How Does Obesity Affect Mental Health?

How Does Obesity Affect Mental Health?

Keep in mind that mental health and obesity are complex issues, and as a result, no one approach can adequately address these issues. When obesity and problems with mental health coexist in an individual, they can cause a negative spiral impact on that person.

Each health problem will continually worsen the other, which will only continue the cycle of damage. This makes it impossible to know which condition was present initially, further complicating the problem overall and making it more difficult to find a solution. Let’s read more about their connection and how obesity affects mental health.

How Does Obesity Affect Mental Health?

Multiple research has pointed to a connection between being overweight and having mood and anxiety problems. This indicates that fat people may have a higher risk of developing mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

You might be asking whether or not mental health problems are caused by fat or vice versa. The nature of the connection that exists between being overweight and one’s mental health is different for each individual.

Consuming excessive food may be a symptom of emotional discomfort for some individuals. Using food to relieve stress may lead to excessive eating and obesity, as well as weight increase in general.

Others, however, may experience mental anguish due to their weight. When a person is overweight, they may have unfavorable sentiments about themselves.

People who are overweight are at an increased risk of being judged negatively or stigmatized by others. These events have the potential to diminish a person’s self-esteem.

People who are obese may have a more difficult time engaging in constructive activities, which may make it more challenging to manage distressing feelings. In addition, being obese is associated with experiencing a more significant number of physical health issues and discomfort, both of which may lead to increased stress. Consulting an online psychiatrist doctor could be of help in such a situation.

Connection Between Mental Health and Obesity

It is unclear why overweight people have a higher risk of experiencing anxiety. However, one possible explanation is that their anxiety is due to the problems that obese people face.

Some academics believe a biological explanation is the best way to explain the connection between anxiety and fat. An elevated level of activity in a brain region known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been related to the experience of anxiety.

The HPA axis is because of various activities in the body, including the control of digestion and emotions. It can result in increased appetite, which may lead to weight gain and obesity if it is not working correctly.

Both anxiety and obesity have similar risk factors, such as a history of childhood abuse, and personality characteristics such as neuroticism, sensitivity to criticism, and a desire to avoid stress.

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Mental Health Issues that Occurs Due to Obesity

There is a correlation between being obese and having a higher risk of developing several mental health conditions.


Anxiety is a form of mental health disorder that is characterized by excessive and unreasonable concern. People who are obese have significantly more risk of developing anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

People who suffer from generalized anxiety tend to worry unnecessarily about many different aspects of their lives.

A person is said to suffer from social anxiety disorder if the majority of their anxiety is center on their interactions with other people in social settings. Panic attacks are episodes of intense anxiety. These episodes can also accompany physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath.


The Depression is a mood illness that causes a person to:

  • Feel miserable most of the time
  • Have no interest in the activities or hobbies they love to do
  • Have negative thoughts and emotions about themselves.

Depression comes with several common symptoms, including increased hunger and weight gain, which may put depressed persons at risk for developing obesity.

According to the findings of many studies that investigated the connection between depression and obesity, there is a possibility that being depressed might result in being overweight and vice versa. People who already suffer from depression may turn to food to cope with destructive emotions. This, with time, may lead to significant weight gain if the behavior is continued.

Having poor energy and a lack of enthusiasm to participate in physical exercise are both factors that may contribute to weight gain, and both can be brought on by feeling unhappy. People who are already obese are more likely to have unpleasant sentiments, which may lead to depression.

Bipolar Disorder

There is also a form of mood illness known as bipolar disorder. Consisting of periods of both mania and depression. At least one week-long, a manic episode is characterized by a state of mood that is either elevated or irritated for the individual. Among the other symptoms are:

  • A pretentious opinion of one’s skills or significance in the world.
  • Increased levels of energy that prevent one from falling or staying asleep
  • Racing thoughts

According to, there is a connection between bipolar illness and obesity, although the exact origins of this connection are unclear. People who suffer from bipolar illness, like those with other mental health issues, may use food to comfort themselves in times of emotional turmoil.

There is also the possibility that the drugs used to treat bipolar illness, such as some mood stabilizers, might create unwanted side effects such as increased hunger and weight gain. This is still another probable reason. People who use these drugs for an extended period have a significantly increased likelihood of becoming obese.

Both being overweight and having bipolar illness are severe conditions since they are linked to the following:

  • An increased frequency of bouts of mania and depression
  • More severe depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to respond to therapy

If it is difficult for you to fight your negative thoughts and depression eating you from the inside, don’t hesitate to take an expert’s help. Consulting a psychiatrist could help you in many ways and bring remarkable positive changes to your life. You can schedule an appointment with an online psychiatrist through Marham.


1. What kind of mental disease is associated with being overweight?

People who are obese have a significantly increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

2. What kind of mental issues are involved in becoming overweight?

Both stress and mood problems are common. Emotional eating, which may be a contributor to the development of obesity and may be one of the triggering factors in its commencement, can also be activated by stress.


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