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Why do we blame morbidly obese people but not depressed people for their condition?

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    To my knowledge morbid obesity and depression are similar it these ways:

    1. Both are considered to be the result of psychological issues/conditions
    2. Both are debilitating to someone's health, relationships, and career.
    3. Both may be caused by or exacerbated by personal behavior.
    4. Those who suffer from both these conditions are likely to be a burden on family/friend/loved ones and society.

    So why is it when someone disparages the morbidly obese for their behavior there is minimal outrage in response and often even a general consensus of agreement? (I have seen this occur often on TSR. TSR loves to abuse the fatties like the extra soft and squishy punching bags they are.)

    Why is it when someone disparages the depressed they receive a torrent of outrange and often outright disgust for their audacity? (This always happens on TSR. Try even suggesting that depressed people may be slightly responsible for their own condition and the "pro-depression brigade" will come out in force prepared to fight for the honor and rights of these poor souls as if they are the last remnants of an endangered species.)

    I have two theories as to why there is such an opposite in sentiment for two conditions with so much in common.

    1. The accepted treatment for the obese is to educate and motivate them to change their habits and lifestyle. The accepted treatment for the depressed is medicate them and excuse their behavior/condition in order break the cycle of depression.

    2. Because depression is so wide spread (1 in 4 people they say) many people here have been, are, or care about someone who is depressed. Depression hits to close to home, so when taken into consideration with point #1, too many people consider the depressed to be exempt from criticism. No one, should be exempt from criticism.

    I think the disparity in peoples regard for obesity and depression is hypocritical, dishonest, and often self-serving. So should we be more understanding of one group or more critical of the other? I reckon we should probably be a little bit of both.
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    because one has a very easy solution to their problem. all it requires is willpower.

    the other is a serious and debilitating psychiatric problem which often requires medical help.
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    Generally, unless owing to a medical condition, people become obese because they have not prioritised. What I mean by that is, that when you notice that you are getting overweight, you should think to yourself 'I should do something about this before it gets out-of-hand'. So you eat right, exercise daily, and get the right amount of sleep.

    A depressed person may well take steps like these to counter his depression. In that sense they are the same. But depression is a downward spiral that can affect motivation and even the ability to organise and think clearly. Here obesity and depression part their ways.

    I agree with the person above as well.
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    Lol these two things aren't comparable at all, your four criteria for comparison are ridiculous and could apply to just about anything
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    (Original post by JCC-MGS)
    Lol these two things aren't comparable at all, your four criteria for comparison are ridiculous and could apply to just about anything
    I'm not a shrink, but they seem to have more than just random similarities to me.

    "I'm depressed, so I am not motivated to do anything, so I become more depressed."

    "I'm obese so I feel bad, which makes me want to eat and over-indulge, so I become more obese."

    From a layman's point a view they seem to be in the same category of psychological disorder. The OP may be reaching but it is not without merit.
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    (Original post by falseprofit)
    To my knowledge morbid obesity and depression are similar it these ways:

    1. Both are considered to be the result of psychological issues/conditions
    2. Both are debilitating to someone's health, relationships, and career.
    3. Both may be caused by or exacerbated by personal behavior.
    4. Those who suffer from both these conditions are likely to be a burden on family/friend/loved ones and society.

    So why is it when someone disparages the morbidly obese for their behavior there is minimal outrage in response and often even a general consensus of agreement? (I have seen this occur often on TSR. TSR loves to abuse the fatties like the extra soft and squishy punching bags they are.)

    Why is it when someone disparages the depressed they receive a torrent of outrange and often outright disgust for their audacity? (This always happens on TSR. Try even suggesting that depressed people may be slightly responsible for their own condition and the "pro-depression brigade" will come out in force prepared to fight for the honor and rights of these poor souls as if they are the last remnants of an endangered species.)

    I have two theories as to why there is such an opposite in sentiment for two conditions with so much in common.

    1. The accepted treatment for the obese is to educate and motivate them to change their habits and lifestyle. The accepted treatment for the depressed is medicate them and excuse their behavior/condition in order break the cycle of depression.

    2. Because depression is so wide spread (1 in 4 people they say) many people here have been, are, or care about someone who is depressed. Depression hits to close to home, so when taken into consideration with point #1, too many people consider the depressed to be exempt from criticism. No one, should be exempt from criticism.

    I think the disparity in peoples regard for obesity and depression is hypocritical, dishonest, and often self-serving. So should we be more understanding of one group or more critical of the other? I reckon we should probably be a little bit of both.
    I've been depressed and people do blame depressed people for their problems too
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    Is it because depressed people can still chase you?
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    But you can decide to stop eating, but you can't decide to be happy?
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    OP - experience depression, then make that kind of comment.

