The purpose of this paper is to examine obesity from a psychoanalytic perspective in the context of current theoretical, clinical, and biological knowledge. The Author explores in great depth the various psychodynamics connected with obesity: in presenting a case he focuses on the psychodynamics associated with compulsive eating, weight fluctuations, self-representation and body image. He also integrates these psychodynamic factors with current genetic, metabolic, morphologic, and neurochemical data. The clinical material presented clearly demonstrates that the patient’s abnormal eating pattern and impaired self-image are etiologically connected to conflicts at the preoedipal, oedipal, and postoedipal developmental stages. In view of this, her compulsive eating and self-pathology can be considered the sequelae of a long-standing, severely disturbed total relationship with her parents that adversely affected each phase of development.
Keywords: Obesity; Self-Image; Body Image; Oral Phase