While the subject of behavioural therapy/psychotherapy is not an easy topic, it needs to be addressed at this point as it affects far more people than one would initially assume.

Many patients are overweight because they try to compensate problems (e.g. stemming from childhood, relationships). They try to eat their frustration, disappointment and problems away in order to gain a symbolic protective shield - similar to a borderline syndrome, in which people inflict physical pain on themselves so that they do not feel their actual problems. Of course patients do not inflict direct pain on themselves by eating a lot (binge eating, etc.). Long-term, however, the results are astonishing. This is why it is important to unmask and deal with the underlying problems. It is important to break certain behavioural patterns and find alternatives. Some severely overweight patients suffer so badly that they no longer dare to venture out of their homes (social phobia). They fear the looks and words or other people. They even turn away from their friends as they no longer can and want to participate in active life (cinema, café, etc.) and spend their time alone at home. These are of course extreme cases but once depression is mentioned almost everyone knows what is being talked about. Women, in particular, are affected, but this “feeling” also affects men. To no longer find oneself attractive, to no longer be able to move properly, being looked at in a strange way on streets and in supermarkets and to no longer dare to eat something in public – all these are situations that virtually all overweight patients have experienced.

However, can all these things that take place within one’s body, i.e. the mind and heart, be simply wiped away by means of an operation? It may of course be beneficial if one’s self-confidence gradually increases once one notices the pounds melting away. The actual problems or habits, however, as outlined above, do not simply disappear in line with a reduction in weight. In some cases it may therefore be necessary to undergo behavioural therapy with a psychotherapist prior to surgery and continually thereafter.  

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