    It's not somebody's fault if they get depression.
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    (Original post by sclez1)
    But you can decide to stop eating, but you can't decide to be happy?
    Yes you can. You work for happiness. Happiness is not the natural state of being.
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    (Original post by miss_sexy)
    I've been depressed and people do blame depressed people for their problems too
    Yeah but in all fairness there are normally many external factors that contribute to severe depression, where as with obesity its mostly internal, or internally ingested! Ok people may argue that they cant change the way they are now but they saw them selves get into that state gradually and its their fault entirely that they're so huge.

    My dad, a naturally big muscly guy, had to stop working because of severe arthritis and put on 4st up to 22 stone, he was appalled he got to that state and did all the exercise he could, totally changed his diet and lost 4.5 stone... now if a man who cant ****ing walk can do that then obesity, in most cases should remain a mockery! grr lol
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    (Original post by falseprofit)
    I think the disparity in peoples regard for obesity and depression is hypocritical, dishonest, and often self-serving. So should we be more understanding of one group or more critical of the other? I reckon we should probably be a little bit of both.
    Although psychological/medical factors can have an effect on obesity, it's possible (and likely for many people) that they are fat because they eat too much crap and don't exercise, thus not warranting any sympathy. Some people are obese through no fault of their own, but they tend to be the minority, whereas the majority of depressed people actually do suffer through no fault of their own.
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    People can be bullied for being depressed as well as overweight :/ it's horrific.

    However people who are depressed do not target people who are happy to make themselves feel better. Whilst at my school larger girls had a habit of picking on smaller ones, calling them anorexic and all the rest of it :/
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    (Original post by KCosmo)
    whereas the majority of depressed people actually do suffer through no fault of their own.
    Is that a fact?
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    why do we blame anyone for anything? stuff is never really an individual's fault, people are the way they are because of how the world and nature has made them.
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    (Original post by Chrisofsmeg)
    OP - experience depression, then make that kind of comment.

    It's not somebody's fault if they get depression.
    Experience obesity, then make that kind of comment.

    It's not somebody's fault if they become obese.


    You would argue that an obese person may become obese because they don't exercise and eat too much. I would argue that a depressed person may become depressed because they are unmotivated and unproductive with their life. Psychologists would agree that both conditions are disorders. Why does one disorder possess more justification than the other?
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    (Original post by flubadiblam)
    Yeah but in all fairness there are normally many external factors that contribute to severe depression, where as with obesity its mostly internal, or internally ingested! Ok people may argue that they cant change the way they are now but they saw them selves get into that state gradually and its their fault entirely that they're so huge.

    My dad, a naturally big muscly guy, had to stop working because of severe arthritis and put on 4st up to 22 stone, he was appalled he got to that state and did all the exercise he could, totally changed his diet and lost 4.5 stone... now if a man who cant ****ing walk can do that then obesity, in most cases should remain a mockery! grr lol
    There are examples of people who rose up and defeated depression through willpower as well.
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    (Original post by KCosmo)
    Although psychological/medical factors can have an effect on obesity, it's possible (and likely for many people) that they are fat because they eat too much crap and don't exercise, thus not warranting any sympathy. Some people are obese through no fault of their own, but they tend to be the minority, whereas the majority of depressed people actually do suffer through no fault of their own.

    (Original post by Notethis)
    Is that a fact?
    This ^
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    (Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
    why do we blame anyone for anything? stuff is never really an individual's fault, people are the way they are because of how the world and nature has made them.
    I expect to hold myself accountable for my actions and I expect others to do so as well. I can't help but to be skeptical when a mere diagnosis gives someone immunity from being accountable for behaving in a manner which is a burden to everyone around them.
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    (Original post by Notethis)
    Yes you can. You work for happiness. Happiness is not the natural state of being.
    you work for happiness? really... well perhaps we ought to have you educating our doctors on psychiatric problems right now then should we?

    no no doctor, depression isn't caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain such as serotonin. its because you aren't working for your happiness.

    perhaps you could educate us on schizophrenia, is it simply that people aren't working hard enough for their sanity? what about psychosis? any other mental health illnesses that can simply be remedied by working harder at some aspect of life?

    in all seriousness it should be pointed out that there is a difference between having just a low mood temporarily and actual clinical depression. one is common and goes away after a few days and the other is a serious mental health problem.

    assuming you mean actual clinical depression, then no you are wrong. its not simply that the person isn't 'working for their happiness'. you are being very naive and insensitive to think this. perhaps you should read some about depression.
    start here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression
Updated: December 6, 2012
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