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Old 09-26-2009, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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women, obesity , alcohol and depression


Hi
Not sure if anyone has posted this yet. I think i fit into this group!
By Anne Harding
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Alcohol abuse, obesity and depression seem to go hand in hand for many women, according to the first study to look at how the three relate to one another over time in young adults.

Dr. Carolyn A. McCarty of Seattle Children's Research Institute and her colleagues also found that almost half of the men and women in their study suffered from at least one of these problems between the ages of 21 and 30.

"That's big," McCarty told Reuters Health, and is likely only "the tip of the iceberg," because she and her colleagues used fairly stringent definitions of alcohol abuse, depression and obesity in their study.

The young men and women in the current study have been followed since 1985, when they were in fifth grade. McCarty and her team looked at data from interviews conducted when the study participants were 24, 27 and 30 years old to understand the interrelationships among depression, obesity and alcohol use disorders.

At age 21, 8 percent of women and 12 percent of men had at least two of the three problems. Over time, having more than one of the problems became more common for women, but less so for men.

For men, the only association the researchers saw was for obese 27-year-olds, who were less likely to be depressed at age 30. But women who were depressed at 27 were more than three times as likely to meet criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence at age 30.

Women who had alcohol use problems at 24 were nearly four times as likely to be obese at 27, while being obese at age 27 more than doubled the risk of depression at 30.

And lower-income individuals of both sexes were at greater risk of depression and obesity.

A tendency to "ruminative coping"-in which a person replays and obsesses about negative events-may be one of the traits that links alcohol abuse, obesity and depression, McCarty noted in an interview.

Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksma, a psychologist at Yale, has referred to the three as a "toxic triangle" of "eating, drinking and overthinking," the researcher added, and has shown that women-and men-who ruminate are more depressed and more likely to drink or to binge eat to cope with emotional problems.

There are interventions that target all three legs of this toxic triangle, McCarty said, including physical exercise, mindfulness training, and stress management. Strategies for treating depression, alcohol use problems, and obesity-all of which are characterized by problems with the brain's "reward system"--also need to help people find alternatives to rewarding themselves with food or alcohol, she added.

"We have to think about how people can start to build in naturally rewarding experiences in their lives," she said.

SOURCE: General Hospital Psychiatry, September/October 2009
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree with ozsandy ^.

I know I drank to numb my own depression... after a few drinks the depression went away, I was happy. Temporary... soon the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

I have also been told by obese people that they are extremely self-conscious about their weight until they have a few drinks, and they're happy.

Alcohol greatly reduces a person's feelings and inhibitions, but it's just a dangerous temporary non-solution.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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UGHHH! If I only knew the route that cycle would take before I took it for a ride...

I wholeheartedly agree... I used it to numb out the things that I thought I had no control over. As it turns out I lost control over everything else and allowed myself to be controlled by alcohol.

Actually I'm not terribly haunted by the ride since I got off a while back. Life is good
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses. I am not sure why but reading some of the research around this topic really helps me for some reason. I think it gives me a sense of the kind of loop I have been trapped in. Eating way too much getting fatter to the point i could not stand looking at myself. Then drinking to much to get rid of my self hating internal dialogue. I think i am going to investigate this mindfulness training. It may help - has anyone here tried it?
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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equanimity

I work in a research center--the sort of place that looks at the effect a yoga intervention has on breast cancer survivors. Also on the effect of lifestyle interventions--exercise and diet combined and alone on breast cancer biomarkers. Still, I think the mind body connection is partially chemical and partially spiritual. For the past couple of months I've meant to download some guided meditations to listen to. I put ten things on request for inter-library loan, purchased two cds, and downloaded about fifteen mp3 collections, then put them all into a little player that I could listen to while waiting to fall asleep.

Yes, intentionally setting aside time to meditate has made a big difference to me. I went and chased down all those tapes because I had been listening to one CD (Pema Chodron, On Mindfulness) where she talked about the process of tonglen. It involved opening the heart and feeling suffering instead of pushing it away. I think I listened to it fifty times. The first few times I listened to it I found I would stand up afterwards and feel completely different. I felt peaceful and hopeful, like I let go of something I didnít' need to hold so tightly to. For one hour the tape inside my head that played and replayed the insanity and pain of addiction that had been consuming me for much of the previous year and all of the previous month shut the f*** up. Just that first time it felt magic, like one small ray of light that someday I might actually feel better, that I might learn how to actively choose my state of mind when feeling despair. In all honesty, that first time I heard it was amazing, and listening after that over and over did feel a little like work. Work I needed to do though.

That was in June. Early September I compiled a batch of more guided audio to see if I could try to learn more about altering my experience of self / universe / body. I am glad I did that too. Just following through on my intention to try it made a big difference for me. First, I felt relief that I was doing something good for myself--making contact with how my relaxed body felt--it actually crowded out for a few minutes the thoughts that typically arise: inwards pull towards planning, judging, fantasizing, remembering, internal conversations, hating myself, feeling that something needed to change and it wouldn't change and it was my fault, all that crud. These thoughts were flying around like sparrows in my head, but I could come back to the stillness. I could turn my attention away from that. I could choose to listen to silence. I could choose to accept that silence. I could choose to accept how I felt in that silence, and it felt like peace. That peace was there if I made space for it.

The fact is, it did alter my state of mind. I'm sure there are logical reasons to do with brain waves, cortisol, blood pressure, etc. But I am also sure there are deeply spiritual parameters that have to do with being in a trance, awareness, and intent to open to seeing the world a new way. I put this here in the event you wanted to give it a listen. I sound like an evangelist (hah!!) here, but maybe this kind of faith (faith in yourself) is not such a bad thing.

equanimity page where you can download one mp3 <-here's a link to one mp3 I really liked recently; it may take 10min to download depending on your internet connection
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Covington i will download that and give it a go
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use the 12 steps now to help manage my depression, anxiety, and obsessions.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Really TommyK lol you have kept that quiet :rotfxko
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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One of my daughters is a recovering anorexic, we speak at times about our recovery and it never ceases to amaze me how our thought processes were much the same while we were still in the throws of our problems, and even more amazing how our recovery process is so much the same, the spiritual side as well as the ongoing self examination and taking care of things that crop up in our lifes early because we have both learned how to see the problems while they are in thier infancy and can be handled easily.

I have to take my hat off to any one with an eating disorder in recovery, as an alcoholic in recovery I now know that I do not need to drink to live, in order to live I do NOT drink. But an eating disorder with all of the mental similarities is a horse of a different color, one has to eat to live, the key for an eating disorder is to eat, but eat properly!!!!

I know folks in AA that also use OA to deal with thier eating disorders, the one guy I have talked at length about this has said that once he had taken the steps with his AA sponsor that things began to improve quickly as far as his depression went which helped some with the eating deal, he said that takiing the steps with his OA sponsor made a world of difference in his eating disorder and almost totally eradicated his depression.

She mentions:

Quote:
We have to think about how people can start to build in naturally rewarding experiences in their lives," she said.
I know me and millions of others have found a naturally rewarding manner of life in the steps be they for Alcohol and or eating disorders, both of which in most cases take care of the depression along the way as long as the depression is not due to chemical imbalances, and even if the depression is due to that we support them along thier way as well.
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