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Health Forum    Mental Health
Health Discussion Forum

 I'm a 44 year old single mom very depressed with no energy left.?
I have 3 teenage kids and I know my lack of motovation is not good for them to see.This is not the person I am. I need to get past this because it has been going on for over a year. Help!!...

 how can you beat severe depression?

 i need to lose weight? asp?
i have to go in hospital on the 20th of novermber for a operation
i have to lose wieght ive been on a very healthy diet over a year now and i still havent lost any thing
i walk 20 mins a ...

 If I start going to therapy or counseling, will others be able to find out?
For example, will a future employer find out through a background check?...

 can someone help me or not?
my mom wont's to have the talk with me about my . and will it is just to weird what should i ...

 I'm having the worst day.... =(?
I'm having the worst day...I got into a major fight with my boyfriend last night...I said a lot of things I didn't mean and I was so upset that I couldn't sleep and the last time I ...

 how come i still want him?
he treated me awful in the end but i still find myself thinking of him and missing him cuddling me and things its awful, i want him to call me, i can,t believe it all i loved being with him. i feel ...

 I have an ENORMOUS...?
...collection of empty milk cartons, plastic wrap, old newspapers and magazines, lamps shades and toilet paper roles............is this normal?...

 I cannot sleep at night?
Every time I wanna go to sleep, even when im sleepy, somethings always on my mind and i always keep my eyes open. When it try to get up i feel tired but I still can't sleep. Whenever i lay down I...

 i want to tell my parents that i have been self harming but..........?
i want to tell my parents that i have been self harming.but i am really scared to how they react.how can i tell them and build up the courage to tell them?...

 i'm scared of ghosts and i'm not able to sleep at night..its effecting my health too.what should i do?

 Is there any good reason not to smoke mariuana?

 Has anyone had any trouble with kids starting fires ?
My son is nine years old. He has recently taken to striking matches, lighting fire to paper and things like this. I have seen some kids who were fascinated with fire, but they were much younger. Some ...

 Long term depression... still battling?
I'm now 30 and have had depression (in as much as it can really be summed up by that one word) on and off since I was 15. In recent years I've tried to live with it and find that I'm ...

 help with the fear of death?
I'm not really going to ask for a 'cure'. I just want to know, have you ( or anybody you know) been able to conquer your fear of death? I know how irrational this fear is, and I dont ...

 How much information should you tell your therapist?
I'm starting therapy agian with a new therapist. How much inforamtion should i share with her, meaning as far as drug use, abuse, etc.?...

 I rely on clothes to boost my confidence and zest which I think I'm going crazy, do you agree?

 How do you cope when you get lonely?

I do have a housemate but she is rarely home. I don't usually get lonely but I have been lately, mainly when I get home from work and I'm cooking dinner and eating alone. I have a ...

 If you are allergic to bee stings are you allergic to honey too?

 How do you prevent yourself from being affected by others' negativity?
I am a very positive person, but lately I have had to work with so many negative people that I have struggled to maintain my usual sunny attitude. Half the time I feel like a bird with broken wings. D...

What happens to someone if they don't eat?
My friend has not eaten a thing for five days. She feels tired and spaced out but won't eat. She won't go to the doctors. What will happen if this carries on, please don't say she will be dead. What problems will she have and when should I step in and get medical help? Thank you x

What kind of a STUPID question is that?

What do you think will happen if YOU dont eat

Use your BRAIN

You DIE eventually

I think you should have got help already,Just phone 999 and they will come and get her ,don't be shy about phoning them,that's what they are there for.

El Cid
They get weaker and weaker as the organs start to leech out nutrients from the muscles and fat. Soon the skin will ooze body fluids as the body runs short of protein. Then they will expire.

stainless steven
it happens they become very hungry --- ask anyone in the third world!

she needs to keep her fluids up and get some advice from her GP. try listening to her without judging her.

Sounds like your friend might be anorexic.

I think the question you're asking is 'How long can she go on not eating before something drastic happens?' - firstly - and then 'What happens after that?'.

It depends on her fluid intake. So long as she is drinking at least water - then nothing much is going to happen for several days. The body starts off by using up glycogen - immediate energy stored in the liver and lean tissue. Glycogen is stored by binding with water - so her weight will plummet as she loses this water. She'll start to look a bit gaunt with dryish skin.

Then after about a week - this glycogen store gets used up and fat starts to get used. Whilst that may produce enough in the way of certain nutrients, the body will at this stage start to go through a severe crisis. Her energy levels will plummet and her cognitive functions deterioate (ie. her mental state and ability to think 'straight').

At some stage (and this depends on a lot of factors) she'll collapse - and somebody will send her to hospital where they'll 'fix her up'. After that, she'll be released or maybe - at worst - sectioned. If she is released from hospital and goes back on her fast - then she'll end up collapsing again - and it'll be back to hospital again. This process will be repeated until she agrees to accept treatment, or she is assessed as being 'at danger to herself' - following which she will be sectioned. That means a compulsory stay in a psychiatric unit - and NOBODY wants to go there.

There could be a miriade of reasons for her fast. But one thing's for sure - she will not win any battles by fasting. But she will realise one day that this cannot continue. Better she does that today rahter than go through the pointless collapses and visits to A&E etc.

She will starve, of course. There's no point pretending, we all need food to survive, and that includes your friend.

Her symptoms are caused by lack of food.

