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Topic: Depression and inability to eat

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. moonandstars
    moonandstars  avatar
    3 posts
    22 August 2020

    Hi guys,

    This is my first post ever on beyondblue forums so I’m a bit nervous. I have clinically diagnosed major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder (and have been diagnosed since I was 14, now 20). I am on medication for these conditions. I also have a psychologist who I speak to on the phone (due to COVID).

    Whenever I feel my depressive episodes creeping up on me I feel lethargic and disinterested in everything (as I’m sure many of you relate to). I also have an extreme loss of appetite which I’m usually able to deal with but at the moment I have no desire for food whatsoever. The thought makes me feel sick and I am just not hungry. I cannot bring myself to eat anything at all.

    Have any of you ever dealt with this and found a way to force food down without feeling sick? Are there any particular foods which you find help you during these periods? I’m just really lost and not sure what to do as this is the worst my appetite has ever been. I can still drink water and some fruit juice but no solid foods, it makes me gag and I just don’t feel hungry.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. CyP
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CyP avatar
    26 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to moonandstars
    Hi moonandstars,

    Welcome to the online community . Thank you for sharing you story with us here.

    I'm sorry to hear about the appetite issues and feeling physically unwell when your mood changes.

    I too have anxiety and depression , and medication . My appetite does change from time to time . There are days that I felt so lethargic that I feel my body just wanted to rest , and will not have energy to digest much solid food. But I would still try to have something easy to digest, maybe fruit juice or small pieces of fruit or a piece of toast... might have a warm cuppa and a warm shower (things that tend to make me feel better). For me these symptoms usually last 1 to 2 days approx

    It sounds like your physical signs are much more intense than mine. Im wondering if it could be the medications ? Any changes recently ? Or does it need adjusting ?
    Or has something in your life changed/happened recently that might have affected your moods more intensely?

    I'm glad that you are linked into a psych. It would good to discuss this with your GP and psych to see if they have suggestions ? It sounds like something that would benefit from a professional opinion ...

    I hope you will soon find an answer to these physical symptoms . I think its a great start that you are noticing some patterns. It certainly worth exploring and unpack further with your psychologist .

    I hope these symptoms will subside soon for you but meanwhile , do keep up with self care , even thr tiniest gesture or gentle activity , it might help to get through less pleasant moments.

    The forum is here always for you to leave a comment or to update this thread whenever you feel up to it .

    Sending warm wishes over

    1 person found this helpful
  3. moonandstars
    moonandstars  avatar
    3 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to CyP

    Hi CP,

    Thank you so much for your response. It makes me feel so much better to know I am not alone, as horrible as our symptoms are. I’ve heard of a lot of people who over eat during some bouts of depression but I go through the opposite. I think this lockdown (I’m in Melbourne metro) is getting increasingly difficult for me as my GAD loves organisation and it seems every day is changing and full of fear and I think my intrusive thoughts are creating things that aren’t true which seems to trigger my depression (as I’m sure you know they both feed off each other :() I will try some small fruits like you suggested tomorrow when I wake up to try and eat something.

    I really appreciate your response. Take care!

    1 person found this helpful
  4. CyP
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CyP avatar
    26 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to moonandstars
    Hey moonandstars

    Thanks for your reply. I'm wondering how you are feeling today?

    The 6-week lockdown is a real challenge , and it does require quite a bit of adapting under these incredible circumstances.

    On the BB forum, there's a section named 'staying well' - full of kind reminders for keeping us connected , and practical ideas on being kind, sensitive, and gentle to our body and mind. It covers lots of lifestyle and mindfulness topics , and people seem very generous with what they have done and are doing to stay well and safe under their circumstances.


    I found myself going back there from time to time to get some inspiration, I wonder if you have seen this section and if you might find it help too?

    Here's another one on words and wisdom.

    I hope you find comfort and resonance in this forum, and never hesitate to drop back in for a comment whenever you like .


  5. Cordiallover
    Cordiallover avatar
    1 posts
    4 September 2020 in reply to moonandstars
    Hi @moonandstars !
    I can relate to everything you’ve said and was just about to post my own forum about depression weight loss before I saw yours. Although my lack of appetite comes from not being able to get out of bed which means then I don’t eat and eventually lose my appetite. I’m trying to rebuild it as I am already naturally thin which makes me incredibly anxious when I think about the fact that I’m losing weight. Hopefully we will be out of lockdown in Melbourne soon and that that will help. I like your idea about having fruit but can’t get out of bed to get it and feel bad making my family serve me so going to have to work out some way of getting myself to the kitchen. We are in this together :)
  6. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6313 posts
    4 September 2020 in reply to moonandstars

    Hello moonandstars

    Welcome to the forum.

    I have traveled the non eating path when my depression hit me like a ton of bricks many years ago. I would get up and decide I did not want breakfast. I made a cheese sandwich to take to work for lunch and would make myself eat it. Couldn't be bothered with getting something for tea so went without. In a short space of time I lost 22kg. Not the best way to lose weight but I was not aiming at weight loss. The thought of food made me feel ill. The cheese sandwich was to make sure I did not collapse somewhere though not sure it was enough if I continued to not eat. Not a rational though I fear.

    Eating a small amount but often is good way to go. Apart from some fruit, what about soup? It's easier to digest and quick to make and gives some nutrition. I feel unwell if I do not eat regularly but this is due to a medical condition these days. I get nauseous so need to have a small snack between meals which are small anyway.

    I have always been a comfort eater when I am upset so it was quite a shock to stop wanting food because I was so badly depressed. Have you thought of the substitute food drinks such as Optifast? They are easy to digest and require minimum preparation. One serve will give the nutrition you need without lying in your stomach and making you feel ill. You can spend time sipping your way through it.

    If you buy a shaker to mix your drink you can take it to your bedroom at night. Put in the required water then when you wake simply add the powder and shake it to combine. Drink slowly.

    I hope this has helped.


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