Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eating When Depressed?

I never understood this trend. I hear it's more common among women, though, which reveals interesting things about the difference in wiring between men and women. If in fact this is true, which I'm not sure it is.

Do most people, regardless of gender, overeat when they are sad or even depressed?

Now, I'd like to point out right away that -- no, I am not particularly depressed at this moment. I'm perfectly happy on this fine Thursday, in fact. Thanks for asking. But on the morning commute in to work, I started thinking of all the times I have been unhappy in my life, and what my eating habits were like during these moments. Lo and behold, I realized I do the complete opposite of most people. I tend to *under* eat, if anything.

See, food doesn't exactly release happy endorphins in me. I mean, I can enjoy a good meal and be happy in the consuming of it, but that's about all. I like food. I like it a lot, in fact. But for some reason I don't seek out my favorite feel-good snacks when I am down and blue. When I'm at my most troubled, I tend not to be able to taste food. I have no appetite. It's bland and uninteresting, which probably explains why I'm not a binge eater at these times.

I can only imagine how skinny and wasted I would be if I suffered from serious depression. Wow!

Also, I suspect this also explains why I don't have the usual reaction to stimulants as most people. Coffee doesn't keep me awake and tastes horrible to me; cigarettes are gross; and even alcohol doesn't make me happy the way it does other people. It's why I very rarely drink. Even the wine I drink is only one glass a day, if that. And only with meals, so it's more like a food enhancer in that respect.

I always wondered--with hard liquor in particular--what appeal these things have to people. Going out for drinks once in a blue moon is fun, don't get me wrong. But to actually seek the bottle out when you are sad or lonely? Never did quite understand that appeal. Alcohol has the effect of making me feel chilled and mellow, but in the end isn't really a state of being I just can't do without. I'm normally low-strung and relaxed to begin with, anyway.

So, do I not have an addictive personality? Or are these things severely overrated? I'd really like to hear your opinions on the matter of food and other consumables being euphoric enhancers. Are you the type to curl up on the couch with a gallon of cookie-dough ice-cream when you are feeling unloved or disconnected from the world? Or, like me, does this make you actually avoid food and drink?

Inquiring minds would like to know . . .

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