no appetite, lost 10 lbs in the last couple of weeks

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 11/11/2010 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. Usually I post in the anxiety forum but I feel like this problem has a lot more to do with my depression (obviously caused by my anxiety...) I am.

I have had absolutely no appetite for the last 3 or 4 weeks. I always think "I should eat" but can't bring myself to do it. It was to the point that I would literally not eat a thing all day and wouldn't feel anything, no hunger pains, nothing. For example, today all I could stomach was 3 chicken wings - 3!

However, this is also my 7th day on Lexapro and I wonder if loss of appetite is a side effect?

Anyway, my main question is for anybody who has experienced this as well.. How do I get my appetite back?! I'm sick of losing weight!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 11/12/2010 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I too have had significant weight loss recently, 10 pounds in a week and a half. Now I am forcing myself to eat healthy food as I feel that nutrition may help in overcoming my anxiety/depression.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/12/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lulu,
Welcome to the Depression forum. Sorry to hear of your struggles. I agree with chman that you just have to force yourself to eat. It does get easier with time -- you may not ever want to eat, but with practice it gets easier to eat even when you're not hungry. Remember, you eat to live. You don't need any other reason to be eating.

A couple things that helped me when I was really struggling was to talk with a nutritionist -- we had a few appointments to discuss & plan meal options that involved the least amount of food for the most amount of nutrients & calories. She suggested nuts for snacks, putting full-fat salad dressing or dips on my food & drinking an Ensure shake once a day (I like the vanilla flavor but they come in chocolate & strawberry too; tastes pretty good).

As for getting your appetite back, your best bet is to eat. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but that's how it works. There's no guarantee it will work -- I still don't get hungry, or full for that matter. But my doc thinks that's mostly because I let it drag on for so many months. The earlier you get back to eating a healthy amount of food every day, the more likely you will get your appetite back. Otherwise, just try to find other things to enjoy about eating -- the smell, the texture, the combinations of flavors, etc. I just have to remind myself that when I skip meals my blood pressure goes dangerously low & I tend to get dizzy and faint. It's dangerous b/c the reason my body faints is to help get blood up to my brain (which is easier when you're lying flat). So I know I need 3 meals regardless of how I feel. If I really hate the idea of eating, I might make a milk shake with fruit or have some crackers. about an hour later I try to pick something that's opposite in nutrition (protein-fruit, fat-protein, fruit/bread-protein) to ensure I'm getting enough calories & enough vitamins to be healthy.

I hope that helps. I feel for you. It's rough when you don't feel like eating, but you just have to start. Also, it helps to have pre-prepared meals and snacks available so you don't have to cook at mealtime. Generally, the longer you spend cooking, the less you will eat. So I might put a lasagna in the oven for later in the week & just eat salad with some pre-cooked chicken for dinner that night (before or while the lasagna cooks). In addition, avoid drinking water 60 minutes before meal time. Water decreases appetite. Drink water during or after meals instead.

Hope that helps!

Trying to Understand
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 11/13/2010 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Frances knows her stuff. Hope you will find her advice helpful.

There are so many pre-cooked foods today that are healthy. In the lunch meat section they now have containers with chunks of pre-cooked chicken, in the produce section there are pre-made dips and dressings, near the deli/bakery there are containers of potato salad, etc. Sometimes you just can't bring yourself to figure out what you want, shop for it and then prepare it. Maybe starting out with pre-mades will help you get into the swing of eating again.
also remember that eating 6 small mini-meals is good too. Even if you just take a spoon and dive into some cottage cheese or yogurt when passing thru the kitchen.
And the Ensure is a really good idea since it's fortified. Like juice? vitamins, and calories.
Severe depression

"Do something everyday to make tomorrow better."

"One good change creates another."
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