Food addiction: the importance of psychological support

the food it is necessary for our body to be able to live well and healthy. Some people, however, tend to develop a dependency relationshipwhich can manifest itself continuously or at certain particular periods of life.

Let’s explore the subject with the doctor Barbara Mingardi, team psychotherapist Obesity Center by Humanitas Gavazzeni.

What foods are addictive?

“There are no foods that are addictive in themselves, at least from an emotional point of view. The relationship a person develops with food and their use of it is always linked to his interiority and his family and relational contexts, present and past. addictionso, it does not come from a specific foodbut from a series of factors such as personality, the culture to which one belongs, the environment in which one lives”, explains Dr Mingardi.

How to understand that you are addicted to food

“The relationship with food it is an integral part of our experiences from early childhood; from birth it represents an important channel of communication with the world, remaining then, for all life, an element charged with the interiority of each one. However, it can become a clinically significant disturbance when an incongruous eating behavior becomes a symptomatic modality, i.e. used by the person constantly, to compensate for an experience of suffering or conflict.

What is the purpose of psychological support in the event of food addiction?

The expert answers: “Psychological work becomes useful because it can help the person to understand what type of difficulty their eating habits may be the expression of. The intervention of the specialist is necessary when the relationship to food begins to be created suffering and maladjustmentcoming to condition the life of the person.

In our obesity center, psychological work with the obese patient provides a first phase aimed at getting to know the patient himself and his own way of eatingthe emergence or not of psychopathological experiences and the nature of his motivation to seek treatment.

In the event that surgery is required, subsequent support interviews are conducted to help the patient manage the changes that will occur, maintain adequate expectations of the treatment plan, and integrate the new self-image with the previous one. so that the surgical event is perceived as a process of personal transformation”.

How to best live the relationship to food

The expert concludes: “The advice is to deepen the relationship with yourself, without being afraid, trying to understand what elements of your own history and personality can be they influence the relationship with food. In this way, on the one hand, one can become more aware of one’s own internal mechanisms and, on the other hand, have more tools to use to solve possible difficulties and acquire greater well-being”.

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