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

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    (Original post by kikukaede)
    I should ask though, do you mean that obese people should be treated with more understand, or people with mental problems with less?
    Neither, necessarily. I'm just pointing out that all things like this have a physiological or material basis and if we claim that one is out of the person's control, then we have to admit that so is the other. I think that focusing a lot on personal responsibility is usually the right way to go, and we shouldn't be afraid of taking this route with often transient or circumstance-responsive conditions such as [severe] depression.
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    Why must the two be so different? Look at my post which cites a few papers that indicate a correlation between obesity and depression.

    A recent study by Dr. R. Lusting and other academics concluded that an increased intake of sucrose above all other sugar types (fructose, lactose etc) essentially bypasses leptin production (the hormone which inhibits appetite), thus inducing people into a state of not feeling as full as they should. I believe they also found in a contemporary study that the biochemicals at work caused the consumption of sucrose to be addictive, therefore promoting a vicious cycle of overeating.

    It should be said that Lustig is currently alone in his hypothesis at present but the point I am making is to not simply write off fat people as being fat because they have eaten too much. This same assumption was made not long ago about people suffering from depression because we simply did not understand the biochemicals at work which caused the condition to occur.

    I am not trying to be definitive here and state that obesity is down to a purely biochemical reaction and the specific types of nutrients a person can consume. However, in the same way, I am asking you and everyone else on this thread who thinks fat people are fat because they eat too much to not come at the issue with so much conviction either. There is a lot we don't know about obesity and depression and there is no way we are even close to an answer for either, yet.
    I didn't mean to sound as though I was writing them off as all lazy slobs. I believe for many people who are overweight it could possible be a result of different mental issues such as low self esteem and looking to food for comfort. But this cause of their eating is distinct from the reason they are overweight, which is because they ate a lot.

    I wholly accept the possibility a lot of might be down to as of yet undiscovered mental and chemical reasons however. But I think there has to be an acknowledgement that some people ARE overweight simply because they overeat because they enjoy certain foods.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    Neither, necessarily. I'm just pointing out that all things like this have a physiological or material basis and if we claim that one is out of the person's control, then we have to admit that so is the other. I think that focusing a lot on personal responsibility is usually the right way to go, and we shouldn't be afraid of taking this route with often transient or circumstance-responsive conditions such as [severe] depression.
    If the condition is serious enough I think that would be a wise sort of outlook to take, in the case of obesity.
    But how about this, the threat to the life of someone who is overweight compared to someone who is depressed? Although being overweight carries various serious healthproblems, many of these are at least some years into the future. Whereas the depressed person, given certain circumstances, could be engaging on selfharming and suicidal behaviour on a delay basis. In terms of treatment I'd day one is more in urgent need of care than the other, but both as deserving.
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    (Original post by kikukaede)
    I didn't mean to sound as though I was writing them off as all lazy slobs. I believe for many people who are overweight it could possible be a result of different mental issues such as low self esteem and looking to food for comfort. But this cause of their eating is distinct from the reason they are overweight, which is because they ate a lot.

    I wholly accept the possibility a lot of might be down to as of yet undiscovered mental and chemical reasons however. But I think there has to be an acknowledgement that some people ARE overweight simply because they overeat because they enjoy certain foods.
    But we can look at why they enjoy certain foods so much more than other people and why they can't control their appetite, see? And what strange new modern influences lead to them getting into that lifestyle in the first place.
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    (Original post by falseprofit)
    .....No one, should be exempt from criticism
    Glad you said this because you're 100% ignorant, incorrect and unqualified to comment on depression and how it should be percieved. What basis do have for saying depression is self inflicted? Have you published any journals, thesis' or research papers that I can read to verify this?

    I didn't think so
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    (Original post by kikukaede)
    If the condition is serious enough I think that would be a wise sort of outlook to take, in the case of obesity.
    But how about this, the threat to the life of someone who is overweight compared to someone who is depressed? Although being overweight carries various serious healthproblems, many of these are at least some years into the future. Whereas the depressed person, given certain circumstances, could be engaging on selfharming and suicidal behaviour on a delay basis. In terms of treatment I'd day one is more in urgent need of care than the other, but both as deserving.
    I don't know what the statistics are there, I can't comment.
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    (Original post by falseprofit)
    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.
    Point 1 is plain wrong, and you 2-4 you could apply to a myriad of things, like cancer, asthma, a broken leg.

    You may as well ask 'why aren't all conditions of a human stigmatised the same way?'. And the answers will be equally argumentative and subjective.

    In short, people perceive that obesity is something that is due to lack of self control, while depression is something that happens to people who have encountered suffering.
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    (Original post by kikukaede)
    I didn't mean to sound as though I was writing them off as all lazy slobs. I believe for many people who are overweight it could possible be a result of different mental issues such as low self esteem and looking to food for comfort. But this cause of their eating is distinct from the reason they are overweight, which is because they ate a lot.

