Nav: Home

Binge eating and smoking linked to bullying and sexual abuse

January 11, 2019

People who ever suffered bullying or sexual abuse have a lower quality of life similar to those living with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression or severe anxiety, a new study from the University of Adelaide has found.

They are also far more likely to display harmful behaviours like smoking dependence and binge eating.

The study, published in BMC Public Health, investigated around 3000 South Australians who took part in face-to-face interviews using self-labelling questions to measure the age of onset and duration of bullying and sexual assault and their outcomes during home interviews.

The study included participants of all ages, urban and rural settings and socioeconomic levels living in South Australia.

"In Australia almost half of all adults have experienced bullying and 10% have experienced some form of sexual abuse, and these experiences have had long-term effects on harmful behaviours, depression and quality of life," says Dr David Gonzalez-Chica from the University of Adelaide's Medical School.

While 60-70% of these forms of abuse occurred in childhood or adolescence, they were associated with worse outcomes later in life.

"Sexual abuse and bullying were related to harmful behaviours like smoking dependence and binge eating, antidepressant use, and reduced quality of life,'' Dr Gonzalez-Chica says.

"Those who suffered bullying and sexual abuse were three times more likely to be binge eaters than people who had never experienced these forms of abuse.

"Antidepressant use was up to four times more likely and smoking dependence was twice as frequent."

If someone had two or more adverse outcomes (smoking dependence, binge eating, antidepressant use, and a lower quality of life) the probability they had suffered bullying and/or sexual abuse ranged between 60-85%.

"Talking about an experience of bullying or sexual abuse in a face-to-face interview is very complicated because of the sensitive nature of these questions," Dr Gonzalez-Chica says.

"The study showed that it is feasible to use such kind of short but well-structured questions instead of long questionnaires to explore these issues.

This is particularly relevant for medical appointments where there is limited time for exploring so many different outcomes.

"If a doctor finds a patient with multiple harmful behaviours - like smoking dependence and binge eating - who is depressed and has a lower quality of life, they should consider exploring whether these patients were victims of bullying and/or sexual abuse, as according to our results it is very likely they suffered from these forms of abuse.

"Identifying survivors of both forms of abuse is important to provide support and reduce more severe mental and physical consequences, such as suicide."
-end-


University of Adelaide

Related Depression Articles:

Tackling depression by changing the way you think
A thought is a thought. It does not reflect reality.
How depression can muddle thinking
Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation.
Neuroimaging categorizes 4 depression subtypes
Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine.
Studies suggest inflammatory cytokines are associated with depression and psychosis, and that anti-cytokine treatment can reduce depression symptoms
Studies presented at this year's International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy, (Oct.
Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?
Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers
Postpartum depression -- a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it -- is indeed serious.
Tropical Depression 1E dissipates
Tropical Depression 1E or TD1E didn't get far from the time it was born to the time it weakened to a remnant low pressure area along the southwestern coast of Mexico.
Diagnosing depression before it starts
MIT researchers have found that brain scans may identify children who are vulnerable to depression, before symptoms appear.
Men actually recommend getting help for depression
Participants in a national survey read a scenario describing someone who had depressed symptoms.
Depression too often reduced to a checklist of symptoms
How can you tell if someone is depressed? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- the 'bible' of psychiatry -- diagnoses depression when patients tick off a certain number of symptoms on the DSM checklist.

Related Depression Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...