatment for your condition.

It never hurts to ask for a second opinion as well, as two heads are better than one. Getting the right diagnosis is imperative for getting the right treatment.