Monday, July 7, 2014
Obesity is a Mental Disorder?
Obesity is a Mental Disorder? Exploring the Nearly Forgotten Psychoanalytic Theories on the Subject Lex Contributor Network . Being overweight to the point of Obesity can be a form of mental illness ? It has become popular in the culture to negate the old Freudian based theory obesity being a mental disorder because the genetic predisposition removes blaming self and of course blaming one's mother. When genetic predisposition gets does not get the blame Happy meals from McDonald's are targeted as the cause. Someone else is always responsible for one becoming fat or one's children becoming obese. Americans become preoccupied with drugs, diets and surgical fixes when maybe people with such problems should explore the now out of favor Freudian insights on the subject. The Freudian theory advanced with the help of subsequent theorists including Erickson and others exploring the subject. Knowing one's self can be an exercise in piercing the unconscious security walls which are a bit analogous to how your computer security system might work. In extreme cases Freudians noted that once a person could see the insight into a perplexing behavior the behavior could either morph to some other favor or stop in its tracks. Eating to get fat is a repetitive behavior with lots of desire and self gratification involved. That is where the Freudians start in their analysis. Self Gratification and how eating to the extreme can result from the need for unconscious gratification. One's heart beats faster when one exercises and one does not have to push a button to get it to do so-It automatically responds to the stimulus of the activity or can respond to content on the silver screen or television in a drama. What makes the heart change its beat is not conscious where one has to use one's conscious mind to get transpose the settings on the heart the way one can change the settings on a television set where one can change the canals or change the volume. The unconscious is working in the body all the time making all of the various organs work the way they are supposed to without any thinking. Feeding the body only seems conscious to us? Part of eating is conscious and gratification from eating is related to the need for hunger without which humans might not be inspired to spend their time eating or knowing when to eat. What can make people hungry is a mixture of innate instinctive behavior that most animals have and conscious thought process that is most advanced in humans. At the unconscious level, so the theory goes one type of thinking modifies the other what is automatic and innate behavior is restructured by environmental situations such as relative scarcity of food or the bounty of food and the way it is set probably originates in very early childhood. Now you can free associate a while about what you remember of your earliest childhood and see what you can remember about eating and the gratification food gave you and any memories of being hungry, very hungry, always hungry, eating too much to the point your stomach hurt, your parents telling you how or what to eat and anything else you can think about on the subject. No this won't give you a cathartic moment where you have that sudden spark of insight about your unconscious thinking process about eating but it will give you a sense of how deep your thoughts and memories are on the subject. Eating is about self gratification and that goes all the way back to nursing as an infant. Fat cells that convert and store fat in the body are unrelated to mental capacity but they may signal the brain or at least the mind that they should store fat because they are programed to store fat times of bounty such as spring before summer or autumn harvest before winter. That would not be a mental disorder but rather a hold over from eons of survival instincts programmed into our species. At the time of infancy the need to eat and self gratification are all combined and fat cells don't play a major role. Gratification is instant to instant and moment to moment and the child is often hungry and needs feeding as gratification. Gratification is nature's way of getting something necessary done. Mothers can over compensate with food with love confusing the infant or make gratification too difficult to obtain when desired. Either way it can imprint the future young mind with a need to retain food or fat in the body to feel the gratification. Eating to live or eating for love can become the circumstances that can lead to obesity and to the opposite being undernourished and in need of more body mass . Food avoidance can be a mental illness of disdain for food because horror arrives instead of gratification. Yes there are bad mothers who either over compensate or deprive infants of gratification or somewhere in a range or scale in between. One can think back in time and wonder how the pleasure of eating becomes the major purpose in life with the cost of obesity. it is not just that ice cream is equivalent to sex in some people's minds where they can never get enough. That maybe normal. What is an abnormal psychology is to not be aware of those mental dynamics and act in that manner as if blind and not knowing why. The why can be unconscious. The greatest education can be in knowing one's self. A lot of people don't know who they really are, don't care, dont remember nor do they want to remember. It is not always easy to know the why of anything. We know how more than we ever know why. . Close