Request an Appointment
Obesity Also Harms Mental Health

Obesity Also Harms Mental Health


Obesity, which is caused by excessive fat in the body, causes many diseases in the body, especially cardiovascular diseases. Obesity harms human psychology as well as physical harm. Memorial Ataşehir Hospital Psychology Department Specialists gave information about the psychological problems caused by obesity and ways of treatment.



The prevalence of nutrition disorders is increasing in our country.

Obesity not only threatens physiological health in many ways but also negatively affects a person's mental health. Obesity often leads to depression and other psychiatric disorders. Today, with the rapid sociocultural and technological changes, the increase in cultural conflicts, the differentiation of fashion and trends, the rate of nutrition disorders, and obesity are increasing Especially the change in sociocultural attitudes towards body image increases the frequency of nutrition disorders in our country.

Obesity is increasing and self-worth is decreasing

In studies examining the relationship between obesity and psychopathology, it has been determined that obese patients have lower self-esteem, especially depression, anxiety disorders, sexual dysfunctions, sleep disorders, and personality disorders compared to those with normal body weight. Studies are showing that there is a linear relationship between obesity and decreased self-esteem.

Attachment theory is a theory that explains the interpersonal relationships of individuals, and according to this theory, attachment style is related to self-confidence. In the studies conducted with individuals with obesity, insecure attachment scores were higher. Among these individuals, those with insecure attachment are more preoccupied with weight than those who are connected safely, have low self-worth, experience intense feelings of inadequacy and uselessness, and are sensitive to rejection by others. As a result of insecure attachment, the child or adult does not realize that it needs to be individualized and questions its value and likability. The desire to cope with personal inadequacy may turn into a rigid attitude towards nutrition behavior. In this regard, "diet and weight loss" can be used to reclaim strength and control, allowing one to redefine oneself, at least in appearance.

Psychological distress that causes obesity must be resolved

Obesity is treated using a variety of methods (surgery, diet, etc.). In addition to these treatments, new treatment models such as "psychological support-oriented obesity treatment" and "psychotherapy treatment" have begun to emerge in recent years. According to studies, psychological disorders are detected in obese people, and obesity is linked to other psychopathological disorders. As a result, the treatment of psychological disorders caused by obesity is becoming increasingly important in treatment of obesity. On the other hand, studies show that by treating the psychological problems causing obesity and causing a person to eat, a person can permanently lose weight.


Individual therapy and group therapy can be done in addition to diet.

In studies examining the relationship between obesity and psychopathology, it has been determined that obese patients have lower self-esteem, especially depression, psychosocial disability, anxiety disorders (social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder), sexual dysfunctions, sleep disorders and personality disorders compared to those with normal body weight. It was observed that after weight loss, patients returned to their old eating habits under severe stress in almost all treatment methods, whether pharmacological or behavioral. If we consider that every unsuccessful dieting behavior leads to the development of eating disorders and weight gain, we can conclude that, in addition to a diet program, individual therapy and group therapy-based treatment models can help people "weak out by feeling good" and lose weight permanently.

Psychological disorders can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

"Cognitive-behavioral therapy" is one of the therapy approaches that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of obesity. Patients are thought to misinterpret environmental stimuli and hunger sensations, leading to uncomfortable feelings and subsequent eating behavior, according to this therapy. Disruptive thoughts about food and diet, negative emotions, demotivating attitudes, and related logic errors can all be identified using cognitive restructuring techniques. As a result, the person develops healthier and more rational thinking, as well as better feelings and coping behaviors. It has been determined that this approach is used, and that individual psychotherapies and group therapies are very effective in the treatment of obesity. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to treat psychological disorders caused by obesity.

Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.

You May Also Like


Stay connect with us

Still not sure about a treatment or which doctor to pick? Not a problem. As your personalized patient manager, we’re here to answer all your questions, and send you a treatment plan once you have decided.