Fat Depression

Depression sucks. Fat depression sucks more.

I’ve gone through periods – days, weeks, months – when I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I’d lie there thinking about how sad I felt, trying to find the mental energy to get up. Sometimes the only thing that would get me up was the realization that I could go down to the kitchen and eat. Not because I was hungry, but to escape the depression. The result: Feeling worse. Back to bed.

Fat depression robs my energy and my will, just like ‘regular’ depression. But instead of leaving me alone with my sadness, fat depression hurts my body too. I have sore knees and an aching back all the time. I sweat bullets doing even the littlest physical tasks – climbing stairs, walking across a parking lot. Moving hurts; sitting still isn’t comfortable either. Armchairs can be too tight and hurt my ass. Airplane seats hurt all over. And on top of all the discomforts, weight gain has robbed me of the ability to do so many of the things I love. That’s fat depression.

The thing is, I suffer from regular, garden-variety major depression too. My emotional state has suddenly crashed more times than I care to count. Sometimes because of a job loss or a family crisis. Sometimes just because. Medication and therapy help a little, but mostly it seems I just have to ride it out. It can take months.

I don’t have much real control over my major depression. It has to do with my brain chemistry and I can’t change that. But I’ve got some measure of control over my fat depression, right? I have to believe that if I drop 140-odd pounds and hit a ‘normal weight,’ I will lose my fat depression too.

I’ve been lucky with my obesity in one sense: I haven’t (yet) suffered from any of the serious medical complications. I’ve got asthma and sleep apnea, both of which should ease with weight loss. Fat depression is the biggest obesity-related health issue I’ve dealt with. Can’t wait to kiss that one goodbye.

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