This article will give a brief idea of Obesophobia. Then it will focus on the reasons and symptoms of Obesophobia. Then it will highlight Obesophobia treatments both psychotherapies and medications.
Obesophobia refers to the fear of gaining weight and is also know as Pocrescophobia. It is most commonly seen in adolescent women, but males also can have it. It creates extreme anxiety with the mere thought of gaining extra pounds or weight.
This abnormal fear of weight gain is due to unhealthy eating habits and this phobia can be generated because of other psychological problems also like bulimia or anorexia. This phobia can easily become a habit if not treated within time, the person has this phobia often finds difficulty in going out and eat because of the continuous observation on one’s calories.
There can be numerous reasons why a person develops Obesophobia, the surroundings, experiences of childhood regarding weight can cause fear of increasing weight. Genetics also play an important role in it, if there is a family history of mental illnesses or phobia, the individual is more likely to develop this phobia.
Social pressure also plays an important role in it, peer pressure and increasing insecurity also leads to poor self-image and eventually it leads to obesophobia. People suffering from Obesophobia finds difficulty in eating outside their strict diet. They might get disgusted at the thought of becoming obese and have disgusting feelings towards people who are obese.
Some common causes of obesophobia are:
- Weight stigma
- Peer Pressure
- Societal Demands
- Personal Experience
SYMPTOMS OF OBESOPHOBIA:
There is a difference between good eating habits and obsession behind healthy eating, the obsession behind healthy eating is what obesophobia is. People with obesophobia may workout excessively and eat low portions of food. They may be underweight and/or undernourished.
People with obesophobia, have low self-esteem and poor self-image. Their intense fear may also interfere with their healthy relationships with others. Their constant worry and obsession can lead them to Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Some common symptoms of obesophobia are:
- Increased anxiety with the mere thought of becoming obese
- Excessive workout regime
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Pani attacks with an increase in a pound or kilogram
TREATMENT FOR OBESOPHOBIA:
People with obesophobia should consider consulting a psychologist or a psychiatrist immediately after noticing the symptoms as any delay might result in more physical disorders.
CBT is the most common psychotherapy used to treat phobias and anxiety disorders. It works by recognizing distorted thinking patterns, then the therapist helps in changing unhealthy beliefs and in learning positive habits
- Exposure Therapy:
Exposure therapy helps in treating obesophobia by slowly exposing the patient to caloric-dense foods. This form of therapy is not for everyone and one should consult with the doctor before deciding to go for it or not.
- Anti-anxiety medications:
These medications are very helpful in preventing panic attacks and anxiety issues. It is very helpful when the condition is very severe. Some common anti-anxiety medications are Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, etc. These medications should be taken only in the supervision of a medical professional.
These medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders such as Obesophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc. These types of drugs are taken on a daily basis and can be helpful in preventing panic attacks and daily anxiety issues. But always consider consulting a psychiatrist first before starting or stopping any medications.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
This blog gave a brief idea of Obesophobia. Then it focused on the reasons and symptoms of Obesophobia. Then it highlighted Obesophobia treatments both psychotherapies and medications.
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What we recommend for Phobias
- If you are suffering from Phobias then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you address the fears you are facing.
Weighted Blankets may help you sleep better if your phobias are affecting your quality of sleep. Weighted blankets apply enough weight on you that they make you feel much more relaxed and calm at night.