question-icon

Can a drug misuse lead to weight loss and anxiety?

default
Posted on Tue, 24 Mar 2015
Question: Hi,

I had a very bad drug experience (I don't know the type of drug - I think cocaine) about 6 months ago. I am not one for recreational drugs, nor would I encourage people to use them. Anyway, it happened. I found myself extremely anxious and depressed the following morning (this may have been building up for a while prior to the incident). I convinced myself that I looked different and unhealthier and could not understand how this could happen from a 'one-off'. I lost considerable amounts a of weight and, most notably, felt that I lost definition in my face even as soon as the day after.

I've had blood tests and I'm low on Vit D (I live in a very XXXXXXX part of the world, strange). Could a drug misuse cause this? Is the chronic weight loss due to anxiety/panic attacks rather than that sole incident?

Appreciate your advise, difficult to get the answers I need. Head is all over the place! Attached are 2 pictures taken within a month of eachother. I feel as if the change in complexion is evident. I go every day not feeling right in myself - been the case for months now. Makes it harder as this one occassion seems to have had a huge impact on my life.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chintan Solanki (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
It cannot be due to single day drug misuse,anxiety/panic attacks can cause

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,

Thanks for writing to us.

None of the drug can cause weight loss after a single intake.Single use of cocaine can cause anxiety or depression for short duration or it may precipitate episode of depression or some kind of anxiety disorder if person is already vulnerable.

You wrote,"I found myself extremely anxious and depressed the following morning (this may have been building up for a while prior to the incident)". This suggests you have some depression or anxiety before intake of the drug.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause some anxiety symptoms or even panic attack in few patients.It is common that vitamin D deficiency seen in people living in very XXXXXXX area.It is not sole factor for prevention. Diet and direct sun exposure also matter.

You are not feeling well since months. Your pictures shows of course some differences but difficult to judge about depression from the same.As your current problem is causing huge impact on your life, you must be evaluated by professional. For diagnosis of any anxiety disorder or depression detail history and mental status examination are must to be done by a psychiatrist.If some diagnosis is there, you can surely be treated with help of medicines and/or psychotherapy.

Please tell more about your symptoms.

If you have sad mood, most of the days and most of the time during whole day,weight loss 5% in last one month, sleep disturbance, excessive fatigue, lack of interest in routine activity, difficulties in work/study, hopelessness, worthlessness, chances of depression are there.

Describe frequency,duration and precipitating factors of anxiety/panic attacks.

Do you have any social,occupational,relationship or economic stress?

DO you have habit of smoking, alcohol or any other substance ?

Your information will help to provide more comments about your situation.

Hope I have answered your query, I will be happy to help further.

Regards,
Dr.Chintan Solanki.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Chintan Solanki (38 minutes later)
Thank you for the quick response. I have been on and off different meds for all of the symptoms outlined above as I have been to my GP.

The night in question I do honestly feel had immediate impact on my health, I felt like I lost weight over night with slight change in complexion. To shed more light on the evening in reference I cannot recall it at all (it involved a prostitute - with the build up in anxiety a result of lack of sexual activity up until this point). The fact I cannot recall it is obviously a key part of the depressed mood afterwoods.

I'm a confident person with what should have a fantastic lifestyle, I do have a very well paid job and high levels of responsibility. Good freinds & family.

The job is extremely intensive and my social is limited as a result of this.

I've always, strangely, been mainly happy when I feel like I 'look good', this massively changes my mental well being. This chronic weight loss has now resulted in my confidence being hit and I'm desperately trying to get myself back in to thinking positively about my appearance (eating well, gym etc). I do just find this currently very difficult to maintain as I feel I'm alongway away from where I was 7 months ago. I

I also have chronic rhinitis which is an on-going battle.

I drink frequently, smoke occassionally (more so now).

I now find myself struggling to recall nights out and times of things during the week. As if my short term memory has been affected.

Thanks, and I'm sure I can pull through this with a more positive outlook on life like I used to have!


doctor
Answered by Dr. Chintan Solanki (58 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Body dysmorphic disorder with depression is the possibility

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for info.

Your history made me to think about one possibility of body dysmorphic disorder. In this person has constant intrusive thoughts that he/she is not looking good and try to be perfect always and as much as possible. However in reality he/she looks almost normal as per family or friend's opinion. These type of constant thoughts may lead to depression.

You should consult psychiatrist once for evaluation.

Concern about weight loss, job with high responsibility, lack of concentration(which is responsible for forgetfulness), increased smoking all these factors favor diagnosis of depression. Psychiatrist can help you through anti depressant medicines as well as psychotherapy after your detail history and mental status examination.

I think you can come out of your problem, there is just need of professional help.

All the best. feel free to ask if any query is still there.

Http://bit.ly/drchintansolanki.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Chintan Solanki

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2406 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Can a drug misuse lead to weight loss and anxiety?

Brief Answer: It cannot be due to single day drug misuse,anxiety/panic attacks can cause Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing to us. None of the drug can cause weight loss after a single intake.Single use of cocaine can cause anxiety or depression for short duration or it may precipitate episode of depression or some kind of anxiety disorder if person is already vulnerable. You wrote,"I found myself extremely anxious and depressed the following morning (this may have been building up for a while prior to the incident)". This suggests you have some depression or anxiety before intake of the drug. Vitamin D deficiency can cause some anxiety symptoms or even panic attack in few patients.It is common that vitamin D deficiency seen in people living in very XXXXXXX area.It is not sole factor for prevention. Diet and direct sun exposure also matter. You are not feeling well since months. Your pictures shows of course some differences but difficult to judge about depression from the same.As your current problem is causing huge impact on your life, you must be evaluated by professional. For diagnosis of any anxiety disorder or depression detail history and mental status examination are must to be done by a psychiatrist.If some diagnosis is there, you can surely be treated with help of medicines and/or psychotherapy. Please tell more about your symptoms. If you have sad mood, most of the days and most of the time during whole day,weight loss 5% in last one month, sleep disturbance, excessive fatigue, lack of interest in routine activity, difficulties in work/study, hopelessness, worthlessness, chances of depression are there. Describe frequency,duration and precipitating factors of anxiety/panic attacks. Do you have any social,occupational,relationship or economic stress? DO you have habit of smoking, alcohol or any other substance ? Your information will help to provide more comments about your situation. Hope I have answered your query, I will be happy to help further. Regards, Dr.Chintan Solanki.