Weight Loss Support - Weight Loss Depression??

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11-03-2010, 05:12 PM
I typically have bouts with low grade depression and high grade anxiety so I'm starting off in the hole but ever since I started my lifestyle change I've been having bouts of extreme depression. Like sitting at my desk at work crying depression.

A month ago I was upset that I was overweight and scared because the doctor basically gave me the grim "you're going to die" if you don't lose the weight speech but otherwise I was happy. No, I didn't have everything in my life that I wanted but I was content with what I had.

Now? Almost a month in and I'm horribly unhappy most of the time. I'm edgy, cranky and just plain pms-y most of the time (even when it's not TOM). I hate my life, I hate that my apartment is so small and cluttered (not bad just not spotlessly clean). I hate that we never seem to have enough money. I hate that my hubs (who I love dearly) can't seem to get off his hiney and help out around the house. I'm overwhelmed by the bills, my job and just my life in general.

Usually I'm so excited about the holidays...seriously, I'm like a Christmas nut...but this year just the thought of having to navigate all the potential food minefields at family gatherings coupled with the extra work, expense and stress has me wanting to curl into a little ball and never come out.

Is this a normal part of the process? Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

11-03-2010, 05:22 PM
Yes, I think this all sounds so familiar. When your weight leaves you not confident in yourself, then everything else is highly affected. And making positive change in your life is beyond difficult. But I did it. I did it after hearing about Metabolic Research Center, so you might just read through that forum and see if you might find it helpful (regarding the weight loss part). I thought there was no way I would ever lose my weight, but went from a size 24 to 14 between Aug 09 to Dec. 09. I am now in a 12 and I am working to get the scale moving down yet. That change affects everything in my life more than I could have foresaw.

Wishing you the best in your journey. Please don't give up. Life is just too amazing to lose out!

11-03-2010, 05:26 PM
Been there! There is actually a scientific explanation for this. I am majoring in Psychology right now and we discussed this in class.

People who are chronic over eaters, (like me before I started my weight loss journey) have more dopamine(feel good neurotransmitter) in the brain. Eating large amounts of food causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel good chemical also associated with drug addiction. That is why people get addicted to food, there is an actual chemical addiction there. The longer that someone has been an overeater, the more resistant their brain becomes to the feel good effects of the dopamine.

In short, because you are dieting and drastically (I am assuming) cutting the amount and type of food you are consuming, your already dopamine-resistant brain is not getting enough to 'trigger' the feel good response. This can lead to depression.

Anti-depressants could help, because they essential correct this chemical imbalance, however those are prone to cause weight gain... I would say ride it out, and eventually your brain will get use to the lower chemical levels again and everything will be fine. You are just detoxing right now.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical proffesional, obviously. Just a poor college student... This entire post is based on a class discussion and may or may not be the problem.

11-03-2010, 05:34 PM
I saw a therapist earlier this year for a little while and that helped. Now, I am taking an over the counter amino acid supplement called SAMe. I don't put much stock in supplements, but this one is definitely helping me... if I have a busy weekend and forget to take it for a few days, I can really tell.

Exercise REALLY helps, too. It gets those brain chemicals going, too. I really like my Tuesday night Zumba class - I meet up with some friends and spend the hour dancing to happy music!

11-03-2010, 05:52 PM
Exercise, particularly longer sessions of moderately intense exercise, releases dopamine. So while you're riding this out, exercise can help moderate dopamine levels in your brain.

11-03-2010, 06:32 PM
Thank you all so much. I don't know why things got so overwhelming today but I know they've been building for a couple of days. I hate feeling this way. UGH!

Joy2MeNu: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm so glad you found a diet program that worked so well for you!!!

AbstractSilver What you say makes perfect sense. In fact as I posted I was wondering if it wasn't actually some sort of weird food withdrawal because I fear I'm acting like the hubs did when he quit smoking. I do take an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant (which does have a side effect of weight loss - doh!) so maybe I'll just need to ride this wave out and see if it resolves in the next month or so. If not I'll ask the doc about it when I see him again in December.

SCraver & mandalinn82: Exercise it is! I admit I've been slacking a bit in that department because the more depressed I get the less I want to exercise which means I just get more lethargic and suddenly I'm stuck in a vicious circle. Time to move whether I want to or not.

11-03-2010, 06:49 PM
Sunshine73, you've gotten some good replies. Maybe another way of looking at it is that you've likely been using food as a "substance" that you indulge in as a way of avoiding thinking about unpleasant things in your life. If you're not overeating as a way to avoid facing things, maybe that forces you to think about things that trouble you, and that's why you feel less happy/more depressed.

:hug: Hang in there! It may get worse before it gets better, but I predict that it will ultimately get better.

Lori Bell
11-03-2010, 07:19 PM
Oh yeah...I definitely went through the same thing about a month into the weight-loss phase. Then it got better...MUCH better. But guess what? Now it's really bad again. Probably in the last 6-7 months or so it's gotten a lot worse and I couldn't pin point what my problem was until Monday. ETA: Actually I kindof knew what the problem was, but I was in denial...because I want to be thin and eat like crap on weekends...lol

I've been mini binging on crap almost every weekend, (last weekend was the binge from ****...nothing mini about it) I then have been making up for it during the week. It's a vicious cycle. I was WAYYYY better off when I was 100% on plan all the time, as in NO sugar. I'm trying really hard to get back to that. Once I get back to my goal range I want to try like heck to keep/stay off the sugar and junk that make me totally crazy. :dizzy: Today is day 3 since I last had sugar and I feel like I'm going to explode. The anxiety is through the roof and like you, I'd like to curl up into a ball and not come out until spring. I HATE this feeling.

We can get though this. Hang in there Chickie.

AZ Sunrises
11-03-2010, 09:29 PM
I've been experiencing the same thing since April. I've read studies that indicate dieting can sometimes cause depletion of serotonin levels. Then there's the estrogen that's stored in your body fat that's entering your system. If you're an emotional eater, you're not "eating" your emotions anymore and are being forced to deal with the problems instead of getting your endorphin fix from junk food to feel better.

:hug: Hang in there.

11-03-2010, 09:32 PM
You have gotten so much substantial advice that I am not going to even try to add anything but--

I have been there.
I understand.
It can get better.

11-04-2010, 07:24 AM
Thanks so much for starting this thread, Sunshine! I have been prone to pretty serious anxiety off and on throughout my life, and since May when I started this weight loss, it has been rearing it's ugly head again. I have suspected that since I no longer choose to rely on my go-to coping mechanism (gorging on junk!), I'm kinda flapping in the breeze. I am really appreciating reading the advice in this thread. Understanding it does help!

I have been slowly incorporating more exercise into my plan, but stepping it up sounds like a good idea.

Thanks again, I needed to read this.