Our expert says:
Eating Disorders Expert
I understand your frustration. You have persevered with therapy for some years and feel that you have covered all the bases that might provide clues to your dysfunctional relationship with food. I commend you for your hard work. The problem is that I suspect that you don’t so much have a dysfunctional relationship with food, but a dysfunctional relationship with yourself through food, in much the same way that an alcoholic has a destructive relationship with him/herself through excessive alcohol. What I am trying to say to you is that your therapy has likely been touching on many very relevant painful themes in your life. However, I do not hear mention of a dietician in your treatment and this is something that I strongly suggest you consider adding to the mix. Whereas the alcoholic is only going to make progress once he/she sobers up and views his/her life difficulties through a clear and honest lens, so you need to have a sober (healthy) relationship with food before you can thoroughly confront and resolve your painful issues. Therefore, I suggest that you consult with a specialist dietician as an adjunct to your therapy and psychiatric management. This will likely be more constructive than only attending a group, as a dietician will provide you with an individualized dietary programme. I will email you a contact I have in Johannesburg, okay. As for your considering bariatric surgery, if you have looked at my profile you will see that I am on a surgical team that provides bariatric (weight loss) surgery at a Centre of Excellence bariatric clinic in Cape Town. Such surgery should be seen as a last resort to weight loss and is only consented to by the multidisciplinary team after all other methods of weight loss have been considered and eliminated. What you have to consider is the likelihood that surgery offers you a better lifestyle and longer life, than the compromised lifestyle and medical dangers you likely face if you are morbidly obese. Out of naivety I was very reserved in my opinion about bariatric surgery before I joined the Chrysalis Clinic team 5 years ago. However, when the one surgeon eventually persuaded me to consider joining the team, I did some extensive homework and realized its unique, but valid position in the medical world. Having watched more than a hundred patients go through the challenging pre-surgical, surgical and post-surgical process, I have to say that I have seen every individual’s life amazingly transformed. It’s hard work, but the only complaint any patient has ever made is not having the surgery sooner. There are a few good surgical teams around the country, including a very good one in your area. I’m happy to discuss this matter with you via email or a phone call if you wish. Good luck.
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