Obesity is often the cause or effect of psychological problems. We often find that obese people eat (more) in response to certain events that stress them, make them sad, depressed, or frustrated. Food helps people to deal with problems or emotions. However, it is a vicious circle because the more you eat, the more severe your obesity becomes, and the worse the psychological issues become.
In this sense, the emotional problems that patients experience are often the cause and the consequences of obesity, namely social exclusion, frustration, and depression. This is why Clinic Saint-Jean always provides quick psychological assistance and preferably in a preventive manner.
From the beginning of the treatment, the psychologist plays a vital role. During a preliminary interview (which is also essential for reimbursement), the psychologist will check if the patient has sufficient information about and understanding of the problem. The psychologist will need to know whether the patient appreciates what the treatment involves, how the surgery works, and, above all, how much their diet affects their daily life. In any case, the psychologist will try to build a relationship of trust with the patient to fully inform and reassure them. During the consultation, the psychologist will also determine the severity of these psychological difficulties. For example, if a patient suffers from major depression, surgery may be temporarily delayed until the most severe symptoms are under control.
Psychological support will also continue post-surgery. Together with the psychologist, the patient will assess how weight loss and dietary changes have affected their body image and self-esteem. If some behavioural changes are difficult, additional support will be provided. On average, there will be consultations every three months, always voluntarily.
The psychologist cooperates closely with other doctors and the physician-nutritionist. If a patient is not ready for surgery for whatever reason, or if they experience problems afterwards, the whole team will support the patient and provide the necessary follow-up.