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Hunger Hormone Increases During Stress, May Have Antidepressant Effect

Posted Jul 03 2008 12:11pm
I get irritable when I go too long between meals. I feel anxious and depressed if I under eat over a number of days. Dieting, which once upon a time I thought of as a rational thing, made me cry uncontrollably and without warning.

My daughter gets really focused if she goes a while between meals. Her anxiety, usually higher than most people's, goes down when she under eats. Anxiety and depression are replaced with steely determination and a false sense of well-being when she loses weight.

This difference between me and my daughter used to baffle me. I expected her to respond to hunger the way I did. I'm sure I used to baffle her, too.

But now that I understand theself-medicating nature of malnutrition, especially for those with that predisposition, her anorexia makes a lot more sense. And her recovery seems even more heroic. I can just pick up a sandwich; for her it meant picking up and wrestling down anxiety and depression.
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