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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: The Personality of Obese Women

 mozymarr - Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:27 am

Hello, I was wondering if there have been any studies done on the Personality of Obese Women. I have a friend that I care for but who is very Morbidly Obese and doesn't seem to mind. She seems to be the "large and proud" type, and some of the things she says sometimes make me wonder if she's not just a little unrealistic. She seems to be in denial but I don't think she believes she is. It's like she lives in her own little world and I was wondering if Obese women have some kind of neuoritic trait that makes them this way?
 Dr. K. Eisele - Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:34 am

User avatar Dear Mozymarr:

If only it were that simple!! The human mind is very complex, and we simply don't know enough yet to be able to answer these kinds of questions. What we have found with most everything, though, is that disorders tend to be the result of a combination of things. Before we go on, however, let's define what is meant by a "disorder."

A disorder is an abnormal condition that causes some type of impairment that is significant. If your friend's condition is not causing her any kind of functional impairment (e.g., can't work, has poor relationships because of the condition, can't maintain friendships, etc.), then she doesn't actually have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

From your description of her personality style, though, my guess is that she is actually somewhat insecure about her appearance. To cope with this stress, she uses various coping mechanisms, as do we all, to make herself feel better about herself. It almost sounds as if she were rationalizing why it might be better to be obese. Rationalization is a documented coping mechanism.

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