Are loss of appetite and depression related?

Q. Is there a link between loss of appetite and depression?

Answered by
Dr. Bharat Udey
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 09, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 31, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am on psychiatric medication since two to three years, but found no improvement. I have started exercise such as walking, yoga and pranayama and found some relief. I become depressed more when I read about depression on internet. My main issue now is loss of appetite, headache when free or anxious and anxiety due to loss of appetite. Are these due to major depression or minor depression? I am taking Megapose plus one pill at bedtime. I was very happy and loss of appetite also had cured at certain level, but when I read in internet that major depression cannot be cured by exercise, I become more depressed and problems again aroused. Please advise me about exercise for major depression. Can exercise cure major depression? I am consuming whisky three pegs daily and I am having tobacco chewing habit. I cannot sleep without drinking alcohol. I want to withdraw drinking, but due to sleep problem I am unable to stop. I am suffering from stomach gas, loose motions and also constipation. I have attached my past medication prescriptions. Please help.



Welcome to

Loss of appetite is a blanket symptom which can be present in any of the psychiatric illness including depression. In major depressive disorder, loss of appetite is associated with sadness of mood, decreased energy level, easy fatigability, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, inability to enjoy pleasurable activities, decreased sleep, negative ideas about self or world or future and loss of libido. If these symptoms are also present along with loss of appetite, then only it can be concluded that you are having major depressive disorder. Megapose (combination of Flupenthixol and Melitracen) is not the treatment of choice for depressive episode. If you have any one of the above then you need to be started on either of the following drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRIs) and serotonin partial agonist and reuptake inhibitor (SPARI) with the consent of your specialist doctor. Besides this, your habit of alcohol consumption and tobacco chewing is majorly contributing to this illness. You need to start planning to quit alcohol and tobacco as early as possible. Otherwise, this will progress and worsen. Your alcohol consumption has already reached the level where you start developing withdrawal symptoms in the form of difficulty to sleep and abdominal disturbances in its absence. So, you should start the composite therapy for both alcohol and tobacco dependence as well as for major depressive illness without any further delay.

Hello doctor,

Can you suggest some medicines and also few exercises? Can exercise help to cure my major depressive disorder?



Welcome to

As you are alcohol dependent as well along with having depressive symptoms, it is important to begin with treatment for alcohol dependence. It is important to washout alcohol from your body first. For that, you need to be clear and motivated enough to quit alcohol once and for all. In the beginning of therapy you might have restlessness, sleep disturbances, palpitations and worsening of your depressive symptoms. So, you should be prepared enough to face all these symptoms. With medication, all these symptoms will be suppressed. But, still you can experience them on and off during first few days. After a week of washout phase, if you stay abstinent then you will be started on anti-craving therapy to prevent further relapse. Also, if required you will be started on antidepressants as well. If you are ready for the treatment then consult your psychiatrist for further evaluation and get treatment for the same.

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