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Halo

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Depression, anxiety tied to unhealthy habits

By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Depression and anxiety are associated with obesity and poor health behaviors like smoking, drinking, and inactivity, new research indicates.

"Depression and anxiety are serious mental health conditions and without treatment may assume a chronic course," Dr. Tara W. Strine who led the study told Reuters Health. "Given this, it is important to take depression and anxiety seriously and to seek medical care when needed."

Strine, from the division of adult and community health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta and colleagues analyzed data from 217,379 U.S. adults who took part in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System -- a large telephone survey that monitors the prevalence of key health behaviors.

Of those surveyed, 8.7 percent reported current depression, 15.7 percent had a history of depression, and 11.3 percent had a history of anxiety at some time, the researchers report in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

Results showed that adults with current depression or a previous diagnosis of depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as their non-depressed peers.

Those with an anxiety disorder were 30 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as their non-anxious counterparts.

Those with depression and anxiety were also more likely to follow an inactive lifestyle, and to be binge or heavy drinkers.

Strine added, "There is a dose-response relationship between depression severity and the prevalence of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity; and also between history of depression (never depressed, previously depressed, currently depressed) and the prevalence of smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, binge drinking, and heavy drinking."

The team concludes, "The significant associations that we found between mental health problems, unhealthy behaviors and obesity, suggest that public health interventions should address mental and physical health as a combined entity and that programs to simultaneously improve people's mental and physical health should be developed and implemented."

SOURCE: General Hospital Psychiatry, March/April 2008.
 

braveheart

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Well, I've always been underweight and have never smoked or drunk alcohol.
I also have long term depression and anxiety.

Seems I'll never be a typical statistic...
 

lallieth

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Well, I've always been underweight and have never smoked or drunk alcohol.
I also have long term depression and anxiety.

Seems I'll never be a typical statistic...
Same here,except for the underweight part,but I would not consider myself overweight or obese and I have anxiety/panic disorder
 

Halo

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When I read the article I see these points specifically:

Results showed that adults with current depression or a previous diagnosis of depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as their non-depressed peers.

Those with an anxiety disorder were 30 percent more likely to be obese and twice as likely to smoke as their non-anxious counterparts.

I do not read the article as saying All people that suffer depression and/or anxiety will be obese, smoke and drink alcohol but according to their research there is a much higher risk of all of those if one does suffer from depression and/or anxiety and I can definitely see why.

Say depression for instance, when one is suffering from depression it is common for them to lose interest in their regular activities (possible physical ones), have no motivation to do anything, possible eat for comfort and depending how long the depression lasts, this could lead to being overweight and even obesity.

Same thing can be said for alcohol consumption, a person who is suffering either depression or anxiety or both, they may use alcohol as a means of relaxing or escaping their symptoms whereby their consumption amount may be higher.

I think that it is interesting to note too that this article was not directly looking at how many of the subjects may have a history of disordered eating as a result of depression and/or anxiety.

There is still quite a large number of people (40% in depression) and (70% in anxiety) that did not fall into the above categories.

I am not disputing what you both have said however I just found this article fascinating.
 
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Daniel

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Physical problems often due to mental problems

Physical problems 'often mental'
By Michelle Roberts
BBC News

October 14, 2009

The true burden of mental ill health is unrecognised since many "physical" problems, like cancer and obesity, are really "mind" problems, say experts.

Most lung cancers are caused by addiction to smoking, and some obesity by a brain-driven compulsion to eat, says UK psychiatrist Dr Peter Jones.

And to tackle such problems experts need to go back to delving the mind.

He and other leading mental health experts are calling for a trebling of funding to ?200m a year for research.

The Research Mental Health initiative, along with public figures including Alistair Campbell, Jo Brand and Stephen Fry, are taking their declaration to Downing Street.

Mental illness in its "classic" sense, including depression and schizophrenia, affects one in four people in the UK each year but receives just 5% of total health research spending.

Currently, around ?74 million a year is spent on researching mental illness.

Yet the economic, social and human cost of mental illness totals ?100 billion a year in the UK alone.

And many "physical" health problems involve a strong mental component, they say.

"Mental"
Professor Peter Jones, head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, said: "Mental health and illness are seen as separate from physical health and disorders but it's becoming increasingly clear that is wrong.

"Take smoking and lung cancer. People think of it as a physical illness but lung cancer is a behaviour disease due to smoking habit."

Similarly, he said research showed that some cases of obesity could be explained by a hormonal deficiency that acts on the brain circuitry that tells the body when it is full or hungry.

"We need to zip together physical and mental health. It is absurd to think that biological processes would stop at the neck."

People with severe mental illnesses are nearly three times more likely to develop diabetes and other cardiovascular disease risk factors and, on average, die 25-30 years younger.

Research Mental Health says more research investment is desperately needed to match the impact mental health has on people in terms of premature death and disability.

Poor cousin
"The long term aim must be to put mental health research on the same footing as that for physical illness," it says.

Mental illness and cancer both account for about 15% of the total disease burden in the UK, yet cancer gets more than 25% of research investment, while mental health gets 5%.

Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "Our understanding of mental illness is moving at a snail's pace.

"Whilst treatments have improved, we have not yet seen the breakthroughs needed to significantly reduce the massive economic and social damage caused by mental illness."

Meanwhile, experts and advocates in mental and physical health are working together for the first time in a European policy initiative - the Mental and Physical Health Platform - to improve the understanding of the interaction between body and mind in disease.

The chairman of the initiative, John Bowis, said: "It is time to bridge the gap between mental and physical health by taking actions across policy areas and countries."
 

Daniel

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PTSD and Smoking - Relationship Between PTSD and Smoking

PTSD and smoking commonly co-occur. This may not be surprising given that many people in the United States smoke in general. In fact, it has been estimated that approximately 21% of adults in the United States (about 45 million people) currently smoke...

Studies have found that, on average, approximately 45% of individuals with a current diagnosis of PTSD currently smoke. The rates are even higher when you consider whether someone with PTSD has smoked at any point in his or her lifetime. One study found that 58% of individuals with a current diagnosis of PTSD reported smoking at some point...
 

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