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Is eating a chore for you?


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#1 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

I don't know why this is happening but I suppose my anxiety is to blame.

I just can't make myself eat. Sometimes I wonder how I'm still alive on the amount I have been eating in the last couple of months. I end up eating barely one full meal every few days, and it's mostly starchy bland stuff like bread, pasta, potato... This is all I can manage.

I know I have gotten into a habit. I don't even want chocolate anymore. I get hungry, sure, I get starving, but I look in my pantry and my stomach turns at the thought of eating anything in there. I have dropped 3.5kg in the last 3 weeks, a lot when you take into account the fact I don't exercise at all (except for housework).

I'm getting indigestion constantly, stomach pains, dizziness, tiredness but can't sleep. This is all from not eating. I know it's bad. I don't want to lose weight, I'm not deliberately starving myself, I just can't eat.

I'm not underweight for my height yet, but is still can't be good for me. So far today all I have managed to eat is a salads and a slice of cheese. It made me hungrier, but there's nothing else I want. I just can't clear the fog in my brain to think of something to eat.

I don't know how to approach is. I know it's all in my head but I don't know how to get it out.

#2 raven74

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:16 AM

You need to see your GP for a start and get checked out and a referral for a cousellor or go and see a phych/counsellor etc off your back.  Have you had an eating disorder before?  You may be well on the way to developing one now if you are not careful.
Good luck.

#3 Illiterati

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:18 AM

I forget to eat or am just too busy or would rather work through lunch so I can leave a bit earlier or just can't be bother because of the effort and mess. Often all I will have is coffee until dinner and then just eat the kids left overs.

Or just eat toast butter and vegimite with tea. Or chocolate.

But it sounds like this is new for you and so something else going on?

#4 Excentrique

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

OP, I really think you need to go and visit your GP about this, the sooner the better.

#5 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:24 AM

I have never had an eating disorder before but I do tend to accidentally 'starve' myself in this way when my anxiety is at its worst, which is usually all through summer.

The potential for this to develop into a full blown eating disorder has started to freak me out. I looked in the mirror last night while starving and thought "Well, I do look good, maybe this isn't such a bad thing," then was immediately horrified that I could think like that. I have had fleeting thoughts of "If I start eating properly I'll put it all back on."

The other night I was hungry and felt like eating frozen peas. Got a bowl, went to the freezer, discovered we were out of peas. So I ate nothing. Even though I was starving. I find myself thinking WTF am I doing to myself?!

#6 Molondy

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

GO TO THE DOCTOR TODAY.

(caps for emphasis not shouting)

Edited by Molondy, 22 January 2013 - 09:26 AM.


#7 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:28 AM

But what can a doctor do? I have had counselling/medication for my anxiety before.

#8 zzgirl

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:29 AM

I suffer the same sort of feelings when I am anxious about something. eg. something kid health related.  I can't seem to 'eat' anything and I just stuff a couple of mouthfuls in my mouth and that's about all I can tolerate.  I can't even stand the thought of cooking when I get like this.  I really have to talk myself into and keep repeating positive thoughts in my head so I can get over the anxiety.    So I can relate to you totally.

However, once the worst of my anxiety passes, usually within a couple of days, I go back to normal.  

Definately get some help- don't let it get out of hand.  You need to be there for your kids - see your GP asap.   Talk to someone close to you about it too, if you can.

I suffer the same sort of feelings when I am anxious about something. eg. something kid health related.  I can't seem to 'eat' anything and I just stuff a couple of mouthfuls in my mouth and that's about all I can tolerate.  I can't even stand the thought of cooking when I get like this.  I really have to talk myself into and keep repeating positive thoughts in my head so I can get over the anxiety.    So I can relate to you totally.

However, once the worst of my anxiety passes, usually within a couple of days, I go back to normal.  

Definately get some help- don't let it get out of hand.  You need to be there for your kids - see your GP asap.   Talk to someone close to you about it too, if you can.

#9 zzgirl

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

Sounds like you need a psychologist to help you with the 'self talk' in your head.  Maybe investigate that option.

#10 suline

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE
But what can a doctor do? I have had counselling/medication for my anxiety before.


A doctor can do plenty of things, not only do you need reassess your counselling/medication for your anxiety, but the GP may be able to assess you for a physical reason for loss of appetite, indigestion, stomach cramps etc.

