Depression, Obesity, and Inflammation

I’m going away for a few days to see the eclipse, so if you write, expect a delay in getting an answer. I love eclipses and am really excited. To make it even better, I will be with family (we get along great!) and I will meet an e-friend I feel very close to. It will be a wonderful experience.

8/21 Total solar eclipse: totality visible in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; partially visible in other parts of the United States, Canada, Central America, northern South America, western Europe, and western Africa.
9/4 S Labor Day
9/6 Full Moon
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/20 – 9/21 Midnight Host
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 Michaelmas (?)
10/5 Full Moon
10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/13 Friday the Thirteenth
10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
0/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve/
Important dates in Nazi groups
9/1 Start of WW2
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday
10/16 N Death of Rosenburg
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday

Depression, Obesity, and Inflammation
I subscribe to the email edition of Med Page Today because I’m sorta nerdy when it comes to articles about medicine. I’m also, thanks to a statistics course in grad school, pretty good at critiquing research design and interpretation. And that is fun, especially when I am on the verge of giving up doing something I am not very good at, like learning Cantonese. (Now why would I want to do that? Because learning a new language is supposed to ward off dementia. And why am I worried about dementia? Because I am neurotic. But that is another post.)

Okay, the article that caught my attention is “Obesity and Depression Are Related — But How?: Finding physicians who can address both is a challenge” by Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News August 11, 2017. A lot of doctors have noticed that many depressed people are obese and many obese people are depressed. I could have told them that years ago. Self-esteem goes down as weight goes up, and that is depressing. Being depressed feels awful, so people turn to food to soothe themselves and numb out. And when you are in black depression, you are barely able to do familiar things, like get out of bed in the morning, let alone take on something new and hard like going on a diet. So it is a vicious cycle.

This affects an awful lot of people. People who are obese are 55% more likely to be depressed, and people with depression are 58% more likely to develop obesity, according to “Overweight, Obesity, and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Longitudinal Studies.”

Exactly a year ago, 8/20/2016, I posted about the connection between depression and systemic diseases, including chronic pain. A Danish study showed that people with serious infections (read, a lot of inflammation) were apt to become depressed. My post said, “So…inflammation factors can cross the blood/brain barrier. If my body is inflamed, I get depressed. And if I am depressed, my body becomes inflamed.”

If the authors of the article I am discussing had read up on this, they might have guessed how obesity and depression are related.

The second part of the article discusses how treating depression is assigned to psychiatrists and treating obesity to nurses and dieticians. These professions, of course, don’t communicate.

Of course that is not exactly news. They never have; at best, it’s a quick referral. So there is no treatment that addresses both conditions together. The dietitians assume that you are up for cheerfully counting calories and going to the gym and the psychiatrists don’t consider weight gain when they choose medications. I know; depression meds gave me an extra eighty pounds.

And that leaves it up to us, at least for now. I think our energy would best be directed at how to cope with this double whammy and the double stigma it brings. (It’s a triple or quadruple whammy or more if other chronic inflammatory diseases like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lupus, arthritis, etc. etc. are factored in.)

I don’t mean to be a downer. We can do that, and we are the best people to do it. We’ve shown the value of peer support in all kinds of other situations: PTSD, grief, having a hard time getting a book published, being single mothers who have to work to feed their kids. And, I am proud to say, healing from ritual abuse.

I think that what we need is a message board that accepts a large number of people with a wide range of weight and varying length and severity of depression. Then we could support each other emotionally; grieve the unfairness, rant at society’s rejection of us and at the lack of resources in the health care system, cheer each other on, and laugh together. We could share what has and has not worked for us. Knowing that so many share our struggle would make us feel less like losers and freaks.

And, just maybe, some professionals would find the message board and be open to learning from us. Because we, who have the condition, are the experts and have so much knowledge to share.

Does such a board already exist? I hope so, for I would join in a minute. If not, anybody want to start one? I just can’t – I’m spread too thin as it is, sadly. It’s not all that hard to start, and there would be a lot of people who could help you do it. I could coach you, but I can’t actually do it myself.

Any takers?





11 thoughts on “Depression, Obesity, and Inflammation

  1. Yes I was going to mention the brain gut axis and probiotics as well! Good strong probiotics like GT’s kombucha or bubbie’s sauerkraut help improve my mood, lethargy, immune taxation and decrease sugar cravings too.

    Also the food that the average person eats is not high quality, dead and filled with non-food preservative garbage. Then there are the GMOs. I turned my roommate on to Indian food not too long ago and today she said she was craving Indian food. Well she’s been dealing with a lot of pain. Guess what? Indian food has healing curcuminoids in it that fight inflammation. Her body is learning to eat differently. She’s the type that typically craved fast food in the past and now we’re re-learning how to eat healthy.

    I really like stinastint’s comment about learning to love our bodies as well. Celebrate who you are!

    Jean I’m pretty computer savvy and just learning instagram too. I think that the people who follow you will see your pictures in their home feed, but i don’t think you can post on other people’s profiles. Oh I just read stinastint’s comment about the @ username and just learned that for myself! Twitter operates that way as well. I could expand more on that some other time, lol!

