The Psychology Of Obesity (Psychological Aspects of Obesity)

Introduction and background

Much has been written about the psychological aspects of obesity. Among its many functions the diencephalon is also the seat of our primitive animal instincts, and just as in an emergency it can switch energy from one center to another, so it seems to be able to transfer pressure from one instinct to another. Thus, a lonely and unhappy person deprived of all emotional comfort and of all instinct gratification except the stilling of hunger and thirst can use these as outlets for pent up instinct pressure and so develop obesity. Yet once that has happened, no amount of psychotherapy or analysis, happiness, company or the gratification of other instincts will correct the condition.

 

Compulsive Eating

No end of injustice is done to obese patients by accusing them of compulsive eating, which is a form of diverted sex gratification. Most obese patients do not suffer from compulsive eating; they suffer genuine hunger – real, gnawing, torturing hunger – which has nothing whatever to do with compulsive eating. Even their sudden desire for sweets is merely the result of the experience that sweets, pastries and alcohol will most rapidly of all foods allay the pangs of hunger. This has nothing to do with diverted instincts.
On the other hand, compulsive eating does occur in some obese patients, particularly in girls in their late teens or early twenties. Fortunately from the obese patients’ greater need for food, it comes on in attacks and is never associated with real hunger, a fact which is readily admitted by the patients. They only feel a feral desire to stuff. Two pounds of chocolates may be devoured in a few minutes; cold, greasy food from the refrigerator, stale bread, leftovers on stacked plates, almost anything edible is crammed down with terrifying speed and ferocity.
For many patients, such an attack occurs without the patient’s knowledge, and it is a frightening, ugly spectacle to behold, even if one does realize that mechanisms entirely beyond the patient’s control are at work. A careful enquiry into what may have brought on such an attack almost invariably reveals that it is preceded by a strong unresolved sex-stimulation, the higher centers of the brain having blocked primitive diencephalic instinct gratification. The pressure is then let off through another primitive channel, which is oral gratification. In my experience the only thing that will cure this condition is not uninhibited sex, a therapeutic procedure which is hardly ever feasible, for if it were, the patient would have adopted it without professional prompting, nor would this in any way correct the associated obesity. It would only raise new and often greater problems if used as a therapeutic measure.
Patients suffering from real compulsive eating are comparatively rare. They constitute about 1-2%. Treating them for obesity is a heartrending job. They do perfectly well between attacks, but a single bout occurring while under treatment may annul several weeks of therapy. Little wonder that such patients become discouraged. In these cases, psychotherapy may make the patient fully understand the mechanism, but it does nothing to stop it. Perhaps society’s growing sexual permissiveness will make compulsive eating even rarer.
Whether a patient is really suffering from compulsive eating or not is hard to decide before treatment because many obese patients think that their desire for food (to them unmotivated) is due to compulsive eating, while all the time it is merely a greater need for food. The only way to find out is to treat such patients. Those that suffer from real compulsive eating continue to have such attacks, while those who are not compulsive eaters never get an attack during treatment.

 

Conclusion

All in all, psychological aspects of obesity are often ignored by many and yet are considered among the main reason in the “causation” and ‘maintenance” of obesity. While diet control is important, newly emerging diet protocols such as HCG diet and drops can be tested and tried as they have been used successfully by thousands of users over the periods of last few years.

Dieting is always in the news. With obesity on the rise in the US, news shows and television talk shows all advocate that you eat sensibly to lose unwanted pounds. Developed in 1954, the HCG diet has seen a resurgence in the number of advocates today. HCG is a hormone released in pregnant women during the early stages of pregnancy to begin burning fat in preparation for the carrying the fetus. Injections or supplementation with HCG coupled with a very low calorie diet has shown results for helping people lose weight.  Hence, in simple words, the HCG Diet is a weight loss program that combines calorie restriction with Human Chorionic Gondaotropin (HCG) injections. HCG Diet founder A.T.W. Simeons, M.D., claims HCG injections eliminate fat from the shoulders, hips, upper arms, thighs and buttocks, allowing people to target trouble areas while losing weight rapidly. According to Simeons, people can lose up to 5 pounds per week on the diet.

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