You definitely need to get checked out.

#11 Illiterati

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

That is a serious problem if you are hungry and not eating. And you have recognised those thought patterns to be concerning.  You have young children and you need to be healthy for them. Any obsession with food is not good for you or them and it will inevitably impact on them too.

#12 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Is it true that your stomach 'shrinks' if you starve yourself? My mum used to say this when I was younger and the same thing would happen, she said "Your stomach has shrunk, you need to eat and stretch it again." I think it,s more habit than that but still.

#13 WhatWouldBuffyDo

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

I get like this sometimes, mostly when it's really really hot. I could be really hungry but if nothing appeals to me, I'll just drink a bottle of water. A couple of times i have done this all day until dinner.

Most days all i eat is morning tea and then lunch just before i go and get the kids from school. DH (and our mates) do get a little concerned sometimes, especially as most days i weigh less than 50kg but i'm not worried because what i do eat, fills me up and it's mostly not junk food.

You should still go and see a GP, just in case it is something physical rather than (or in addition to) your anxiety.

ETA: I'm not sure if the shrinking stomach thing is real but it feels like it to me lol. I get full off a meal that my 3y/o would demolish and ask for dessert after.

Edited by WhatWouldBuffyDo, 22 January 2013 - 09:48 AM.


#14 Therese

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

I also think you need to go to the dr. They may not be able to do anything but they can refer you to people who can help you.

#15 steppy

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

Yes your stomach can shrink. I would be getting some liquid food for starters and getting something into me quick smart. Starving your body is bad bad news. If eating is a chore then treat it like one - just something you have to do, and do it.

Edited by steppy, 22 January 2013 - 10:02 AM.


#16 credence

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

I'm thinking your symptoms are a sign of something else, maybe depression or an eating disorder. Please go and see a GP today and get the help that you need.

Please take care xx

#17 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:03 AM

I have continued to drink milk, usually in the form of Milo, but still. Skim milk (full fat upsets my stomach), about a cup per day. I'm planning to shop later and get some apples and carrots, they are strangely the only two things that are really appealing to me right now. Odd because I usually don't like fruit or raw veges.

#18 intrigued

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Once you have established (with help of a GP etc) that there are no physical reasons, then I'd recommend seeing someone who looks at the psychological side of things..
I've had problems in the past with anxiety and that made me overeat / obsess to the point that I was constantly thinking about food and could not enjoy eating at all any more (even though I did still eat).

What helped me at the time was seeing a lady that did a mix of counselling, hypnotherapy and NLP. It helped me get to the bottom of my anxiety (which for me had nothing to do with food initially but family and other reasons, that might be totally different for you).
It is hard to explain 'how' exactly it worked, but after a few sessions I was so much more calm, relaxed and I thought about food less and less.
Worth a try.
Where do you live? I can PM you contact details...

#19 CallMeProtart

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

Please do see your GP. If this is a new thing, it's a worry.

Eating used to be a chore for me for a long time - as a child I used to wish I could get the meal replacement tablets they give astronauts. Then I started eating a lot of junk food because that was less of a chore. One year I lived 90% on chocolate milk (was in college and food was crap). Now I'm trying to be healthy I end up skipping meals because I can't eat my junk food but can't be bothered fixing up something healthy. Most eating I do is actually boredom eating.

But... this is a lifelong thing, and has been sustainable if unhealthy.
Yours sounds like a new thing and you'd starve if it kept on. It needs to be addressed.

QUOTE (erindiv @ 22/01/2013, 10:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But what can a doctor do? I have had counselling/medication for my anxiety before.


And did it work? Are you still on the meds? There's no 'quick fix' - clearly you are still suffering the anxiety, so still need treatment. Different treatment from what you had, if that didn't work - or more of what you had if it did.

And yes, go get your apples and carrots, do whatever it takes to find yourself stuff you can eat. Milk is fine but a cup isn't going to cut it for long.
And maybe grab some multivites so that even if you are short on food, your body is getting some of the stuff it needs from another source. Worst comes to worst, there are meal replacement drinks you can get, not sure if they taste nice but better than nothing because at least you can gulp them down and the chore is quicker!

Hope it improves OP.

