Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Overweight and obesity from a psychosomatic point of view

It's spring and slimming in swimsuits will soon culminate. The crowds of women (and many men) who struggle to reduce larger or smaller spikes in different ways. Someone chooses ways of more or less drastic diets, others by increasing sports, someone chooses different forms of detox, someone called reasonable eating with calorie counting and lots of other procedures.
I do not know a woman (and very few men) in her neighborhood who does not solve weight (or shape) at all times - who does not try to lose weight, trying to gain weight, but the same is still the same, some dissatisfaction with my body.
 Dissatisfaction with the body, the fact that he does not like his "owner", is the most frequent motivation to  lose weight in younger age groups. In the elderly, health risks or health consequences - diabetes, high blood pressure , high cholesterol , pain joints ad.

So here is the question of who we are? If someone is not satisfied with their body, then they are probably someone other than a body. Again it brings us back to the concept of man, the being to which the body belongs, but also other aspects - it is essentially not whether we call it "soul" and "spirit", or somehow completely different. The fact that man is not only his body, I think we all agree. This topic has been examined by the supreme scholars and philosophers from antiquity (and perhaps even earlier). Let us therefore postpone the one-sided look at weight loss and stop for a moment to address the intake and output of energy, the alchimies of the nutrients and the training plans. Let's search for the root cause of the behavior that supports fattening.


The subject of nutrition related to the other components of human being was dealt with, for example, by Spinoza, who emphasizes that in man the physical body is both spiritual and mental and different "food types" always act on the whole human being. Which also means that if a food is not available, it must be replaced by another. This brings us to the core of a poodle that I often encountered with my clients at the time when I did overweight reduction courses - "malnutrition" in the psychological area is overwhelmed by the excess of nutritional substances - food.

A beautifully spiritual and spiritual diet describes Irmgard Fuchs in Psychosomatics:
"A good mental diet consists of varied human relationships and friendship, the ability of cooperation, tolerance, solidarity and generosity, manifested in the form of constant giving and receiving. Highly valuable spiritual diet means books, music, art, science, philosophy, stimulating conversations that contribute to the cultivation of man by mediating self-knowledge and knowledge of people and the world. If mental metabolism is limited by distrust, impatience, supremacy, and affection of all kinds, mental nutrition gets a negative flavor and becomes more a brake than an incentive. It is still little known that hostile world views lead to "poisoning the mind" due to hate addiction, which can then gradually destroy the body as well.

Summarizing the knowledge of the philosophers and looking for a common denominator for gentleness and addiction to food, we find as a decisive motif mental-spiritual immobility, which carries with it compulsive activities and childish hopes for simple and comfortable solutions to life's difficulties and challenges. "

Classical medicine is against the phenomenon of obesity in the narrow. The growing number of obese people in the world a few years ago exceeded the number of malnourished people. The economic cost of treating obesity-related illnesses is dramatically increasing. The quality of life of obese people is declining, their productivity is decreasing, and overall, individual freedom and self-esteem, which carries enormous psychological harm.

In the social field, ie in interpersonal relationships, obese people have many identical signs. Mostly they are poorly tolerant of tension, impatient, distrustful, overwhelmed by fear, jealousy and jealousy, which are all of the quality that creates a distance from others, unsatisfactory relationships. These aspects of the personality are often suppressed and masked by just fixing to food and all the "machinations" associated with it - starvation, denial of sweets, and subsequent overeating.

In other words, we can talk about obesity as a desire for "greater weight of life" or about creating a defense against the world. I do not question the factors of genetic predispositions, the inheritance of the "family plate", but also how to work with emotions and relationships within the family during childhood. According to Freud's psychology, the problem of overeating in the so-called "oral period" in early childhood, whose needs were not sufficiently satisfied.

So how do obesity solve how to help its patients, how to free the lean person from his fatty prison? Unfortunately, there is no definite solution, as is the case with psychosomatic diseases. It is best to combine lifestyle changes - be they diet and sport - with respectful psychotherapeutic support. The activity of the obese person itself is crucial. Thanks to the therapeutic relationship, it is possible to work with self-esteem, to overcome in a certain sense mental-spiritual clumsiness and to reduce the fear of life.

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