Maybe it’s not the fat – maybe it’s in your head

How many times have I heard from fat folks, how they want to lose weight because the just can’t face life as a fat person, they have no energy to do anything, etc.

Well, what immediately comes to my mind is – you’re not fat (well you are fat but), you’re depressed.

Hello.  And there are all kinds of reasons to be depressed that have nothing to do with being fat.  I personally don’t believe being fat makes you depressed.  As my tagline says – I’ve never had a problem with my weight that wasn’t caused by other people. 

We all know that life stressors (moving, losing or changing jobs, illness or death of someone close to you, etc.) can cause depression.  Fat folks get depressed – just like thin and average sized folks, and for a lot of different reasons.  And for some of us, fat-hatred from society adds to the stress.

If your depression is fat-related at all, it has to do with how you feel about your fat and how you feel about how other people feel about your fat.  That’s all stuff that lives in your head, and it’s all stuff that you can “control”.  (I know, easier said than done – but knowing that you have this power, is a good place to start.)

And what if you say there is absolutely nothing wrong with your life but you still feel depressed – then it must be the fat, right?  No.  Maybe you’re like me.  Maybe you suffer from a chemical imbalance, and no matter how wonderful your life is, you still find yourself crying at cat food commercials (honest, I used to). 

And if you’re depressed, how much do you think dieting is going to help?  With a 95% + failure rate?  Yeah, that’s going to cheer you up, when the weight comes back and then some, and everyone (including yourself) is saying it’s all your fault and you’re a failure.  Listen – fat is not the problem.  Fat is tissue.  Your muscles don’t make you depressed, do they?  How about your toenails?  It’s all tissue. 

I’m just saying that blaming everything that’s wrong in your life on fat is not helpful, and is not going to help.  You need to take an objective look at what is going on in your life, and identify what is actually going on.  The first step to dealing with a problem is identifying the problem.

And if you think you may be depressed (or bipolar, or whatever) get help. 

And if whoever you go to for help says they think you need to lose weight – they are not helping.  Find someone else. 

I was very lucky in finding a psychiatrist to help me.  After seeing her for quite awhile, I asked her why she never brought up my weight.  She told me that it didn’t appear to be an issue for me.  And she was right.  Not only that, she has asked for information on NAAFA to give to her fat patients to help them learn about size acceptance.  How cool is that?  I would like to think this is the norm, but unfortunately, I don’t think so.  However, it does show that there are fat-friendly people in the mental healthcare business.  So don’t settle.

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3 thoughts on “Maybe it’s not the fat – maybe it’s in your head

  1. Great post & thanks for it! I am SOOOO tired of people blaming any & everything that ever goes wrong in their lives on fat &/or proclaiming that fat acceptance might be okay for SOME people, but they cannot live happily or healthily at their current weight, some with the addendum that they don’t want to lose THAT much weight & will still be ‘obese’, without apparently considering that the weight loss will not solve anything & the weight will almost certainly return, usually with more to keep it company, so they will be even more ‘obese’. I have always insisted that, if I have a health problem, it should be treated the same way that the same health problem in a thin person would be treated, & the same goes for mental health.

  2. I went to listen to a gastric banding info session once (just for kicks lol) and one of the surgeons there claimed that ‘banding cures depression’. As someone who has suffered from chronic depression for about 20 years or so, I wanted to get up and slap him stupid. I am so with you on your comment that fat doesn’t cause depression and that you have never had a problem with your fat that wasn’t caused by other people. TOTALLY.

  3. I appreciate your post. I, too, am tired of so many things being blamed on someone’s weight; to hear the talk, fat is the source of all evils and weight loss is the mighty cure. I’m not sure how much of this knowledge/research isn’t really just the weight loss industry ensuring their continued success.

    The whole gastric banding stuff really gets me – like having surgery is healthy if you can avoid it?!

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