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"Have I been gaining weight because I'm depressed, or have I been depressed because I'm gaining weight?"

24 Answers
Last Updated: 11/02/2020 at 10:58pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD

Psychologist

I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
patientLily30
March 30th, 2015 6:01am
If you are on anti-depressants it is possible that it is a side effect of the medication. If you are depressed you generally don't feel like being active which can lead to weight gain due to lack of activity. Depression can also lead to you stress eating or just plain eating out of boredom. Eating more than you burn in calories can lead to weight gain. There are a variety of reasons the only way to truly know is consulting an expert in the area you feel is causing the weight gain.
TeaMaster1
March 30th, 2015 1:34pm
This could go either way, and tends to go in a cycle. A person may overeat for multiple reasons, depression included, which makes a person overweight. A result of this can be progressive depression, which can result in additional overeating, only contributing to the problem at hand. The key is to try to get a handle on both at the same time. You must realize that, if you don't stop eating, the cycle will continue and you will never grab hold of your life again. These problems are mutually excluding, meaning that fixing one (overeating associated with depression) will largely help the other (being depressed based on extra weight gained from overeating).
Anonymous
April 22nd, 2015 10:36pm
This question is just like which came first, Hen or Egg. But both do follow a close cycle. If you are depressed, you will stop your social and out-field activities leading to increase in weight supported by bad eating habits. Similarly, if you are gaining weight and its being pointed out to you for quite some times, then you might feel depression which will add up to your previous mental status.
Anonymous
January 9th, 2018 2:03am
Which came first? Often it is hard to self-diagnose when we are suffering from depression because of its effects on our perspective. Depression will look for any reason to validate itself and make you feel worse about yoruself. Regardless of your weight, and regardless of your depression, you deserve to be a healthy person who feels good. You don't necessarily need the answer in order to start a path of recovery from one of these concerns, perhaps the answer will become clearer to you along the way. Good luck!
enlightenedRiver18
May 31st, 2015 10:43am
Depression can cause increase in appetite and weight, which can lead to worsened self-esteem, and perhaps make your depression worse. However, depression is usually caused by a mixture of different things, or seemingly for no reason at all. Gaining weight is unlikely to cause depression all by itself, although it could make it worse.
chanelsdaisy
- Expert in Depression
June 23rd, 2015 2:12pm
i do not know your situation. But it is a side effect of depression, that you eat to numb the pain.
Ty17Jade
April 21st, 2015 9:42am
Most likely you began to gain weight because of your depression then the realization of your weight gain upset you more
Happinessx3
May 24th, 2015 4:59am
Depends on the situation. If you're depressed because you are gaining weight, then change that mindset immediately.
Anonymous
August 4th, 2015 9:14pm
The two can have a large affect on each other. Sometimes, when someone is depressed, they may eat more than normal. This causes them to gain weight. Or it could be that you gained weight for some un-related reason, and became depressed because you can't accept yourself.
SettledBreathing
August 10th, 2015 3:33pm
From what I know, people lose or gain weight as a consequence to them being depressed and changing their eating habits. Depending on whether or not you were eating healthily in the past, you might be having self-esteem issues and anxiety that might cause depression. Usually, the first option ends up being the right one and you might not realize a change of habits until you really look at it because you're so focused on how you're feeling. Best wishes :)
positiveTurtle36
August 24th, 2015 3:30pm
It could be either of the two but more likely to gain weight because when depressed its difficult to get up and do physical activities
TreesOfFog
November 17th, 2015 6:11am
In my experience it is a cycle. One thing feeds another. Depression, however, works differently on different people, but nevertheless wether you are gaining or losing the weight it is something that takes courage, strength and to break out of. The days you manage to break the self hatred and apathy are the ones that bring you closer to become healthy in every way again!
lizzle
November 30th, 2015 4:43am
This is the chicken or the egg argument and you should focus on what you think is causing your depression, if it is only the weight gain that is making you depressed, then I guess that would be the right answer, but if it something else that you feel is causing you depression, then the answer would be you're gaining because you're depressed.
Isabellaxo99
December 15th, 2015 10:07am
It depends if you gained weight before you where depressed or not, I suggest eating more fruit and getting full with that and limit the junk you eat :)
PhoenixB
December 15th, 2015 6:56pm
Honestly, it can be both. You can be depressed and gain a pound or two, then gain more weight because you're depressed that you were depressed and gained weight. It's a bad cycle and it doesn't actually matter too much. Just focus on losing weight healthily and staying healthy so you don't need to worry about the answer to this question at all.
StarryLove
February 22nd, 2016 2:08pm
The only one that can answer that is you, and it depends on the circumstances, actually. If you've been depressed and binge eating or if you're weight conscious, well it could be both.
Anonymous
April 18th, 2016 9:58am
Neither. Depression doesnt really mean that you gain weight just because. Your eating habits and active time has a lot more to do with your weight then depression
Anonymous
July 26th, 2016 2:28am
It might be none of the above. You might be gaining weight because of an underactive thyroid. There are many reasons. You should speak with your doctor.
FlairRoads86
August 16th, 2016 4:48am
No matter which one came first, you can work to solve them both together. Surrounding yourself with good friends and family is key, as they will improve your depression and can help you work towards solutions to losing th weight you gained.
Anonymous
July 4th, 2017 8:37pm
It might not be one causing the other. You might be eating more because of your mental health, and that may cause your mental state to decline. Or, it may be the other way round. Either way, the best way to deal with it is to not be hard on yourself.
jasminishere
November 7th, 2017 12:10pm
Either can be a contributing factor, sometimes when Depressed you often fill the void of sadness with food which acts as a comfort to us. Sometimes, if we're self-conscious, we can often get depressed about our weight and how it's changed, but it's important to not let those things affect you as a person. You're beautiful regardless of what size you are. If it is truly making you unhappy then look after yourself and your body and try new approaches to losing a little weight.
Anonymous
November 13th, 2017 8:46am
Sometimes things are bi-directional, therefore it is possible to address both things by focusing on one aspect.
timeforothers56
April 20th, 2020 1:39pm
this is sometimes a bit of a circle how we feel can affect the way we eat and the other way round try to think why you are overeating what is really bothering you take time to sort this out . if you think you are depressed it might help to talk to someone qualified to help with this . maybe do a food diary . this will help you look at the sort of food you are eating as well. that can make a big difference . look at how much you exercise. regular exercise can help with weight Gain and depression.
Anonymous
November 2nd, 2020 10:58pm
I think these factors are related to each other to some degree, but (personal opinion) if you are trying to lose weight u better try to obtain a positive attitude toward yourself first. By this I mean once you can see the beauty in your body, you eventually start feeling mentally happier, and then you would be taking care of your body and soul (body is the home for your soul, and once you love your soul you provide it a clean house) and would pay more attention to your diet or physical activities. I really hope this would help. However, it is just a personal opinion and you can disagree to it to any level.