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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Inability (or reduced ability) to eat

    I am having reduced appetite issues, and it is causing me concern. It seems to occur when my life is in a state of uncertainty. This is the third time it has happened: first at age 16 while starting a boarding school alone, second was my first year of grad school, and now. My stomach and torso gets tight and nauseous, so that any attempt to eat is uncomfortable. I have been managing sort of one meal a day since around Thanksgiving. I've lost eight pounds from that time. I'm keeping myself together for the most part, albeit with reduced ability to function, but this eating thing has slipped under the radar. I have never found any literature about this problem and have no idea if anyone else ever faces it. I need it to stop.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I have that practically all the time.
    I have no gradual development of hunger, only a threshold.
    I have to be starving to want food.

    Mental condition does heavily affect appetite, too.
    When I have something really important to do, I can't eat.
    I couldn't eat before taking the SATs for instance.

    My whole life has been filled with things like this.
    Ughh, insomnia!
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #3
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Offhand it sounds like anxiety in at least some of both of your cases. While it would be ideal to eat something before the SAT, some people are just too nervous. It's the same with performing in front of others - my daughter couldn't eat the morning of her bat mitzvah.

    Going away to boarding school where you knew no one, didn't know what to expect, etc. could certainly bring on anxiety. Ditto with grad school.

    Some anxiety is limited (day of the SAT or bat mitzvah); some is ongoing and/or free-floating. Have you identified any ongoing anxiety-producers now? Stress reduction comes to mind - meditation, other relaxation techniques (yoga, dance, listening to music). Moderate exercise also stimulates the appetite. Good luck!

    As far as Magic's ongoing state of being, I know several NTPs who go for long hours without being hungry until a critical point is reached. My INTP boss used to say good-bye to me at 4:00 PM, at which point he realized he'd missed his lunch again.

    Jae Rae

  4. #4
    ~*taaa raaa raaa boom*~ targobelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I have that practically all the time.
    I have no gradual development of hunger, only a threshold.
    I have to be starving to want food.

    Mental condition does heavily affect appetite, too.


    My whole life has been filled with things like this.
    Ughh, insomnia!

    that would be me
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  5. #5
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    The people I live with are all cooking a 16lb turkey today. The idea of it appeals to me.

    I've tended to have a little bit of a nervous stomach as an ongoing thing, but this appetite shut-down has only happened three times in my life. During the second time I remember being out at a pizza party with friends and feeling so starved. I wanted to eat so badly, but my stomach was shut-down. I couldn't. I came home after several hours of this and cried. Meh. I suppose I do understand myself well enough to know what layers are involved in my mind. I had hoped to have reached a level of maturity and control to be past it. In the past it has only lasted a few weeks, but tended to last long enough to get me down around low 90's lbs. I have started at a higher weight, so maybe it will naturally stop before I get too low. I know it is dangerous for your organs to be too thin and I'm not into letting that happen again. It's probably better to not label it as "happening again", but to just try to eat something each day and to cut back on external stress. That way it isn't a thing to be focused on and feared.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  6. #6

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    I loose my appetite for psychological reasons also. But sometimes for very physical ones.

    Right now, I've temporarily lost my appetite (I've only had one small meal a day for three days straight, a couple of days were forced), but that is because I have the flu.

    Are you sure you don't have the flu or something?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #7
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Yeah, depression and lack of appetite is a pretty normal combination. Healthy option: drink nutritious juices. Unhealthy option: beer.

  8. #8
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Hmm. This sounds bad. I'm so sorry! I hope you don't lose significant amounts of weight.

    That sounds awful, having a tight, sick stomach that won't open up for food. Awww. I think perhaps you should see a doc about this. It could be biological or psychological.

    My INTJ friend has high levels of anxiety, especially in regard to automobiles, and she's always had issues with food. Sometimes she seems to have this tight stomach you're talking about. Other times she overeats and then feels awful afterwards. I still haven't figured out if it's her anxiety that makes her feel awful or her actual body. Anyway, the point is she's 5"7 and 120 lbs.

    You may also be psyching yourself out a little. Something like performance anxiety. It happened twice before, so you think about it happening again, and in the end the increased anxiety contributes to a recurrence. If this is what's happening to you, I really wish I knew what to do to stop it, because I know how awful it feels.

    I would recommend daily light exercise, like walking up and down the steps for twenty or thirty minutes. Getting your heart pumping may get the blood flowing to your stomach, and loosen everything up down there. Plus, exercise only stimulates your thirst for water, which can only be good!

    If you already partake in exercise, meditation may soothe you. I've never tried it, but now that someone above me has mentioned it I think it's worth a shot.

    Good luck! Keep us updated. And yeah, eat that turkey, girl!

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Yeah, depression and lack of appetite is a pretty normal combination. Healthy option: drink nutritious juices. Unhealthy option: beer.
    yay juice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    Good luck! Keep us updated. And yeah, eat that turkey, girl!
    I did have me a little turkey. At least I don't mind having lost the first eight pounds, but I really don't want to get crazy skinny again. Maybe it will level off soon.

    For some reason people don't talk about this sort of thing much, so it was interesting to read all the comments so far.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #10
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    I lose my appetite when I am stressed. I am normally not so aware of when I need to eat until my body screams at me, but during stress I shut down completely. During this time, food will literally gross me out & I think my stomach can't physically digest it (it probably can, but in my head it can't...)

    However, I have a documented eating disorder past so my answer may be an exception. I'm certain control over chaos plays a role in my inability to eat.

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