Shame Shown to Play Significant Role in Link Betwe
> 10/13/2005 10:41:10 AM

Anyone who has watched the Showtime dramedy Weedsunderstands the strained mother-daughter dynamic between Celia Hodesand her child Isabelle.  A spry, witty preteen, Isabelle has yetto drop her baby fat, and may never lose all of it.  Her mother,now a beautiful and intelligent housewife, sees reflected in herdaughter her own struggle with weight as a child and tormentsIsabelle.  A visit from Isabelle's grandmother, reveals to allthat the root of Celia's own mistreatment of her daughter lies in herexperiences with her mother.  When grandmother turns on Isabelleand Celia can see finally that she is only perpetuating a viciouscycle, Celia is able to reconcile with her youngster, even if only fora few episodes.
While Isabelle, a fictional character, keeps anupbeat and engaging attitude throughout her weight battles with hermother, many in her position do not handle the situation as well. Mental health professionals have long known that obese adolescents andteens suffer from depression at a much greater rate than theaverage.  Researchers in Sweden have thrown more light on thislink in a study performed at Uppsala University.  What this newstudy shows, as reported by Reuters,is that when psychosocial factors and instances of humiliation anddegradation are controlled for, the likelihood of depressiondisappears.  Researchers concluded that the social implications ofobesity (shame, humiliation, degradation, etc.) must be taken intoaccount before drawing any conclusions about depression's link toobesity. 
Weeds writers understood this importantdistinction--childhood obesity doesn't equal depression, buthumiliation and shame, especially at the hands of a parent, can lead todepression as well as a distorted self-image.

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