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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds When I was depressed, it really had a knock on effect on how I was eating and what I was eating. I’d skip breakfast, I didn’t want to eat in the mornings, where I was just tired. And then when it came around to lunchtime, I’d only eat a little bit. Most of my plate was still there once I’d finished. I wasn’t hungry. And it didn’t taste good. It didn’t taste the same. It just tasted like nothing, like cardboard, really. When I was low, I would just be so much hungrier all the time. And at lunch, I’d want to eat more. And at dinner, I’d ask if there was seconds.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Dinner time is like a massive time for us to come together, talk about our day, and just sit and eat, really. And I wasn’t really partaking in it. We’d get into arguments, and my mum would ask me if I was dieting, if I was having a mad diet that you see on the internet and stuff. But I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t a diet. I physically didn’t feel the need to eat. And I think that really confused her. There was quite strict rules in my house for eating junk food. So I used to hide wrappers under my bed, and just food under my bed. I had a little hidey-hole.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds And I used to get quite embarrassed of that. And my mum even said that she thought I was putting on weight.

Young person’s view: Eating habits

In this video, Jack and Emma describe how depression affected their eating habits. Do any of their experiences sound familiar?

Please note: For the purposes of the course, these characters are played by actors but based on real case examples

Have you noticed a change in eating habits in your young person? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

University of Reading