    I wholly accept the possibility a lot of might be down to as of yet undiscovered mental and chemical reasons however. But I think there has to be an acknowledgement that some people ARE overweight simply because they overeat because they enjoy certain foods.
    I do not believe you were. However, there are a lot of people on this thread and on these forums in general feigning scientific and other knowledge which simply isn't present and instead founded on baseless claims and 'common sense'.

    We are not in disagreement that people who are fat in such a position because they have eaten. The same is true of somebody who is thin, who has eaten less. However, the cause of this overeating is the crux of the matter and I believe a lot of people tend to misunderstand what that cause may be.

    Again, I agree that some people are simply overweight because they spend too much time at the Krispy Kreme but all I would ask is for others on this thread to approach this issue with the same degree of balance and understand that, while there are some people who are fat because of their own lack of willpower, some are equally not in control of the situation. I would say, as with depression, this loss of control increases with the severity of the condition.
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    (Original post by Dr Good Manners)
    Glad you said this because you're 100% ignorant, incorrect and unqualified to comment on depression and how it should be percieved. What basis do have for saying depression is self inflicted? Have you published any journals, thesis' or research papers that I can read to verify this?

    I didn't think so
    Loads of medications/drugs (legal and illegal) cause depression/suicidal thoughts. Of course depression can have at least an element of self-causation.

    You could argue that CBT works only in that it prevents people from causing their own depression.

    The obviousness of these counter arguments really begs the question, are you actually that well qualified to be lecturing people on depression and telling them they're 100% wrong?

    (do your own pubmed search if you want to read the many hundreds of papers that support what I say)
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    Some may argue that being morbidly obese is self inflicted, that combined with prejudice is why.
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    (Original post by hslt)
    Loads of medications/drugs (legal and illegal) cause depression/suicidal thoughts. Of course depression can have at least an element of self-causation.

    You could argue that CBT works only in that it prevents people from causing their own depression.

    The obviousness of these counter arguments really begs the question, are you actually that well qualified to be lecturing people on depression and telling them they're 100% wrong?

    (do your own pubmed search if you want to read the many hundreds of papers that support what I say)
    :rolleyes: I assume you are aware there are people who are depressed having never touched a single narcotic in their life, no?

    I am already well aware drugs can cause depression. But it appears he's not aware there are other factors that lead to depression too. So I stand by my statement.
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    Because obesity indicates an addiction, we don't like addictions. This is because we have a Christian-based morality where following your urges and getting quick satisfaction is seen as very bad.

    Depression doesn't indicate an addiction.
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    There seems to me to be an aweful lot of ignorance on this thread. I may only be 20 but when I was younger I suffered from both annorexia and obesity, and I can assure you that neither of those was down to simply overeating or undereating, and was not a case of even enjoying or hating food.

    People cope with things in different ways. When depressed some people lock themselves away, some cut, some stop eating and some stuff their faces. But for some reason our society has this strange view on food, that you can eat whatever you like, and so long as you don't get fat people are fine with it. Obese people get dehumanised and ridiculous views like 'they should just stop eating' for some inconceivable reason become valid and legit.
    Not ok :mad:
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    (Original post by Dr Good Manners)
    :rolleyes: I assume you are aware there are people who are depressed having never touched a single narcotic in their life, no?
    I even put the 'can' in italics. Read, think, then write.
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    (Original post by ~Kat~)
    There seems to me to be an aweful lot of ignorance on this thread. I may only be 20 but when I was younger I suffered from both annorexia and obesity, and I can assure you that neither of those was down to simply overeating or undereating, and was not a case of even enjoying or hating food.

    People cope with things in different ways. When depressed some people lock themselves away, some cut, some stop eating and some stuff their faces. But for some reason our society has this strange view on food, that you can eat whatever you like, and so long as you don't get fat people are fine with it. Obese people get dehumanised and ridiculous views like 'they should just stop eating' for some inconceivable reason become valid and legit.
    Not ok :mad:
    Thank you.
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    (Original post by ~Kat~)
    There seems to me to be an awful lot of ignorance on this thread. I may only be 20 but when I was younger I suffered from both anorexia and obesity, and I can assure you that neither of those was down to simply overeating or undereating, and was not a case of even enjoying or hating food.

    People cope with things in different ways. When depressed some people lock themselves away, some cut, some stop eating and some stuff their faces. But for some reason our society has this strange view on food, that you can eat whatever you like, and so long as you don't get fat people are fine with it. Obese people get dehumanised and ridiculous views like 'they should just stop eating' for some inconceivable reason become valid and legit.
    Not ok :mad:
    This. Well said.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    Everyone eats, not everyone gets fat...?
    Everyone does eat, but their weight is determined by the calories and fat they eat. They say we should have about 2000 calories (for women) because that's how much we need to heat our bodies, and provide energy for activity throughout the day whilst keep our weight the same.

    If you do more activity, you need more calories (if I do two rowing sessions in a day I get to eat 3000 calories!), and if you do less activity you need less calories. Olympic rowers are constantly eating because they just can't keep the weight on! Often obese people will eat like 5000 calories so they're essentially eating two days worth of food in one day, and do little exercise.

