5 Mental Health Conditions That May Affect Your Weight

5 Mental Health Conditions That May Affect Your Weight

We often think of the mind and body as two separate entities when, in reality, they are interconnected. Your body reacts to your thoughts, feelings, and actions just as your mind responds to bodily sensations. Thus, changes in your mental state can affect your physical state and vice versa. Certain mental health disorders, for example, can cause sudden weight loss or weight gain. Here, our clinic discusses five such conditions as well as tips for weight management.

Mental Health & Weight Changes

1. Depression

Besides hopelessness and guilt, appetite changes are one of the main symptoms of depression. The condition causes some to overeat while some do not feel hungry at all. Thus, it can cause substantial changes in weight. Antidepressants like PAXIL® can also cause weight gain, making daily exercise a priority.

2. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes alternating periods of depression and elation or mania. It too is a mood disorder, meaning it shares characteristics with major depression. People with bipolar disorder may overeat during times of mania. The mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants used to treat this condition can also cause weight gain. Luckily, working with a weight management specialist can help individuals trim their waistlines and find healthier ways to cope with emotions.

3. Anxiety

Anxiety engages the body’s sympathetic nervous system, triggering the release of cortisol. This hormone boosts blood sugar levels and can cause nausea and gastrointestinal distress. As a result, people with anxiety may avoid food, especially in times of high stress.

4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

One develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing trauma or being under severe stress. Thus, much like anxiety, it alters the body’s cortisol levels. At certain quantities, this hormone causes cravings for sugary and fatty foods. It also encourages weight gain specifically in the stomach or torso.

5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition in which a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions, usually in response to a trigger. OCD is often

treated with antidepressants which, as previously mentioned, can lead to weight loss or weight gain. It is important to note, though, that obsessions and compulsions regarding the fear of gaining weight are classified as eating disorders, not OCD.

If you have any of the above conditions, please seek medical attention. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a specialist who will provide a formal diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan. Then, for weight changes as a result of your condition or its treatment, call Custom Health Centers at (844) 789-8446. Our nutrition experts will create a 60-day custom weight management program to help you feel your best.


Dr. Jason Olafsson D.C.

Founder & CEO
Doctor of Chiropractic
Life University

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February 12, 2021 — Dr. Jason Olafsson