A high proportion of people believe beauty is associated with being thin, young, and having a toned body. Society has judged people according to this false standard of beauty, rejecting or even ridiculing anyone who doesn’t fit into this perfect body mold. Many adverse psychological effects of obesity in women due to this mindset of people have been found.
When your culture tells you that the way you look is undesirable or unattractive, it’s easy to feel bad about yourself, to become sad or stressed, or to have eating problems. The different psychological effects of obesity in women have been discussed in this article in detail.
General False Beliefs Among Obese Women
Below are some of the false beliefs that overweight or obese women can have because of the fake beauty standards set by society.
- I am unattractive to the opposite sex, a psychological killer. Sadly this causes a lot of mental stress and can lead you to feel unlovable or undesirable.
- The misconception that if I am overweight or obese, I can never be considered beautiful.
- Suffering from an inferiority complex due to the feelings of unworthiness.
- Seeing your body in a negative light and not caring for it
- Believing that my self-worth is only associated with the way I look
The voice of self-distrust and insecurity can be loud, persistent, discouraging, and even destructive to your efforts. We are all prone to poisonous self-talk that invades different areas of our lives. Suppose you are someone who has been having negative thoughts about their body and self-worth. Then, it is highly recommended to have a therapy session. You can now book an online consultation with the Best Psychologists in Pakistan.
“Obese women are deprived of jobs and income despite good education, they seem at higher risk of being socially isolated both regarding intimate relationships and friendships, and they may suffer from lower self-esteem and more depression than obese men” -Berit L Heitmann & Jeanett Tang-Péronard, Psychosocial Issues in Female Obesity
7 Harmful Psychological Effects of Obesity in Women
We have listed some of the most challenging psychological effects of obesity in women below:
1. Social Anxiety Disorder
‘You would look a lot better if you lose some weight is a remark people often pass to women. If you are judged every time you go out in public for how you look, it is easy to develop anxiety, isolate yourself and avoid social gatherings. Anxiety is a mental illness characterized by excessive worry. Obese people are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. It has been found that anxiety usually stems from challenges that obese people confront.
2. Eating Disorders
Obese or overweight people commonly experience eating disorders. During times of stress or worry, people either give up food or start eating excess amounts to cope with the circumstances. Many women seeking weight-loss treatment claim that they eat for emotional reasons; others report having difficulties controlling portion sizes or meal timings. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder among obese women.
3. Poor Self-Esteem
Obesity can have a negative impact on a woman’s self-esteem. Because of weight issues and the negative comments of others, some women may find it challenging to identify and appreciate their strengths and abilities. However, it is essential to realize that your self-worth is not associated with how others see you.
4. Poor Mental Health due to Discrimination
People who are obese are usually victims of abuse, bullying and face discrimination. A study has found that they are less likely to graduate high school, are less likely to marry, and earn less money than people of average body weight. Obese people are regularly subjected to discrimination in various scenarios, including school, work, and even medical services. These experiences may be more common in people who are severely obese.
5. Body image Dissatisfaction
For many people, body image is a significant component of their well‐being. Body image dissatisfaction is common in overweight people. Body dissatisfaction has been connected to various unhealthy eating behaviors, including dieting, meal skipping, fasting, self-induced vomiting, and the use of diet pills or laxatives. Body dissatisfaction is also associated with low self-esteem and depression, particularly in overweight or obese adolescent females.
Obese people are nearly five times more likely than average-weight people to have had a major depressive episode in the past. This link between obesity and depression appears stronger in women than in men, possibly due to society’s emphasis on ‘thin body’ as a defining feature of female beauty.
7. Chronic Stress
Constant worry about your weight, appearance, and body image can lead to problems like chronic stress if professional help is not taken within time. Women who are stigmatized because of their weight, for example, are known to be more stressed and have a higher risk of developing other mental health disorders.
Studies suggest that individuals with obesity have high levels of depression and anxiety. They may also have problems with eating habits, and their quality of life, particularly in the physical area, is low. The psychological symptoms of obesity have a negative impact on life quality, self-esteem, and eating habits. There is no saying when others will change their negative mindset, but you can change yours. So, start treating your body the way it deserves to be treated and never indulge in negative self-talk. Psychological support is also a great option to improve your quality of life, self-esteem, or overall mental health.
1. How does obesity affect you emotionally?
Being overweight or obese can have emotional effects such as low self-esteem and anxiety and more severe conditions such as depression and eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia.
2. Can obesity be cured?
Obesity in its early stages can be reversed by adopting healthy eating habits and following an exercise routine that helps in weight loss.
3. Can obesity cause anxiety and depression?
Yes, obesity is often linked to emotional problems such as sadness, anxiety, and depression, especially in women.
Book an appointment now, to get answers to all your queries. You can book an appointment with the Top Psychology specialists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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