    That's why we blame obese people because on paper it looks easy to do. But as you said, there are reasons why they eat more. Often it's just laziness and love of certain foods, but it can be due to feeling unsatisfied etc. I saw a documentary about a really obese person called Lisa who's fat cells had swollen to 6 times their size and apparently can't shrink back now. Her son bought her food all the time and she ate around 9000 calories a day, including 1000 calories as a bed time snack!


    (Original post by Arekkusu)
    Because obesity indicates an addiction, we don't like addictions. This is because we have a Christian-based morality where following your urges and getting quick satisfaction is seen as very bad.

    Depression doesn't indicate an addiction.
    Good point :-)

    I also think they're blamed because of the increased number of obese people in recent years. If it was these hormones and chemicals in the brain, then there would be a steady number throughout the years.
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    (Original post by RowingGoose)
    Good point :-)

    I also think they're blamed because of the increased number of obese people in recent years. If it was these hormones and chemicals in the brain, then there would be a steady number throughout the years.
    Depression has also risen as we have moved away from our natural roots in the forest and into large impersonal communities.

    Also the vast majority of medical and psychological conditions are caused by a genetic/chemical predisposition which sets an environmental trigger level. If that level's broached, you get fat/get depressed/snap and kill your grandma. If you do A-level psychology you do about 10 essays a year with that same conclusion.

    A great example was on Panorama recently about a bloke whose neurologist friend gave him a brain scan. Turned out he had one of the most dangerous Patrick Bateman type brains the guy had ever seen but because he'd had a pretty upbeat life he was just a normal, personable, if sinisterly charismatic bloke.
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    (Original post by falseprofit)
    There are examples of people who rose up and defeated depression through willpower as well.
    Oh yeah, i fully agree but my sympathy would generally go out to someone who is depressed rather than someone who is obese.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    Depression isn't caused by an "imbalance of chemicals in the brain" (a ridiculously oversimplified concept anyway, btw). It is an "imbalance of chemicals in the brain."
    So we should sensibly try to work out what causes that state. Why people get into it and can't get out. And that comes from factors that, at one point, were pretty much in their control.

    The equivalent would be to say that obesity is caused by having a really high bodyfat %. But, no, that's simply what it IS, and the cause of that is very complex. Being intentionaly dense and limiting our investigation to "they have no willpower lol, y they eat so much y?!"
    If some people can be happy most of the time, we wonder why others can't and should think about that. If some people can naturally regulate their body composition usually without worrying too much about what they eat, we should wonder why others can't.
    firstly you're just splitting hairs. not only are you simply picking on things you see as incorrect to try and display some sort of authority on this, you are also wrong. depression is characterised by behaviour and thinking. life doesn't give any positive feeling and only saddens people. you wouldn't identify someone with depression simply by their chemical imbalance in their brain; you would identify them by their feelings. as wikipedia put it very well "Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being.". obesity is characterised by their weight, and is caused by overeating.

    stop pretending you are educated on this subject when its clear you are not.


    we have identified that some people have higher appetite than others, its not some special disease involving chemicals that we haven't yet discovered. also before you point it out yes i know some people do actually have a problem with their thyroid for example leading to weight gain. we arent talking about those however. the sad fact is some people need to put an effort in and do extra exercise and watch what they eat to stay healthy. similarly some people are genetically predisposed to depression which can be triggered by environmental factors.

    depression and obesity aren't to be thought of as similar problems that involve will power to solve. obesity can and should be solved with just eating a healthy diet and exercise. depression is far more complex and there isn't a simple straight forward solution. that is why people cant sympathise with obese people who 'cant' lose weight but can sympathise with someone who is depressed and cant help theirselves.

    winston churchill suffered depression. should he simply work harder and get more motivation to achieve in life? should he just 'cheer up'?
    (Original post by NB_ide)
    We're given the over-simplistic idea that you get fat when you "eat too much", and that this is entirely within our control. No mention is made of the extremely complex matter of appetite regulation, changes in metabolism and nutrient partitioning (i.e. where the stuff you eat ends up in your body), motivation to exercise, and so on. It's supposedly just a simple calories in vs. calories out model and thinking about it any deeper is discouraged. It's seen as pointless and in poor taste to delve deeper and we're comfortable with fatness being hilarious and something to poke fun at.

    DEPRESSION, on the other hand, is sooooo complicated (chemicals in the brain, man. Chemicals in the brain) that it's offensive to even try to look at the reasons for it. We can't possibly understand it and it's absolutely wrong to think that external influences (which the patient can control to some extent) could be involved. It's all just a terrible accident and we can drug the ****ers up and feel sorry for them. Maybe prescribe an hour of fatty mocking to cheer them up.
    sounds like you're a bit butt hurt that no one is giving you sympathy for being overweight. the 'simple calories in vs. calories out model' holds true for weight gain. the fat isn't magically appearing from no where, its being shovelled into their mouth in mcdonalds. its like the 4th law of physics or suttin; fat comes from eating.

    why aren't there obese people in africa who are starving?
Updated: December 6, 2012
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