- Both obesity and depression are significant global health problems.
- Overall, as expected, a higher BMI was associated with higher odds of depression.
- Physicians treat conditions and often overlook the person.
Most people think depression is someone sitting at home doing nothing but in fact depression has many other symptoms. Often people who are depressed become “foodies” who are obsessed with food. Symptoms may also include a loss of interest in hobbies or taking care of themselves, staying up to the wee hours of the morning or going to bed early in the day.
It’s estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States, or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year. With the current divisiveness in the U.S. and bad news around the Coronavirus more people could easily be depressed. Doctors usually don’t screen for depression or spend enough time with patients to understand their mental health.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a major depressive episode as at least two weeks of a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, as well as at least five other symptoms, such as:
- Sleep issues on an almost daily basis (either difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much).
- Changes in appetite and weight (change of more than 5% body weight in a month) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
- Decreased energy or fatigue almost every day
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking clearly
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation that is observable by others (slow physical movements or unintentional or purposeless motions)
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide
According to data supplied by the American Psychiatric Association, employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.
Until we treat the whole person and screen for mental health issues depression will continue to take its toll on healthcare costs and patients.