Shame Shown to Play Significant Role in Link Between Depression and Obesity
> 12/14/2005 10:24:35 AM

Anyone who has watched the Showtime dramedy Weeds understands the strained mother-daughter dynamic between Celia Hodes and her child Isabelle.  A spry, witty preteen, Isabelle has yet to drop her baby fat, and may never lose all of it.  Her mother, now a beautiful and intelligent housewife, sees reflected in her daughter her own struggle with weight as a child and torments Isabelle.  A visit from Isabelle's grandmother, reveals to all that the root of Celia's own mistreatment of her daughter lies in her experiences with her mother.  When grandmother turns on Isabelle and Celia can see finally that she is only perpetuating a vicious cycle, Celia is able to reconcile with her youngster, even if only for a few episodes.
While Isabelle, a fictional character, keeps an upbeat and engaging attitude throughout her weight battles with her mother, many in her position do not handle the situation as well.  Mental health professionals have long known that obese adolescents and teens suffer from depression at a much greater rate than the average.  Researchers in Sweden have thrown more light on this link in a study performed at Uppsala University.  What this new study shows, as reported by Reuters, is that when psychosocial factors and instances of humiliation and degradation are controlled for, the likelihood of depression disappears.  Researchers concluded that the social implications of obesity (shame, humiliation, degradation, etc.) must be taken into account before drawing any conclusions about depression's link to obesity. 
Weeds writers understood this important distinction--childhood obesity doesn't equal depression, but humiliation and shame, especially at the hands of a parent, can lead to depression as well as a distorted self-image.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy