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Obesity &amp Depression and Their Impact on Health 3


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Obesity&amp Depression and Their Impact on Health

Obesityis a term used in reference to a type of medical condition thatinvolves excessive accumulation of body fat on a person’s body tothe point of causing negative health effects on the affectedindividuals as noted by Atlantis &amp Baker (2008). An individual’sbody mass is considered obese when his/her body mass index (BMI) isat a range of 30kg/m squared. The main cause of obesity is excessiveintake of junk food with little or no physical exercise though insome cases the condition is hereditary. The obesity condition is veryrisky and may lead to development of diseases like heart diseases andsome forms of cancers. Depression refers to a mental condition thatinvolves low moods that affects a person’s thoughts, well being andeven behavior (Hill 2005). An individual in a state of depression isany at times most likely to develop feelings of anxiety, hopeless andeven worthless. Such individuals develop lack of appetite for variousactivities that they used to enjoy before resulting in instances ofeven contemplating suicide. Depression is thus considered a mentalcondition that requires psychiatric care to help individuals manageit and develop normal health conditions (Kivimaki &amp Batty 2009).The effects of both obesity and depression on the mental and physicalhealth of the affected persons are of major concern, thus will beexamined in deeper detail in this essay.

Linkbetween obesity and depression

Researchhas found numerous theories and links between obesity and depression.Some researchers note that an obese condition can lead to variousmental health disorders such as anxiety and depression (Griffiths &ampParsons 2010). Other researchers note that individuals suffering fromvarious mental health disorders such as depression are likely todevelop obesity. Childhood obesity is one of the most painfulexperiences to obese persons as this is the stage at which one caneasily be exposed to several ridicules and even isolation as noted byCornette (2008). Children love mocking each other on various groundsand the ground of huge body size than normal can be very traumatizingto the affected individuals. It thus means that, individuals whosuffer from childhood obesity realize how different and awkward theylook from others get ridiculed and develop stigma as they areexposed to conditions that make them lose their self esteem andconfidence (Sjoberg 2005). Such individuals grow sad, feeldissatisfied and even frustrated, resulting in depression. Individuals who suffer from depression many at times lose theirmotivation, feel isolated and participate less in several physicalactivities (Griffiths &amp Parsons 2010). This affects the rate ofmetabolism of their bodies resulting in them developing overweightconditions that eventually lead to obesity.

Anindividual suffering from both obesity and depression is at a greatrisk of developing a variety of health complications that canseverely deteriorate a person’s health condition (Allison &ampNewcomer 2009). Cardiovascular heart disease is common forindividuals suffering from either depression or obesity. When onesuffers from both, then they develop a strong a high risk level ofcontracting the dangerous cardiovascular disease. Both depression andobesity make individuals lose their enthusiasm and motivation leadingto lack of physical activity which can consequently lead to decreasedlevels of exercise and even mingling with others (Gariepy &ampSchmitz 2010). Lack of physical activity can seriously affect one’sbody functions leading to advanced levels of obesity and depression.

Researchmeta-analysis confirms a strong link between obesity and the mentalhealth condition of depression. Obesity was discovered to be a strongfactor that is likely to lead to a condition of depression. Hence,when one suffers from depression, then there exists almost aformality that the individual is most likely to develop depression(Napolitano &amp Foster 2008). However, depression was found to onlybe a factor that increases the likelihood of an individual developingobesity. Persons who are depressed alter their life activity patternsdrastically, developing unhealthy lifestyle patterns which may resultin inappropriate stress patterns that may eventually lead to thedevelopment of obesity thereafter (Griffiths &amp Parsons 2010).


Researchconducted by Florina (2009) indicates a lot of correspondence betweenoverweight, depression and obesity. In the research, there wasdiscovered a bidirectional link between obesity and depression. Theresearch found out those obese persons a 55% risk of developing themental health disorder condition of depression whereas the depressedindividuals were discovered to be at a 58% risk of developingobesity. According to this study, the link between depression andobesity was discovered to be stronger than the link betweendepression and being overweight (Griffiths &amp Parsons 2010). Theresearch found time to be a major factor in the development of eitherobesity or depression. This is because, the obese persons have tobear with the stigma and of their condition for some time and overtime it degenerates into obesity (Minet &amp Morris 2010).

Depressionon the other hand accumulates with time, altering the normal bodyoperations of various persons overtime resulting in the developmentof obese conditions (Chen &amp Mao 2009). The biological and genderlink between obesity, depression and overweight was found difficultto authoritatively prove in this study. However, the inflammation ofpathways was analyzed by the use of the depressive symptom report tohelp develop any link between obesity, depression and overweight.This was prompted by other studies before that have asserted thatweight gain consequently prompts inflammations in body fluidpathways. The other analysis involved in this study was the use ofthe hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) which was includedbecause of its strong connection to depression (McCarty &amp Hawkins2009). Through the analysis of deregulation of the HPA axis, it wasconcluded that indeed there existed a link between obesity anddepression as it was assumed that obesity could be leading to thedevelopment of depression.

Obesityhighly leads to high levels of risk of contraction of diabetes-mellitus while its link to resistance of insulin in the body mostlikely leads to various brain activity changes, which can ultimatelylead to increased risks of depression. Florina (2009) in this studythus found out that people tend to appreciate thinness and regard itwith high esteem in Europe and the United States hence obesity leadsto high levels of self dissatisfaction, eating disorders and physicalchronic joint pains that consequently lead to increased vulnerabilityto depression (Ma &amp Xiao 2010).

