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Old 06-28-2009, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Chatsworth, So. Calif.
7 posts, read 7,553 times
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Default Emotions and Overeating

Hello out there,

There are people who tend to over eat when they are emotionaly upset. Maybe even out of bordom. There can be several factor`s for weight gain. Low Thyroid can can weight gain. Quite a few Perscription Drug`s can cause weight gain. Depression is another major cause. I would class that under emotional problem`s, etc. It is also common for people who have been molested to become over weight. A doctor once told me that. He was a Specialist. Certain Cancer treatments cause weight gain too.
In our country, food is plentiful and can be purchased just about everywhere ! That goes for snacks too. TV Food Commercials and Cooking Show`s are everywhere you look. Since our emotion`s are part of who we are. The Physical side is connected to our Mental side. There`s still alot Science and medicine still don`t know about the Human Body and Brain. I believe in most cases theres`more than just one reason why people become Obese. Just speaking from personal experience and people I`ve known with weight problem`s.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:18 AM
 
1,355 posts, read 1,224,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBeez View Post
Im thinking that it HAS to be some mental imbalance that makes people choose to continue to drink sodas, continue to eat fried foods, continue to eat sugars and fats when they know, THEY KNOW that they are further ruining their health. When I wanted to get in better health, I just stopped drinking soda. I just stopped and havent had a sip of one in months. Why? Because I value my health and want to be around to see my kid(s) grow up.
Okay. I'm going to give a somewhat different response

Obesity, by default, is a value-ladened topic. I mention this because a typical discussion of this topic always elicits a polarity of emotions -- and values. DaBeez, in my opinion, a lot your posts in this thread do not point to obesity being a mental illness, as much as they point to your values about obesity and the choices that people make about the foods they eat. This, I believe, is an important distinction.

The above quote illustrates what I mean. One must be "mentally imbalanced" if s/he chooses to consume soda, to consume fried foods, and/ or to consume sugars and fatty foods? This statement requires some critical reflection. Does this statement necessarily point to a mental illness? How value-ladened is this statement?

We live in the U.S., where people love to exercise their choices. It's a freedom that most people value. So, if one person chooses to drink soda and another person chooses not, then they both should be fine. After all, they both would be exercising their free choice, and there should be no expectation that their choices would lead down the same path. Again, that is the beauty of having choices. To label one of those choices a mental illness seems too far-reaching -- and yes, too value-ladened.

The bio-psychosocial causes of obesity are complex and multivariate. Health conditions play a role; the media plays a role; socialization plays a role; our need for convenience plays a role; our ability to exercise our own choice plays a role -- and for some, mental illness plays a role. I mentioned the last point because it is true that obesity is a sign of a mental illness for some people. However, I strongly believe that for most people obesity is not at all a mental illness. Definitely, it is a series of choices that they make that lead them to obesity. However, I think one errs in thinking that these choices, in and of themselves, are synomous to mental illness.

Just because a person believes that everyone should eat healthy doesn't mean that if a person doesn't eat healthy they are exhibiting a mental illness. It just simply could be that they value different things. We should always refrain from labeling things that are different from us as a mental illness. When I think of mental illness, I think of a deviation from the norm, and something that is so debilitating that it interferes with daily functioning. Consuming sodas, sugars, fried foods, and other fatty foods are not deviations from the norm, nor do they, in most cases, intefere with daily functioning.

After critically reflecting on this topic, I am left with a few questions. 1) When we talk about obesity, how are we defining it? Is it someone that's 20lbs overweight? 50lbs? 100lbs? etc? 2) If we are talking about the consumption of sugars, sodas, and fatty foods, then we know that some very thin people can eat very poorly. We also know that some average-size people that exercise religiously also eat poorly. Do they also exhibit this mental illness because of the choices of foods they consume? If not, why? 3) Following from the second question, if thin people can have this mental illness, then should this really be a discussion about obesity? 4) Finally, if this form of mental illness is related to the choices of foods one eats, then how does one measure it? Specifically, is drinking one soda a sign of this mental illness? Is drinking one soda daily a sign of this mental illness? Two sodas daily? How exactly does it get measured?