#20 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

I used to drink a lot of meal replacement drinks in high school as being bullied there ramped up my anxiety and I couldn't eat for quite a while. I don't remember ever having a 'normal' eating pattern, I either under eat or over eat.

I was on paroxetine which made me suicidal. Counselling, bringing everything to the surface, made me even worse as it was like 'feeding' the anxiety.

Trying to nibble constantly today. Will shop later.

Thanks for all the advice.

#21 9minutes

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

Definitely go shopping for anything that you feel like eating - what about some of those breakfast drinks like Up'n'go, at least you are getting a few nutrients in there.
Watermelon is my favourite thing at the moment, it's just so nice to have when it's hot and I'm not really hungry (though I'm usually hungry so I always have something else as well!)

I second all the suggestions to talk to your GP - firstly to make sure that there isn't anything physical going on (I knew I was sick when I couldn't eat chocolate years ago and it turned out that I had glandular fever) and next to ask for a referral to someone who can help with some strategies for dealing with your anxiety and the eating.

Good luck with the getting to the bottom of this, and well done for recognising that this isn't healthy and that you need to do something about it.

#22 raven74

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

QUOTE
But what can a doctor do? I have had counselling/medication for my anxiety before.


This response alone ahould be a warning for you.  Your rationalisations for not eating etc are very alarming, and you are stepping on a very slippery slope. Go to a doctor and get it sorted.  You are not thinking clearly and need help to do so.


#23 gettheetoanunnery

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

Doctor Visit needed.
As other PP's have alluded - your thinking is not staight.
There may be something physiological that is triggering a psychological response which in turn drives your behaviour.
Or vice versa.
First step is GP for a full check up - bloods, etc - check for deficiencies in things such as B/iron, and abnormalities in things like thyroid
Referral to a psych to discuss your thinking regarding food - not eating when starving, your perception about looking good so maybe your behaviour is not a bad thing and your pre-existing anxiety and how that may be interferring with your cognition and behaviour.

That you posted this is a strong indication that you realise that your current thinking and behaviour patterns are out of character.

Act now, OP.

#24 scooter20

Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Go to the doc to get help. You may not think you need help but you do. So for nothing else go for the sake of your children.

#25 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 22/01/2013, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I used to drink a lot of meal replacement drinks in high school as being bullied there ramped up my anxiety and I couldn't eat for quite a while. I don't remember ever having a 'normal' eating pattern, I either under eat or over eat.

I was on paroxetine which made me suicidal. Counselling, bringing everything to the surface, made me even worse as it was like 'feeding' the anxiety.

Trying to nibble constantly today. Will shop later.

Thanks for all the advice.


Hi OP,

(usual EB disclaimer: this is not professional advice, just my opinion).

Anxiety and disordered eating (over or under eating) have a strong tendency to go hand in hand.  The hormones involved inour "flight or fight" reaction are also involved in digestion.  When we are in a flight or scenario, it makes sense that our body diverts resources away from "secondary" functions, like digestion, so that our body can focus on the important tasks (like staying alert, or getting the hell out of there). After all, it is much easier to concentrate on looking for danger, if you aren't looking for food.

In fact, they are so linked that changes in appetite, or significant weight change (up or down) are actually in the diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorder!  

Unfortunately, with anxiety, that flight or fight response is being triggered when it doesn't need to be. It becomes over-sensitive. It goes off when there is no real threat.  It is a bit like having a sprinkler fire-alarm that goes off every time you make toast.  Once the alarm is triggered, everything gets wet, even if there is no fire!  

At the moment, it sounds like that is what might be happening for you - your alarm is being triggered (your anxiety) and your body is trying to do the right thing by preparing for you to run (which results in suppressing your appetite).

It sounds like you may have had a bad reaction to a specific medication in the past.  The beauty is, that there are actually a whole range of anti-anxiety medications available.  Some in particular are especially good at helping with some of those digestion/appetite issues.  Sometimes, those drugs are even prescribed for things like irritable bowel syndrome (which is also strongly linked to stress/anxiety).

I know it can be hard to talk to a GP about anxiety, especially when you are in the thick of it.  When you are feeling overwhelmed, the thought of having to "explain yourself" to another person (or several) can just seem too hard.

But please do.  It will be worth it. I promise. original.gif




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