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The Psychological Side of Weight Problems No One Talks About

Obesity is a significant health problem that affects your body in various ways, including taking a toll on your psychological health. Many people don't want to discuss how weight issues impact their confidence, especially when it leads to issues like depression and anxiety.

The good news is that help is available for mental health problems and weight issues, including medications, therapy, and medical weight loss programs.

Dr. Lori Scott is an aesthetics and addiction specialist who helps patients make lasting changes to lose weight and optimize their health, including their mental health. Dr. Scott addresses all of the issues weight problems cause to boost your confidence and help you feel happy in your body and mind.

The psychological effects of obesity

Many people are living with obesity and weight problems. Still, not many people address the effects that being overweight can have on mental health. Struggling to lose extra pounds doesn’t just affect your physical well-being; the truth is that weight problems can have a significant psychological impact.

Excess body fat and poor eating habits raise the inflammatory process in the body, affecting the immune system and increasing the risk for mental health issues. Some of the less-talked-about psychological issues related to obesity include:

Body image problems

Excess weight takes a toll on your mental health by making you feel self-conscious about your body and negatively distorting body image. Anxiety may also stem from the thought of being judged by others because of excess weight and body image issues.

Weight discrimination

Society places a definite stigma on people who are overweight — the stereotype that overweight people are lazy and not physically attractive can lead to discrimination and shaming. These stigmas take a toll on people's psychological health, leading to depression and anxiety about their appearance.

Poor quality of life

Excess weight makes it difficult to do the things you love, either because of your size or because of chronic health conditions. When you're unable to enjoy your regular activities, your mental health suffers, leading to isolation, depression, and chronic pain.

Mental health issues can exacerbate weight problems

Mental health problems, especially those that go untreated, can lead to weight gain or make it more difficult to lose weight. For example, living with issues like depression and anxiety may lead to using food as a coping mechanism, and overeating when you’re feeling down or stressed leads to weight gain over time.

Some medications to control depression can also cause weight gain, so it can be a vicious cycle.

People living with a serotonin deficiency from depression or anxiety also suffer from sleep deprivation and a low mood. These issues can also cause the body to crave carbohydrates, leading to weight problems.

Mental health issues also cause chronic fatigue and tiredness, which makes it challenging to get enough exercise to maintain or lose weight.

All of these issues contribute to weight gain, especially if you're living with a mental health problem.

Tips to help control your weight and calm your mind

Sometimes, the key to controlling the psychological issues related to obesity is to lose weight and boost your confidence. Changing your diet to include more whole foods and managing your portion sizes helps many people shed weight.

Exercise is another crucial aspect of weight loss. It also helps boost your mood when you're living with depression or anxiety.

Getting support from friends and loved ones as well as from health professionals also helps you lose weight and allows you to stay on track with your physical goals as well as your mental health.

If you need help, a great first step is reaching out to Dr. Scott. Medically supervised weight loss programs also take into account the psychological effects that being overweight have on your mental health. Dr. Scott helps you assess your feelings about excess weight and may refer you to a specialist if necessary.

If you need help losing weight to ease psychological and physical symptoms, call Lori Scott Family Care today at 252-513-1749 or request a consultation online.

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