How does Depression and Lack of Appetite Affect People?

This article was found on (Coping & Depression blog) by

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a change in appetite. People who have depression either lose their appetite and eat less than they did before, or else their appetite increases and they eat more than they did before their depression started. For me, my appetite has lessened but it’s affected me a lot more than a simple reduction of hunger pangs. Depression and lack of hunger can be distressing.

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

Depression affects my eating habits mostly by making me apathetic about food. Flavours feel dulled so I never really enjoy anything that I eat. I opt for really sour candy, ice cream or whatever seems tastiest. I fill up on junk food and then don’t care about fruits and vegetables.

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

My physical health hasn’t mattered at all to me because my emotional pain is front and center. Only after years of chronic pain am I starting to connect my mind with my body. One can’t exist without the other, but I’ve been living as if my brain isn’t a part of my body.

Part of the reason behind that is my history of trauma; my body has never been a safe place to reside. Posttraumatic stress disorder takes a huge toll on my depression as well.

Now that I’m trying to eat healthier, I’m realizing how many ways my depression affects my ability to stay nourished. For example, I struggle to go to the grocery store a lot of the time because it’s overwhelming, too noisy and requires too much decision-making.

Then, if I’ve managed to go to the grocery store, I rarely have the motivation to actually prepare a good meal for myself once I’m home.  My depression makes me unable to work and therefore I don’t have much money. Spending money on food when I’m not even interested in food is a really difficult task.

I should be taking advantage of the local food bank since I qualify as someone in need of community help, but it’s all the way across town. Taking the bus is overwhelming for me. It’s all too much to think about.

Isolation is a huge part of my depression so I rarely cook for anyone but myself. Can you see how my depression affects eating in so many ways?

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6 thoughts on “How does Depression and Lack of Appetite Affect People?

  1. Pieces of Bipolar says:

    Most definitely a lack of appetite combined with no energy or inclination to cook. I’ve basically been eating peanuts and replacement meal shakes since February. But I’m slowly mending and food patterns are improving


  2. Bradley says:

    When depression hits, I want to eat everything in sight..and frequenty do. I believe it’s because I’m trying to fill that hole in the gut of my stomach that is there whenever depression comes around. I try to find other things to fill that void, but nothing seems to drive me as much as eating.


    • cherished79 says:

      That can definitely happen with weight gain. I ballooned to almost 300 lbs (I was heavy enough already) while on a cocktail of meds during my major depression and stays in the hospital. I never related it to the meds, however, I had no energy or ambition, didn’t care about anything and ate a lot of fast food and sweets. A horrible time, sometimes difficult to describe when someone sees you and has that “how did she get that fat?” look. Not that you owe them an explanation.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Courage Coaching says:

    I am so sorry your depression affects you in so many profound ways. I can completely relate to feeling overwhelmed and finding shopping, travelling too much at times. I also have PTSD so find certain things hard too..I find that getting noise cancelling headphones and listening to calming music when out and about, helps me cope with the noise. Eating is definetely hard when depressed but there are tips out there for really simple and nutritious meals you can make. I struggle at times too.Wishing you all the best


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