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Lack of appetite

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Does anyone else find that when they're in the grip of ocd they lose all interest in food?

I'm usually a HUGE foody, but lately have been so hungry (feeling faint, stomach grumbling and hurting) but the thought of food makes me sick. I am eating, but having to force it down and each mouthful makes me wretch.

I try to think of my favourite meals that I used to enjoy, but even the thought of them makes me sick.

I had put it down to anxiety (extreme anxiety) but now I'm starting to wonder if it could be something else.

I had bloods done recently and they were ok.

Does anyone else get this?

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Only when OCD co-mingled with clinical depression which was my worst period of OCD. I went down three clothing sizes. For about two months I had to force myself to eat.

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I’m the same, I find it close to impossible eating when the anxiety’s high.I can’t face regular meals but know I need to keep my blood sugar levels even or the anxiety will increase...so try to stick to things like soup, steamed veggies, brown rice, fruit that kind of thing... anything light that gets me through until the anxiety subsides.

Easier said than done but try not to buy into any thoughts around what this might mean...all being well when you get a respite from the feelings your appetite should return, it’s tough going though isn’t it. 

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14 minutes ago, Angst said:

Only when OCD co-mingled with clinical depression which was my worst period of OCD. I went down three clothing sizes. For about two months I had to force myself to eat.

Hope you're doing better now, Angst.

I sometimes wonder if that may be what has happened to me too. I used to only get anxious when I'd been spiked, but this time it's constant. I'm sad all the time, no respite. Crying every day, often over nothing, and super clingy with my OH which is not like me at all. It's so different from how ocd has affected me before.

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10 minutes ago, Hal said:

Easier said than done but try not to buy into any thoughts around what this might mean...all being well when you get a respite from the feelings your appetite should return, it’s tough going though isn’t it. 

Thank you Hal. I had a really hard time back last year and I recall feeling the same. I am trying to eat, it is hard though. Even my favourite foods just turn my stomach.

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Ah, you poor thing. That really is familiar. I tend to realise I'm properly sick again once my appetite bites the dust and my stomach becomes upset. It's a clear signal to seek support. It's usually a mix of acute anxiety with depression tagging along that does that. Feeling physically rough also makes it harder to cope with the mental stuff. I had to really fight to get food in me in the morning, and could only manage things like smoothies, soup, yoghurt, mango, bananas. Anything cold and gentle.

Fortunately, after roughly a fortnight back on Sertraline my appetite returned and my stomach settled. I hope the same happens for you.

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On 07/05/2019 at 20:35, Raffles said:

Ah, you poor thing. That really is familiar. I tend to realise I'm properly sick again once my appetite bites the dust and my stomach becomes upset. It's a clear signal to seek support. It's usually a mix of acute anxiety with depression tagging along that does that. Feeling physically rough also makes it harder to cope with the mental stuff. I had to really fight to get food in me in the morning, and could only manage things like smoothies, soup, yoghurt, mango, bananas. Anything cold and gentle.

Fortunately, after roughly a fortnight back on Sertraline my appetite returned and my stomach settled. I hope the same happens for you.

Sorry, Raffles - I only just saw this reply.

What's odd is that I usually have an enormous appetite, ridiculously so. For the last few weeks I just can't face food at all, even though physically my body is crying out for food, it just doesn't appeal and when I do eat I'm forcing it in and feeling nauseous with every bite :weep:

I find it worse in the evenings, I can eat a little during the day, although nothing like I used to.

We ordered takeaway last night and I managed one mouthful even though I was starving.

Usually I only suffer from anxiety when I've been 'spiked' by a trigger, but lately (health anxiety is my new obsession) it's constant and I do suspect a bit of depression in the mix too.

Of course my ocd is telling me all the other things it could be and making me worse, so it's a vicious circle.

I'm on day 7 of Sertraline today so hoping to see an improvement soon.

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No worries!

I really feel for you. I also have a healthy appetite, when well, and the times I've lost it have felt pretty scary. 

When you're anxious and go into the fight-or-flight response, the body temporarily shuts down some processes, like digestion, to boost the ones that can help you escape. We don't usually notice this because it's meant to be brief, until you're free of danger. Unfortunately with anxiety disorders and depression, you can't just fight or flee the threat, so the state lingers.

Hope the Sertraline gives you your appetite back soon.

I tried sipping a lot of lukewarm herbal teas when I was last that bad to try and feel full. Chamomile with honey actually helps my nerves a bit! Ginger's good for nausea, and mint is soothing for the stomach.

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22 minutes ago, Raffles said:

When you're anxious and go into the fight-or-flight response, the body temporarily shuts down some processes, like digestion, to boost the ones that can help you escape. We don't usually notice this because it's meant to be brief, until you're free of danger. Unfortunately with anxiety disorders and depression, you can't just fight or flee the threat, so the state lingers.

That makes sense. I was taking Mirtazipine last month for a week and couldn't STOP eating. Had to come off it, but am wondering if my body and brain are just totally confused.

