Has your appetite changed?
Have you ever been so anxious that you feel you will choke if you have to swallow another mouthful, however delicious the food?
A common manifestation of stress is a problem in swallowing created by having a meal with someone you find over-poweringly sexually attractive. Have you ever been unable to eat because of your emotional interest in your companion?
Have you noticed when eating that, besides difficulty in swallowing, your saliva has dried up?
Have you ever suffered from feelings of nausea or even vomiting in the morning? These symptoms, normally associated with either pregnancy or heavy drinking, may also be caused by stress. Sometimes stress only produces morning nausea; in other cases, the anxious person may actually be sick in the morning. This may be a prominent symptom if a person is unhappy at work.
Have you so lost your appetite to the point that you don't even want to eat, even if just with your family? Has the diminished appetite caused a loss of at least half a stone in weight? Severe and persistent loss of appetite is one of the cardinal signs of the depressive illnesses.
On the other hand, do you find that your appetite has increased, and that you can no longer resist favourite foods? Have you become a chocoholic? Tense people seek comfort from eating. The extent to which they do so depends on their domestic and professional problems.
Are you drinking more or less alcohol than usual? It is a myth that all depressed patients drink more. Some people, when they are depressed, drink to excess; others find that depression removes their desire for a drink. To them, alcohol is associated with jollity and partying and they need the pleasure of convivial company before they want one.