Depression and Unhealthy Weight Loss

Depression and Unhealthy Weight LossUnhealthy weight loss is associated with people who are prepared to do something that is not proven or something that is risky in an effort to lose weight. Some of the common unhealthy ways to lose weight include the following:

  • Fasting
  • Restricting diets
  • Taking weight loss pills and supplements
  • Using a fad diet
  • Exercising to an extreme

While any one of these strategies may result in weight loss, the side effects and risks are often greater than the benefit.

Fasting, Restricting Diets and Fad Diets

Headaches, muscle aches and nausea are common side effects associated with restricted diets. When people lose weight in this manner, they also encounter nutritional deficiencies, feelings of weakness and muscle cramps due to mineral deficits, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus deficiencies. In addition, blood pressure can drop, and uric acid levels can rise, causing severe attacks of gout or a uric acid kidney stone. Female hormone levels falling due to protein malnutrition can cause a loss of menstrual flow.

Weight Loss Pills and Supplements

Because there is a wide variety of weight loss pills and supplements, side effects vary but can include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Undesirable interactions with prescription drugs
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach irritation
  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart irregularities
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Addiction

While weight loss may be achieved, the risks far outweigh the benefit.

Excessive Exercise

While an appropriate amount of exercise daily is good for you, people who excessively exercise experience side effects, including the following:

  • Decreased workout performance
  • Significant decrease in motivation or enjoyment of the activity
  • Mood changes, including depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and irritability
  • Delayed recovery time
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Diminished appetite
  • Fat gain due to elevated levels of stress hormones
  • Weakened immune system

Weight loss through excessive exercise is a problem when it becomes compulsive and something that you obsess about throughout the day.

Depression and Unhealthy Weight Loss

According to the Mayo Clinic, a risk factor for depression is having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical or pessimistic. These are the same risk factors for a person who is obsessive about weight loss. Untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of the individual’s life, including the following:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Work or school problems
  • Family conflicts
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Social isolation
  • Suicide
  • Self-mutilation, such as cutting
  • Premature death from other medical conditions

The sooner you get help for an eating disorder or depression, the greater the likelihood is that you can recover.

Get Help for Eating Disorders

People often think there is a stigma associated with eating disorders; consequently, they do not want to talk to people about it. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free number. We are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle eating disorders and can provide you with options, information about insurance and the resources you need.