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"Emotional eating" versus "emotional starvation"

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Old 09-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default "Emotional eating" versus "emotional starvation"

I know a lot of people reach for food when they're down in the dumps/depressed...I'm wondering if there's anyone here who, instead (like me) tends not to eat much at all when they're depressed?

I've been unemployed now for fourteen months, and I'm not having much luck at all in the job search. My EI (employment insurance) ran out at the end of May, and I am now officially broke. I'm still living with my parents, because I can't afford to live on my own (they're even paying for my WW fees because I can't even afford THAT) and I feel completely and utterly useless a lot of the time.

But instead of eating *too* much (which I suppose is a good thing, really) I'm not eating *enough*. I just don't feel like eating. At all. So far today, for example, I haven't eaten a thing. And I honestly don't feel like eating. The thought of it doesn't appeal to me at all.

Is anyone else like this?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Snoofie View Post
I know a lot of people reach for food when they're down in the dumps/depressed...I'm wondering if there's anyone here who, instead (like me) tends not to eat much at all when they're depressed?

I've been unemployed now for fourteen months, and I'm not having much luck at all in the job search. My EI (employment insurance) ran out at the end of May, and I am now officially broke. I'm still living with my parents, because I can't afford to live on my own (they're even paying for my WW fees because I can't even afford THAT) and I feel completely and utterly useless a lot of the time.

But instead of eating *too* much (which I suppose is a good thing, really) I'm not eating *enough*. I just don't feel like eating. At all. So far today, for example, I haven't eaten a thing. And I honestly don't feel like eating. The thought of it doesn't appeal to me at all.

Is anyone else like this?
Sometimes when I'm upset about something I don't want to eat. Hopefully, that feeling won't last long, because it's really not good for you not to eat at all.

I hope things start to look up, soon!

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Old 09-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Geez I am sorry to hear about your struggles. I was also unemployed for some time this year and it was really rough on me. I hope things start coming together soon for you. Hugs!

As for not eating, it depends on the type of depression I am experiencing. Some types of depression make me want to eat and eat and eat! Some make me repulsed by food and I won't eat for long periods of time.

Maybe try sipping some protein shakes just to at least keep your energy up. I hope things turn around soon.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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I've also had times where I've been so upset I could not eat at all. I tried to get liquid calories in (Instant Breakfast, protein shakes, etc) and keep things like nuts or pretzels around so I could nibble a little.


Hope things turn around for you on your job search!!
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I was really depressed last year and didn't even notice for a long time that I was eating very little. I lost a lot of weight, which felt good, but as soon as I started eating again it piled back on and then some. Try to eat at least 1200 calories, and take some of the suggestions above.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Snoofie View Post
But instead of eating *too* much (which I suppose is a good thing, really) I'm not eating *enough*. I just don't feel like eating. At all. So far today, for example, I haven't eaten a thing. And I honestly don't feel like eating. The thought of it doesn't appeal to me at all.

Is anyone else like this?
When I found out my highschool sweetheart that I'd been with for 3 years was sleeping with basically everyone (I had NO idea) I just stopped eating. I lost 40 pounds in 2 months, got down to almost 110. I remember it was Christmas because everyone was cooking this food I loved and they were all so excited to watch me eat it, and I would take a few bites just to make them happy. I went as far as to spit out chicken parmesan when my mother walked away -- it is one of my death row favorite foods. Just couldn't it eat.

I'm sorry that this is happening to you, it's a terrible feeling. Please DO try to eat something if you can, or perhaps drink something with some nutrients -- protein shake or ensure or even just some milk. SOMETHING so you don't wreck your metabolism or get very sick.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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I'm like that when I'm very sad. Such as when I lose someone I love or whatever. I just don't feel like eating at all when I feel sad.

But depression - real, clinical depression was different somehow. I just wanted carbs, carbs, more carbs on top of carbs. Weird. And probably part of the reason I gained up to 192 lb, I'm sure. And this is why I'm so utterly afraid to become depressed again, and it's something I fight against EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.OF.MY.LIFE.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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Yep, I can go either way. Like other people have said, the not eating side happens when it's something much more serious. Try finding foods which are appealing even when you've lost your appetite (fresh, sweet, watery things work well for me - cherry tomatoes, sugar snaps [snow peas?], pitta and houmous for instance, with cherries, grapes or strawberries for dessert), and also try protein drinks. The less you eat, the harder it will get to eat, so try to get something down you at least and work from there.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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I'm sorry to hear that the job hunt is not going well. I hope it picks up for you soon.

Sometimes if I'm very nervous/upset I can't eat much either, especially if it's before something where I have to perform (major test, give a seminar etc).
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
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awww, I'm sorry to hear that you're depressed. I wish I had an instant magic fix for you.

I hope this doesn't sound too forward, but maybe volunteer your time. Sitting at home isn't going to help with the depression. Plus getting out there talking to people will help you network. Sometimes getting your resume looked at is all about who you know. I hate to say that because that type of thinking causes qualified people to get overlooked, but it does happen. Plus, while you volunteer and work you'll regain that sense of accomplishment, and the gratifying feeling of helping someone else out.

As others were saying, just try to eat something, even if you're not hungry.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by PreciousMissy View Post
awww, I'm sorry to hear that you're depressed. I wish I had an instant magic fix for you.

I hope this doesn't sound too forward, but maybe volunteer your time. Sitting at home isn't going to help with the depression. Plus getting out there talking to people will help you network. Sometimes getting your resume looked at is all about who you know. I hate to say that because that type of thinking causes qualified people to get overlooked, but it does happen. Plus, while you volunteer and work you'll regain that sense of accomplishment, and the gratifying feeling of helping someone else out.

As others were saying, just try to eat something, even if you're not hungry.
Volunteering is a very good idea! It gets you out where you can interact with people who just might know of a job opening that would suit you.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:22 AM   #12
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I tend to overeat over everyday stressors but not over serious problems. ie I hate my boss vs my moms in the hospital.

I'm also unemployed and living at home. It has been a humbling experience to say the least. My situation has been keeping me crazy on track with my diet though. I keep telling myself that if I achieve my new years resolution of losing 60 pounds and reach the lowest weight I've ever been at (for my adult height), then the year will be a success no matter what happens with my career. It just gives me something positive to cling to.
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