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Severe Obesity Has Significant Mental Health Concerns in Addition to Physical Risk

Dr. Michael Feiz discusses the potentially debilitating issue of clinical depression and its link to obesity

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The physical side effects of obesity have been extensively documented and are well known, but its impact on mental and emotional health is less frequently discussed. A significantly increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes is reason enough to take obesity seriously and adapt a healthier lifestyle to take action against it. Dr. Feiz and Associates have helped countless patients to reduce those risks through proven methods of bariatric surgery. While the physical issues mentioned above are obviously dangerous, there are also potentially serious mental conditions that are often triggered by, or associated with, obesity. Clinical depression is one such issue.

Clinical Depression Defined

The American Psychiatric Association defines clinical depression as a poor mood and overbearing sense of sadness that dominates a person's emotions throughout most of the day for two or more weeks. Clinical depression differs from normal mood swings in that it remains consistent, and often leaves the afflicted party with a sense of hopelessness and an inability to improve their mood despite their efforts.

Risk Factors

Despite attitudes to the contrary, clinical depression is a serious mental disorder that requires treatment and carries significant risks to one's health. Such risks include insomnia and lack of sleep, which causes fatigue amongst other negative side effects. Poor concentration, memory deterioration, and an overall loss of drive and motivation are also linked to depression, causing those affected to have difficulty maintaining their jobs or other responsibilities. Those afflicted also commonly experience a collapse of their social, familial, and romantic lives. These patterns can lead patients suffering from clinical depression to experience thoughts of self-harm which, without effective treatment, can lead to dangerous, self-inflicted injury or death.

The Link to Obesity

When dealing with patients, Dr. Feiz regularly takes note of their mental state. The fact of the matter is that there is a higher rate of clinical depression amongst people with severe obesity than within the general population. This is in part due to the fact that those who are obese often feel helpless to change their situation because diet and exercise have proven ineffectual. Clinical depression is often triggered by difficult life events that a person feels powerless to change. Also, the negative stigmas attached to being overweight can cause reoccurring negative cycles of guilt and self-loathing.

Treating Clinical Depression
Of course, clinical depression requires regular and comprehensive treatment from mental health professionals which includes therapy, and can include medication. One important aspect that treatment plans often include is helping the patient make positive changes to an ongoing negative circumstance or situation.

At the same time, for a great many severely obese patients, helping to make weight loss more achievable through a bariatric procedure can go a long way towards helping to end their sense of powerlessness over their life and, hence, improves their outlook. Many of Dr. Feiz's patients have reported a dramatic improvement in their overall outlook and mood. For many patients, any of the many effective treatment options, ranging from lap band to sleeve gastrectomy and beyond can be of great assistance in their battles against both obesity and depression. Dr. Feiz M.D., F.A.C.S. offers comprehensive treatment options that are safe, proven, and effective.  For more information about a free seminar at the offices of Dr. Feiz and Associates, please visit his web site at or call 800-868-5946.


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