As for YOU getting medical help for her, well I don't know what your relationship is, but unless it's a Significant Other or a relative, I doubt you can do a lot, until she passes out, anyway.

she sounds anorexic... tell someone but warn her you are. don't go behind her back x

Goal: -6 by 0209
she'll pass out, and shell have to be tube fed

louis g
get help

She needs help now this needs to be nipped in the bud before it escalates. If she doesn't eat she will feel spaced out as her sugar levels will drop rapidly and of course she has to eat food to have energy so she will feel tired. If she continues not to eat it will get worse and possibly cause fainting. Her skin, hair, teeth will be badly affected and the muscles in the body will weaken and begin to lack tone. In a women her periods will be affected leading to them stopping completely, this can affect fertility and difficulty in conceiving in the future. Lack of food and adequate nutrition can cause damage to the internal organs eventually and if it goes too far the internal organs can begin to shut down and we all know what happens then. She must see someone sooner rather than later before this starving starts to become a regular part of life for her and it really get a grip she needs to sort this out before it gets too bad, starving is very dangerous and of course can be fatal if it continues indefinitely. Try and coax her to go and have a chat with her Doctor, tell her your worried about her, but with any problem like this she has to want to be helped and start eating properly before anything will work. Best of luck, you sound like a very good friend to her.

she will die in the end....
probably faint and pass out before then thought and end up in casualty.

Your friend urgently needs medical aid or death is a certainty.
There may be many reasons whyhe/she is refusing to eat, but without professional help there is only one outcome.

Carolyn H
She will die, your body can only live of its self for so long...you can go a lot longer without food than water, but eventually you will starve to death. She needs help...you didn't say why she won't eat...which can be very important.

They die

Is she sick or does she have an eating disorder. Fasting is okay for awhile and most healthy people can do it w/out problems, but if she is weak and spaced out she should stop.

If she is endangering herself and you believe it's out of control you could always call 911 and have the medics take her to the hospital. But then they can't keep her against her will.

If she is fasting then she is alright for a while, as long as she is still getting liquids (water, juice, milk) But if she is not eating for any other reasons it sounds like you need to talk to her and get her to start or get her to a nutritionist soon.

Dallas S
The body will start bricking down and she will get very sick. You should step in now and try to help your friend.

I f you don't eat you will die,I'm sorry but you friend needs help fast otherwise her health will be in danger

She will be dead, anyway, if she does not eat. The maximum people will stay alive without food (if drinking water) is about 28 days. Much less than this if not drinking. The time to get psychiatric help is NOW.

I did exactly the same thing 13 years ago, and it ruined my life.

Sure I lost weight, but I also lost my personality, my skin and hair looked crap, I lost friends, I lost my social life and I failed my exams.

My mind is totally messed up and has been for 13 years, this has affected relationships with friends and men, I havent managed to maintain a proper job or career cos I am just obsessed with food and weight.

My digestion is wrecked, I get bloated and constipated very easily, and suffer from depression.

Make your friend realise, that she will be the same as me if she denies her body of food. Its no fun, it will ruin her life.

Good luck x

Try these links to the Mind website, the information is easy to understand and read.

Thankfully our friend has you to look out for her, so well done for taking an interest and wanting to try and help.

A classic sign of depression is a lack of appetite, I know this as I too stop eating when I am feeling distressed - some others eat too much, but not eating is a definite sign as well.

So try

Understanding depression:

just in case it is the onset of eating distress, this might help.

Understanding eating distress:

if you read both sets of information something might suddenly fall into place about other things she has been doing recently.

Obviously the best thing to do would be to encourage your friend to see her GP as soon as possible, offer to go with her if she would like you to, it might help her to have support. If she wants you to go in with her when she talks to the Dr then fine, but if she prefers to go in alone, then let her do that. Either way you will be there to support her on the way home.

Please tell her that the Dr is there to help her, he won't judge her, and she won't be saying anything that he hasn't heard before. It might help to offer to help her write things down before you go, then if she is too distressed to talk about it she can hand over what she has written - I've done this on many occasions.

If she really doesn't want to do that then the other thing I would suggest is seeing if there is a mental health charity in your area:


they are easy to access and either you or your friend only need to make a phone call. The people will be friendly, understanding and they will not judge. They deal with people suffering from all kinds of mental distress on a daily basis, so they have lots of knowledge and will be able to help. It will be a safe place to go for your friend without any pressure.

The vicious circle of depresson and not eating is a hard one to get out of. Depression can cause appetite loss but then lack of food causes the body to slow down, speech can become slurred due to tiredness and apathy and lethargy set in.

Make sure that your friend is at least remembering to drink, and if you can get her to drink milk as well as other things at least her body is getting a small amount of something good inside it.

Don't try and force her to eat a large meal or plateful of anything as this won't help at all, but if you can encourage her to have a biscuit with a cup of tea or coffee then it's a start. One slice of toast or half a sandwich, start very slowly and she may just begin to regain her appetite.

Someone once said to me to think of it in this way -

A car needs fuel - petrol - otherwise it won't work

A body needs fuel - food - otherwise it won'twork

That has always stuck in my mind.

Hope some of this information is useful.

Take care and good luck.

If your friend can see that you are there to support her and not force her to do anything against her will, then she might open up to you and allow you to help her.

Bob J
She'll most likely not die but she will end up in hospital with serious problems.

Gabe R
If your friend gets to the point where she's in danger, her mother or father should step in. It seems probable that your friend is suffering from an eating disorder, and she should seek help (and you should encourage her to do so). If she really hasn't consumed any calories for 5 days, I suggest you tell her parents or a trusted adult, like someone at school, what's going on. Although you don't want to betray your friend's trust, you also don't want her to die (which she may).

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