Monday, November 01, 2004

Stress Stupidity

I've always been a bit of a closet science dork, so upon embracing my bipolar diagnosis, I signed up for a bunch of listservs that inform members of the latest and greatest scientific breakthroughs and/or other miscellaneous happenings in the bipolar universe. The latest bit of fascinating research to come through the wire involves a study that found that the action of a chemical that floods manic brains impairs thinking in animals. That may not seem exciting, but it's actually really cool that these egg heads have identified this chemical because the more we understand about the actual functioning of this illness, the more sophisticated medicine can become to treat it.

In other news, researchers have also demonstrated an undeniable relationship between obesity and depression. While the researchers have noticed the correlation between being depressed and being overweight, there is still some chicken-and-egg debating going on, as in does the depression cause the weight gain or does the weight cause the depression? The important outcome of this research is that the scientists were able to demonstrate that depressed people are overweight more often than their non-depressed counterparts—quite a feat considering 65% of American adults are overweight anyway.

So I guess my conclusion of the day is that if you are feeling fat and stupid, maybe it's not just low self-esteem talking. :)