Thanks for the advice 🙂

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I understand the feeling , it’s horrible with the anxiety. Keep going even though it’s hard. We have to keep fighting the OCD. X❤️

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Hey Sufferer,

I've experienced this too, the time when my OCD was at its worst I think I lost a significant weight in just a week! What I found helps is to stay well hydrated, for my the loss of appetite comes with a feeling of dehydration so I try to drink a lot of water. Also, eating food like soups helps a lot. I also try to reduce caffeine because it just makes me more nervous and makes my appetite worse.

I'm a huge foodie too and good food just gives me so much pleasure, so I know how horrible this feeling is. Just hang in there, it'll improve!

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Sometimes there are obsessions about food that keeps people from eating. Interesting thing is that eating lowers anxiety because the brain assumes you're in safety if you're eating. We wouldn't eat if a lion was charging us...

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4 hours ago, Madchoc said:

I understand the feeling , it’s horrible with the anxiety. Keep going even though it’s hard. We have to keep fighting the OCD. X❤️

Thanks Madchoc ❤ 

 

1 hour ago, Handy said:

Sometimes there are obsessions about food that keeps people from eating. Interesting thing is that eating lowers anxiety because the brain assumes you're in safety if you're eating. We wouldn't eat if a lion was charging us...

What's odd is that even when I'm reasonably calm lately (doesn't happen often) I'm the same. It's as if my body is now programmed to feel a certain way when I sit down to eat :weep:

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I’ve been through the ringer with my OCD over the last couple of months and lost a fair bit of weight but since my Doc put me on Mirtazapine my appetite seems to be back to normal, as Malina pointed out just keep up the fluids and try and eat healthy I’ve been eating more fish just lately as it’s supposed to be good for the brain..... we’ll see!

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2 hours ago, phillev said:

I’ve been eating more fish just lately as it’s supposed to be good for the brain..... we’ll see!

Well I had a seafood cocktail for starter, followed by bream for lunch, so hopefully that will be good for me too :)

You might recall that in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster, Jeeves was said to attribute some of his intellect to regularly eating fish 🐠 

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14 hours ago, phillev said:

I’ve been through the ringer with my OCD over the last couple of months and lost a fair bit of weight but since my Doc put me on Mirtazapine my appetite seems to be back to normal, as Malina pointed out just keep up the fluids and try and eat healthy I’ve been eating more fish just lately as it’s supposed to be good for the brain..... we’ll see!

I was put on Mirtazipine last month, it made my appetite HUGE.

One day at work I had eaten my breakfast AND lunch by 10am :headslap:

Sadly it also gave me anger issues so had to stop it.

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11 hours ago, taurean said:

Well I had a seafood cocktail for starter, followed by bream for lunch, so hopefully that will be good for me too :)

You might recall that in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster, Jeeves was said to attribute some of his intellect to regularly eating fish 🐠 

I eat lots of fish but not sure it's done much for me :p

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12 minutes ago, sufferer said:

I was put on Mirtazipine last month, it made my appetite HUGE.

One day at work I had eaten my breakfast AND lunch by 10am :headslap:

Sadly it also gave me anger issues so had to stop it.

I’m not quite that bad, not meaning to hijack the thread but how long were you on it please?

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6 minutes ago, phillev said:

I’m not quite that bad, not meaning to hijack the thread but how long were you on it please?

No problem! Only two weeks, I got angrier and angrier and ended up having a total meltdown. Never took another one after that. They were brilliant for helping me sleep though and I know people who swear by them so don't be put off.

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I’ve noticed I’m less patient on them and I seem to get a bit tetchy sometimes but I’ve had zero other issues unlike the Seroxat and Prozac I’ve had before which had numerous side effects.

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I was awful on them, snapping and getting so annoyed at things. I suppose if you can deal with that and have no other side effects, then carry on.

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Soon after joining this forum I lost 30lbs within 4 months & I was already at a perfect weight. Got some blood tests, it was the thyroid, one that is overactive raises anxiety a ton. So I did my own diagnosis & got a shot & all is fine.

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2 hours ago, sufferer said:

I was awful on them, snapping and getting so annoyed at things. I suppose if you can deal with that and have no other side effects, then carry on.

Same, I’ve now been on them a month and I take 15mg morning and night and seem to have settled down a bit, I guess we have to remember that these drugs redress the chemical imbalance in our brains and it may take a while to do that but I do understand for some people  that may be impossible, not really done much yet for my intrusive thoughts though.... Time will tell

Edited by phillev
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2 hours ago, Handy said:

Soon after joining this forum I lost 30lbs within 4 months & I was already at a perfect weight. Got some blood tests, it was the thyroid, one that is overactive raises anxiety a ton. So I did my own diagnosis & got a shot & all is fine.

I've had my thyroid tested and it was fine. Happily, the tablets seem to be starting to work and my appetite is coming back now. Phew.

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2 hours ago, phillev said:

Same, I’ve now been on them a month and I take 15mg morning and night and seem to have settled down a bit, I guess we have to remember that these drugs redress the chemical imbalance in our brains and it may take a while to do that but I do understand for some people  that may be impossible, not really done much yet for my intrusive thoughts though.... Time will tell

Well I hope they work for you. Intrusive thoughts are awful.

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