Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Obesity and mental health issues

Show me an overweight person and I’ll show you someone with mental health issues. People overeat for a number of reasons just as some people starve themselves. Anorexia is the other side of the continuum. Whether I see an obese person or an anorexic person, their physical appearance is a clear indicator of their inner mental health or illness before they’ve even said a word.

Of course, there will always be the exception to the rule but for the majority of overweight people, they will be struggling with self esteem, self confidence, poor problem solving issues and the inability to process intense emotions and stress in an effective healthy way. When I have been overweight now and then, it has been to overeating and this has been because I have used food as an escape. That instant dopamine hit helps me to feel better…temporarily. However, eating when I know I shouldn’t leads to guilt and self critical thoughts and the vicious cycle continues.

Being overweight is a sign to others that there is inner turmoil. In a few instances it is down to health/hormonal issues but for the most part, it means someone is strugging emotionally.

When a person addresses their mental health issues and finds ways to deal with their difficult emotions, they will find it far easier to stick to a healthier eating plan. Of course, this is easier said than done and the amount of will power and discipline a person has also needs to be factored in.

If your eating habits are unhealthy, ask yourself why you turn to food? Is it boredom? Is it a quick dopamine hit to help you feel temporarily better? When your thinking is balanced and your emotions are manageable, you are able to delay instant gratification for long term gains.

Seeing a CBT counsellor is an effective solution to being overweight. Deal with emotional fallout and mental turmoil and the weight will begin to melt away.

Mandy X


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