Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

What can a psychiatrist do for obesity?

I am obese and want to treat it. What can a psychiatrist do for obesity?

2 Answers


Thanks for the question. I’d like to clarify that I am a psychiatrist but also board certified in obesity medicine and lifestyle medicine. That means I have specialty training to treat the disease of obesity and focus solely on that.

In general though, a psychiatrist can help with obesity because as a medical doctor they can prescribe medications that help your mood and also unprescribe medications that may cause weight gain. Research has shown that weight gain and mood issues often go together. So it’s important to treat a patient’s weight and mood.

As a quadruple board certified obesity medicine and mental health doctor, I address mental health issues as they relate to weight issues. I work with patients to identify stressors, sleep issues, and other lifestyle changes they can make to optimize their weight. I prescribe medications for weight loss and mental health issues as needed. Lastly, we use therapeutic strategies to help with mindset changes as well.

Best wishes in your weight loss journey!
The question, I think, is much broader than what a psychiatrist may be able to do. There are certain mental health providers who are often involved in behavioral and lifestyle management issues, along with physicians specializing in the management of obesity. Psychiatrists can certainly offer input regarding mental health problems that may be adversely affecting the management of obesity, and their treatment. From time to time, an obesity specialist will prefer that if a psychostimulant medication such as a controlled amphetamine formulation is prescribed, a psychiatrist be involved in its management. Due to the severe shortage of psychiatrists, however, finding access to them is often quite difficult.