    The only way I can get a profile link (fixed address) is through a web browser, not through the app. I think that your profile name becomes part of the link at the top of the web browser. Here’s mine:

    You’ll get it. It just takes time to learn. I’m a geek and I’m still learning about instagram. ::grins::

    Also if someone wanted to start a board, I would be willing to help out. I have set up forums like PHPBB and the like years ago. Need a geek? :p That may be too old school though. It would be nice to have something that’s private. I don’t spend a lot of time on facebook, and know of a couple of survivors that don’t do facebook either. So idk. Just tossing up ideas.


    1. comments on top to bottom issues.

      I think I have heard of gelatin. I find kombucha and sauerkraut really difficult to drink/eat becasue of the taste.

      I eat mostly fresh stuff, organic when I can find it. Can’t tell if it is GMO from the label but I think it’s less likely if it is organic. I do like Greek yoghurt but each thing has different probiotics. Basically I try and I think I do pretty well. I have shed a ton of weight not eating sugar or refined grains and miss those yummy things a lot less than I used to.

      Let’s try a private email group first. I use becasue it is big on privacy and easy to set up. I’ve had both survivor and therapist support groups.


  2. I recently learned via a quick overview of brain science that serotonin (the happy hormone) originates in the gut. So that’s why eating makes us feel so good. And that’s one reason we turn to food to feel better about any and everything. Fascinating. Made me think about a possible correlation between leaky gut and depression and obesity.


    1. Really? I didn’t know that. My thoughts went to antibiotics, especially the broad spectrum ones which wipe out so many bacteria and change the ratio of different strains.

      I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of the chemicals that we are constantly exposed to were a factor in obesity. Years ago I read an article about mice in Jackson Labs which were fed the same amount of the same mouse food and given the same amount of exercise generation after generation. Guess what? The mice became progressively fatter.


  3. I dont know if you have heard about this fairly new but very big movement online they call body positivity? The basic idea is a celebration of all bodies, an acceptance that every body is worthy of love and life. You know the knee jerk reaction so many people get when they for instance see a big bodied person having fun, enjoying a good meal, resting in shade or simply just being? There’s usually two reactions from what I see in social media: 1, people feel the need to point out all the dangers over being overweight, often combined with suggestions to how the person should lose weight (they call this “concern trolling” on social media) and 2, people react with anger, outrage and repulsion. This comes out in mean words, putting the person down, making fun of them trying to just live their life and often tells them person to not post anymore pictures of themselves. Ive even seen a combination on both reactions in comments to bigger people exercising, working out, eating healthy etc, which tells me it is about fat phobia or internalized hatred of fat and not genuine concern.
    So any way, over to the positive again! This movement is a reaction to all this, calling for an end to hunting season on big people, reclaiming the word “fat” as a word simply used to describe, not to grade or degrade bodies. (Like when people say “I am fat and beautiful” instead of “I am fat BUT beautiful) It is also debunking the myth that fat MUST mean unhealthy, since that is not the case.
    I don’t know if you’re on instagram, but this movement is huge on there and it has helped me a lot. Some people (mostly thin people) want to turn it into something bad, saying it’s about promoting obesity and unhealthy living, but I strongly agree. A fat person documenting their life should be allowed like it is for thin people. A fat person having fun or loving themselves (or even food. Even unhealthy food!) does not mean people in this fat hating, thin celebrating world will all of a sudden all turn fat. It doesn’t work that way, like your blog post here suggests as well. Why some become big/fat/obese is a complex thing. Its not going to become “trendy” like some of those concern trolls like to think.
    I just wanted to comment about this because all though the stigma of weight still is incredibly strong in our society, there are a lot of brave souls challenging that stigma and it seems their hard and emotionally risky work is starting to pay off. I know it’s not exactly what you’re talking about but it’s still a beautiful thing and I can highly recommend the hashtag bodypositivity if you want to feel hope of this part of the stigma ever getting easier.
    Much love to you and I hope you have lots of fun with the eclipse and loved ones


    1. Yes, I have heard of body positivity and I think it is a great idea. I like seeing models that look like regular people in all sizes and shapes. And if people don’t know that giving (probably well-meant) advice or shaming people is counter-productive, it’s time they learned.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the hashtag. I want to get on Instagram because I want to follow a couple of people but have no idea how Instagram works. Same with Twitter. Facebook is more like email– people have a fixed address. I can get that through my head, but can’t figure out the details, like how to get to my real page, not just my admin page.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Instagram is pretty easy, you’ll figure it our quite quickly. Its a lot like Facebook, everyone has their own page and you have a news feed like on Facebook.
        Twitter I dont get either! Very confusing.


        1. Thanks! Not totally reassuring, as I can’t manage Facebook — posting a post sometimes takes days to figure out. But I will give it a try.

          If I want to post a pic on somebody’s site, do I send it using their hashtag?


          Liked by 1 person

          1. No, you write @ and their username if you want to tag them in a picture.
            Hashtags are more theme based, and collects all pictures with the same hashtag. So you can search #bodypositivity and get an overview of all pictures with that hashtag. You can also add hashtags when you upload a picture, and it gets collected with others with the same hashtag. Its pretty cool.


    2. In reply to stinastint.

      Yes, I have heard of body positivity and I think it is a great idea. I like seeing models that look like regular people in all sizes and shapes. And if people don’t know that giving (probably well-meant) advice or shaming people is counter-productive, it’s time they learned.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the hashtag. I want to get on Instagram because I want to follow a couple of people but have no idea how Instagram works. Same with Twitter. Facebook is more like email– people have a fixed address. I can get that through my head, but can’t figure out the details, like how to get to my real page, not just my admin page.


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