The obesity/depression cycle has been described as a “chicken-and-the-egg” type situation. No one really knows which condition leads to the other. The only thing researchers have discovered is that there is a link and that one condition feeds off the other. The only way to stop the cycle is to interrupt the pattern.
The Facts about Depression
Depression affects over more than 15 million Americans. The sad thing is that many people do not know it. “Depression affects people of all ages…It can strike anyone…and can affect a person’s life in so many ways…In the United States alone, around 10% of the country’s total population of age 18 years and older develop depressive symptoms…” (emphasis added) (www.depressionstatistics.org)
Approximately one in 33 children suffers from clinical depression, usually as a result of overexposure to a stressful environment. Depression diagnoses are higher amongst women, almost twice as much as men, and married women (especially those who have just given birth) are diagnosed more frequently than single women.
Men do experience depression, usually as a result of loss of employment or prolonged unemployment, forced retirement, divorce or separation from close family members. Men are more likely to commit suicide; in fact, suicide rates among men are three times higher than in women. Men also tend to develop some form of cardiovascular disease after their depression diagnosis.
Seniors also have high rates of suicide where depression is involved, and treatment for depression in seniors can cost more than 50 percent more than that for adults and children. Depression is also common in people who care for the elderly.
Depression is more than being glum or having “the blues”. “It is thought to be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals.” (www.1on1health.com) It is not something that a person can just “snap out of” or “get over”. It actually requires psychological and sometimes medical treatment. People with depression struggle with what feels like a “black curtain of despair”.