Managing Depression-Related Eating Habits

How to Recognize and Address Depression-Related Eating Habits.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression, you might be surprised to learn about depression-related eating habits. Depression affects more than just an individual’s mood and general overall sense of well being. Depression surfaces in a number of other ways, including the form of eating disorders.

Depression and Weight Gain

Depression-related eating habits often manifest as a tendency to overeat. Individuals who are suffering from depression are more inclined to eat food in order to feel better, and unfortunately, the food choices are usually high-calorie comfort foods such as ice cream, chocolate cake, and macaroni and cheese. The temporary relief and comfort a depressed person feels from eating certain foods is what contributes to the tendency to overeat. When the relief the food offered has subsided, the depressed individual goes back to eat some more.

The Opposite End of the Spectrum

If you’re familiar with depression, you know it affects every individual differently. While many of the people who suffer from depression overeat, there are some depressed individuals who will not eat at all. While overeating causes weight gain, not eating at all can lead to significant illness and starvation.

Medication-Induced Eating Habits

While depression itself causes depression-related eating habits, medications used to treat the condition also cause changes in eating behavior. Some medications have the undesirable side effect of increased appetite while others create a decrease in appetite. If you’re worried about how a prescription medication might affect a person’s eating habits, it is important to discuss the issue with your psychiatrist.

As The Seasons Change…

We’re heading into the fall and winter months right now. This is a time of year that can actually bring out depression-related overeating. Many people, even those who don’t suffer from depression, have a tendency to consume more calories during the winter months. If you or someone you know suffer from depression, make sure you keep this in mind and pay extra close attention to your eating habits during the months ahead. If you notice an uncontrollable increase in eating habits, discuss it with your doctor.

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