Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Emotional Eating a Mental Illness

A few posts ago I posed the question as to whether emotional eating is a mental illness after I reviewed an article stating that emotional eating is a mental illness.

Obesity is already considered a medical problem meaning that technically anyone who works with obese people must be a medical doctor otherwise he/she could be accused of practicing medicine without a medical license.

Technically anyone working with an obese person must have a referral from the obese person's attending physician in order to work with them.
Now if emotional eating is declared an emotional illness, then only medical doctors (since they can already work with obese people), psychologists, psychotherapists, and maybe social workers, can work with emotional eaters. Thus anyone working with an emotional eater without a referral can be accused of practicing psychology or psychotherapy without a license.

Since emotional eating is so new, is it possible that someone without a license in medicine or psychology might know more about overcoming emotional eating? Maybe.

Generally there's no problem obtaining a referral from medical doctors and I imagine that most psychologists who don't claim to be experts with overeating wouldn't mind it also. The problem might be (and maybe I'm just overreacting) that a large percent of emotional eaters (all who have medical doctors) don't have a psychologist or psychotherapist. So if emotional overeating is declared as a mental illness, not only would a medical referral be required, but also a referral from a psychologist.

Might this mean that the emotional eater would have to go to a psychologist--pay the fee--just to beg the psychologist for a referral to work with someone who specializes in emotional eating? And then also go to his/her doctor for another referral?

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