I guess I'm just confused with this whole topic.

Last edited by davey123; 06-28-2009 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:11 PM
 
947 posts, read 2,033,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBeez View Post
I am beginning to believe that obesity IS as much of a mental illness/disease as it is a physical illness/disease. I compare it to alcoholism or drug addiction where people who suffer from it KNOW that its killing them, but they seem to either refuse to do anything about it, or they are simply just unable to do anything. Many (unlike alcoholics or drug addicts) simply dont even try and say "well, these are the cards I was dealt" or something similar.

All too often, when working with students/clients who are obese (and even talking to those here on CD) a common theme is that they dont want to, or simply cannot give up or change their eating habits. Tell them what they need to do and its always "Oh, can I still drink my diet cokes?", "I just love doughnuts" or "Its too hard to eat right". They just cant seem to get conscious control over their stomachs and taste buds even though they KNOW THEY ARE KILLING THEMSELVES.

Recommend an exercise program and they refuse or say "I cant do that", "Its too hard", "I dont have time", or they just opt for whatever is the easiest thing to do. Or worse yet, they opt for HCG shots and 500 calorie diets, "master cleanse" coffee colonics and fasting, gastric surgery, or any other number of DANGEROUS AND EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY methods to lose weight. They seem to ignore the medically and scientifically proven fact that YOUR BODY NEEDS PROPER NUTRITION TO RUN EFFICIENTLY. Whereas, you need to eat the right foods in the proper amounts to both maintain proper functioning of the bodys internal organs, and proper weight (loss). But instead, they opt for drinking lemon water, eating one meal per day and hope to lose weight.

I think the cause of the disconnect in knowing what needs to be done, but not doing it, or even trying to do it, is some form of mental disconnect/illness that prevents them from doing the right thing. Even though they may say "I try", "I want to do the right thing" or any other excuse, the bottom line is that they dont or worse yet, say "I just gave up".
Some people get addicted to food. Just like some people get addicted to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol. Fat, sugar, salt triggers the happy receptors in the brain and they keep eating to get that warm, happy feeling.

Just like some people are powerless over alcohol, drugs, cigs and have to give up to a higher power and quit altogether. A food addict can't stop eating food. It's needed to live. Some food addicts need serious support, experts to change the way they think and react to food. A nutritionist to come in and teach them about food. I don't know if all obese people have that resource.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,503 posts, read 13,733,421 times
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The people I know who have weight problems eat too much of the wrong foods and don't exercise enough. It doesn't seem anymore complicated than that.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 4,872,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose Red View Post
Some people get addicted to food. . A food addict can't stop eating food. It's needed to live.

That's me. 27 years and I haven't kicked the food habit yet.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:15 AM
 
1,355 posts, read 1,224,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose Red View Post
A food addict can't stop eating food. It's needed to live.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Rhino View Post
That's me. 27 years and I haven't kicked the food habit yet.
El Rhino, I guess I'm one too
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:31 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 8,991,875 times
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I often see underlying depression in the overweight as well.

Curious....does the depression cause weight gain? Or does gaining weight make one depressed? My guess it that it sort of becomes a vicious cycle.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,166 posts, read 30,860,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
Curious....does the depression cause weight gain? Or does gaining weight make one depressed? My guess it that it sort of becomes a vicious cycle.
Food as self-medication. The food comforts you -- momentarily. Then more food must be eaten to sustain that feeling. And so the addiction begins.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:40 AM
 
985 posts, read 1,708,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Food as self-medication. The food comforts you -- momentarily. Then more food must be eaten to sustain that feeling. And so the addiction begins.
Ditto. I think the depression is generally first, as well. I think this is part of the reason why obesity is so prevalent in poor people, too. They feel powerless over their lot in life, and get depressed. Then use food to comfort themselves because junk food is cheap and readily available... it's one of the few luxuries they can afford.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: here.
1,359 posts, read 1,413,148 times
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its all mental, to start 2009 i was at 302lbs and right now i am at 218...just had it one day and decided that who i was on that day is not who i am and wanted to be...also did it the natural way...i eat about 1500cals a day...dont take any pills or anything...just worked hard at the gym every single day.
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