Suffering from a mental health issue, weather an eating disorder, depression, OCD, or one of the many other diseases, is hard enough on an individual. Their mind, thoughts, feelings, and general demeanor are negatively affected by their disease. These individuals find it hard to keep relationships, hold down a job, and sometimes perform daily tasks.
Mental health is commonly associated with many other negative attributes. For example, mental illness can often lead to physical harm, rage, and even suicide. Another effect of mental illness that most people don’t realize is weight gain.
Many individuals suffering from a mental illness have experienced weight gain, so what is the relationship between mental illness and weight gain?
The mental illness itself could be the reason for weight gain
Certain mental illnesses will change the behaviors of those it affects, and this change in behavior could result in overconsumption of calories. For example, someone suffering from depression may try to combat his or her negative thoughts and feelings by overeating. Eating too much will result in an overconsumption of calories, and this could lead to weight gain.
Suffering from alcoholism can also have a negative influence on your weight. Alcoholic drinks contain calories, and some contain a large number of calories. Individuals suffering from alcoholism could find themselves drinking so much that they end up gaining weight.
Other mental illnesses, such as OCD, could also have an impact on an individual’s weight gain. For example, someone suffering from OCD could be compelled to overeat, causing the gain in weight.
Mental illness and a lack of exercise could lead to weight gain
When mental illness includes depression, the individual suffering from the mental illness could find themselves unable to get out of bed, too tired to move, or simply not wanting to do any type of physical activity. Due to the lack of exercise, these individuals may find themselves gaining weight, as their body has no way of working off any calories.
Studies have also found that people who don’t get enough sleep or those who suffer from anxiety are also at a higher risk of weight gain, as their bodies aren’t regulated enough to maintain a healthy weight.
Medication can lead to weight gain
Individuals suffering from a mental illness may be placed on medication to help them cope with or treat the illness. Like most medicines, common mental health medications such as antidepressants, often come with side effects that include weight gain.
Gaining weight while suffering from a mental illness can often lead to an increase in the individual’s mental disease. For example, an individual suffering from anxiety may start to become depressed if they gain weight, and this can become a serious problem. If you or someone you love are suffering from mental illness, please seek help by contacting your healthcare provider or a mental health treatment facility such as Bridges to Recovery.