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Obesity: The Psychological Effects

Obesity: The Psychological Effects

Studies have found that 30 percent of adults who are categorized as obese first developed weight problems in childhood

If you have weight problems as a child, chances are you have experienced low self-esteem as a result of social discrimination. Studies have indicated that teasing at school, fatigue, sleep disorders and other obesity-linked problems severely affect children's well-being. 

Your genetics aren't just passed down via your family tree. "Body shame" can also be something that is passed down, and parents may unconsciously perpetuate insecurities.

Unfortunately, this discrimination continues into adulthood. It can still happen with your family, friends and even in the workplace; a job or a promotion could be denied because of how much you weigh. 

Obesity can trigger psychological disorders including mental illness, depression, eating disorders, distorted body image and low self-esteem.

Director of Eating Disorder Service at the Recover Ranch in Tennessee, Susan Strain, ACSW, shares how you can overcome the psychological effects of obesity. 

Featured Speaker:
Susan E. Strain ACSW, LCSW
strainSusan comes to the Ranch with extensive experience working in both inpatient and outpatient settings, dealing with a wide range of populations and psychiatric conditions. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

A proponent of the bio-psycho-social model of illness and recovery, Susan's sees the illness and the recovery process as multi-dimensional; both involving the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of an individual's life.

She uses a blend of motivational, cognitive/behavioral and insight oriented approaches. Susan believes that therapy is ultimately about balancing a full understanding and acceptance of the present reality while moving toward desired change.

She see the role as therapist to be an agent of change by providing and modeling self- understanding, self-acceptance and self-compassion while maintaining the challenge to develop new ways of being in the world. Susan feels strongly that the ambivalence about change is a natural and an expected part of the recovery process.

She is very excited to be a part a healing community that shares her treatment philosophy and values an individualized, compassionate approach to the treatment of eating disorders in particular.

The Ranch provides the warmth, emotionally safety and clinical expertise where clients can explore how deeper issues are expressed in their relationship with food and body and struggles over food, appetite and hunger can be understood as the symbolic expressions of ambivalence over need, desire and vulnerability.