Roleof Psychiatric Nurses

Psychiatricnurses play a critical role in ensuring that patients with mentalailments are well taken care of in the nursing homes. The nursesremain in contact with patients of conditions like depression andobesity and play a major role in ensuring that such patients regaintheir previous appreciation of life and its provisions (Markowitz &ampFriedman 2008). They therefore help suppress the depression and makethe patients regain their self esteem back. Depression is a mentalhealth disorder that has strong links with obesity which actuallyintertwines them, hence making them depression and obesityinseparable as noted by Cornette (2008).

Armstrong(2002) asserts that depression is currently a major public healthissue all over the world and has massive effect on families,economies and even private and public businesses. Depression hasbecome very common in the world today exceeding chronic healthconditions such as diabetes and is expected to be the world’s mostrampant and chronic illness by the year 2020 as noted by Armstrong(2002). Nurses around the world working at psychiatric nursing homesare mainly trained to handle other ailments different from depressionand diabetes hence, the need for brief proper training to help themdevelop better methods of handling depression patients whose numberis ever rising (Scott, Simon &amp Alonso 2008). The psychiatricnurses need to collectively handle mental health patients as a team,this enables the patients to develop a wide array of interaction andsharing that enables them to note a high satisfaction level of theservices they received at the nursing homes.

Thepsychiatric nurses share with the depression patients, and stronglyguide their recovery process through their routine care schedules.The progress of all patients is likely to be easily noticed andwholesomely nurtured by the variety of attending nurses on schedule.Practice nurses usually do a magnificent job in caring for patientswith problems such as asthma hypertension (Chen &amp Mao 2009).Hence, the nurses use the skills they acquire on depression caretraining and equally do an excellent job in nursing the recovery ofobese and depressed patients (Ma &amp Xiao 2010). They use theskills to make the patients ultimately accept and embrace theirconditions in addition to making them learn how best to cope withridicule and isolations that many at times accompany such conditions(Kivimaki &amp Shipley 2009). The nurses take the patients throughphysical exercise therapies to help them regain the physical fitnessthey may have lost through their conditions. The exercises helpincrease the rates of body metabolism resulting in increased physicalactivities that boost the body’s proper functioning (Sjoberg 2005).

Thepsychiatric nurses also help the depressed and obese patients throughthe best diet practices, encouraging them to eat healthy foods thatfacilitate their recovery (Luppino &amp Stijnen 2010). They sharewith them experiences of individuals who had been in their conditionsbefore and made it through in addition to imparting in them the needand power of positive mentality. The nurses equip the patients withskills of suppressing negative perception and living a holistic lifejust like anybody else (Gariepy &amp Schmitz 2010). Above all, thepsychiatric nurses apply the best medication to the depressedpatients as outlined by the psychiatric physicians in a timelymanner, hence accelerating their recovery.

Thenurses through their professional training get sufficient skills tohandle a variety of psychiatric cases (Ma &amp Xiao 2010). However,one major attribute of successful psychiatric nursing practice istheir ability to endure. The exercise of guiding a psychiatricpatient to full recovery is such a daunting task as some of them caneven be ruthless due to extreme depression but luckily, the nursesprovide them with the medication to calm them down (Luppino &ampStijnen 2010). The depressed patients thereby have their recoveryprocess facilitated and enhanced by the nurses who faithfully standby their side.


Governmentshave put in place various policies that guide the care recovery andavoidance of depression and obese conditions in countries like theUnited Kingdom and the US. The government policies put in place tohelp individuals entangled in conditions of obesity and stress to getproper medical attention to guide their recovery in addition toothers suffering from a variety of other psychiatric disorders(Fabricatore &amp Wadden 2006). The government has set uppsychiatric nursing homes in response to the needs of individualswith mental disorders such as depression, (Gavin, Rue &amp Takeuchi2010). The nursing homes in this case serve as the refuge forpsychiatric patients to help them cope and recover from theirunfortunate conditions.

Tohelp achieve the dream and target of rehabilitating such individuals,governments of various countries have further trained nurses withadditional special knowledge on psychiatric care in the teachingmanuals (Fabricatore &amp Wadden 2006). The specialized nurses helpthem adequately deal with the handling and care of the patients,hence efficiently guiding their recovery process (Rosen-Reynoso &ampRoberts 2010). In addition to the training of the nurses, there aregovernment policies in place especially in the UK and the USinstructing people to keep healthy by exercising regularly andreducing their junk food intake. The junk foods are a major cause ofobesity in the United States and Europe, hence policies that addresstheir excessive intake help reduce the rate of obesity prevalence(Gundersen, Garasky &amp Lohman 2010). Policies advocating forobesity reduction and avoidance in these major countries areinstigated by the high number of people falling victims to theseavoidable conditions.

Inaddition to government policies with regard to the psychiatricnurses who help care for the depressed psychiatric patients, thegovernment of the US has also instituted policies on sufficientdeployment of physicians to all nursing homes, (Fabricatore &ampWadden 2006). The physicians have special knowledge on psychiatricissues and as a result help properly handle these medical conditionswith high precision, boosting the recovery of individuals sufferingfrom both the depression and obesity (Gariepy &amp Schmitz 2010).Thus, the government through various policy enactments plays a majorrole in ensuring adequate care for patients suffering frompsychiatric conditions like depression.


Obesityand diabetes have thus far indicated a very high correlation index.It almost seems unlikely for one to seriously suffer from obesity andfail to succumb to depression through a variety of factors. Bothdepression and obesity pose serious medical and mental health risksprompting the need to have them properly addressed in time to avoidextreme health condition deteriorations that are very dangerous. Thenursing homes have been very helpful in aiding the persons sufferingfrom depression and diabetes as they help them recover from theirconditions with the aid of psychiatric nurses. The physicians havealso been helpful in addition to the government policies thatoutlined the construction of nursing homes. Thus, obesity anddepression are serious health conditions that need to always beaddressed in a timely manner as delays catalyze their development andhealth deterioration.


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