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BiPolar and Weight Gain
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Joined: Jun 07
Posted: 30 Jun 2007, 15:05
Anybody out there with Bipolar Disorder besides me? Anybody had success losing weight while on mood stabilizers?
The mood stabilizer I'm on have caused steady weight gain over the past ten years (50 lbs). I'm not making this up or trying to use it as an excuse for myself--weight gain is mentioned as the most frequent side effect on the PI sheet. Unfortunately, I cannot go off this med. (I've tried others, but they do not successfully treat my symptoms.)
In the past, I've lost a lot of weight on Atkins, but the current medications I'm on are really hard on the liver and I have to have my blood levels tested, etc. I think that a no-carb diet would be really difficult to follow and probably would be stressful to my body.
I'm interested in the GI diet mostly because it doesn't really seem like a "diet." Just a way of eating healthily.
Anyway...here I go...hoping to lose weight slowly and steadily...like a snail...so that it stays off.
"Make haste slowly."
Joined: Jun 07
Posted: 01 Jul 2007, 01:26
Hi! I know its not the same, but I was on anti depressants for years to treat severe depression and I did put on weight with the meds. I'm only 22, and I was diagnosed when I was 17, and came off the meds when I was 20. I put on a lot of weight (i don't know exactly how much since I never weighed myself before it all happened, but I would estimate 10-15kg (20-30lbs). My husband also thinks I've put weight on since I used a particular contraceptive (hormone implant), but cause it lasts for 3 happy years, I ain't getting rid of it! From what I've read, the GI diet sounds good for you
Joined: Jul 07
Posted: 29 Aug 2007, 08:12
i too have been diagnosed with not only bi polar disorder, but also many other mental health problems. i was prescribed a medication which one of the side effects was loss of appetite, yet for some reason i still gained weight(30lbs). ive found however that by exercising more( along with healthy eating) helped me slim down, and also helped my depression.
Joined: Jul 07
Posted: 08 Sep 2007, 12:08
Unfortunately the medical community too often focuses its attention on researching and promoting the use of anti-depressants and medication as a method to alleviate depression, stress and anxiety disorders. My friend is a pharmaceutical company rep and he explained that doctors can be influenced by drug companies to promote certain products. He explained that it is a well known fact in his industry that companies that have deep pockets find ways to reward doctors who promote their products.
As an example, I've personally been prescribed anti-depressants when I started having sleep problems, something the doctor decided in a 15 minute interview without completing anything close to a mental status exam. In fact I could have easily faked the symptoms to receive the prescription. This type of "care" by our medical community is highly unethical and can do more harm in the long run.
Unfortunately this is because our mental health professionals in the medical system rely heavily on the DSM-IV, and as a result you could be diagnosed with multiple problems depending on the psychiatrist or family physician you see. It's all very subjective and in many documented cases patients end up with conflicting information and diagnosis.
My recommendation is to find a competent and experienced psychiatrist who doesn't take the DSM or his own opinion too seriously, and who instead focuses on finding the root cause of your stress or depression, and is more interested in improving your quality of life.
I'm by no means advocating that you stop your medication. God forbid! That would most likely cause serious problems and would be unethical for me to suggest. I'm not your physician and nor do I claim to have expert knowledge. So please keep taking your medication.
However, I do believe that many doctors are not as invested in using a more holistic and humanistic approach to helping their patients. By this I mean that many of them could do more by prescribing exercise, therapy, and social activities to help promote positive and satisfying life experiences which in themselves provide the necessary second part of the cure for the depressive state (eg. the medication is the first part).
These positive experiences can help improve your level of satisfaction and happiness. Other 'by products' of those activities could include more energy, better health, weight loss, emotional stability, etc. etc.
In academia this area (which is fairly new) is called positive psychology.
For a brief outline of this area of psychology just use google or check out:
Joined: Sep 07
Posted: 15 Sep 2007, 12:14
I've only just seen this thread.
I'm diagnosed as a severe depressive and have been on medication for years. I do tend to get very manic though, and it during these "bouts" when I can't stop eating and the weight piles on.
I do find that eating properly, ie healthily makes my mood much better and I become far more stable. I used to drink a lot, because it was a way of hiding from my feelings; however, this year I've made a real effort to stop - I've cut right back, and I've noticed a big difference. I'm far less up and down than I was.
I agree totally with your comments jakes about the prescriptions. The doctors do push those drugs they get the most money for. I did see a therapist for a short while and found it extremely helpful. However in the UK, help like this is few and far between; and last time I got really, really bad - I couldn't get an appointment. In fact I received a letter 2 months later asking me if I'd tried to harm myself and was I sure I still needed help! Great.
Living in Turkey, I look after myself now. I've been like I am for so long, I've pretty much got used to dealing with it. Mind you - I couldn't manage without my husband; how he put up with me sometimes I don't know.
Inside me there's a skinny woman screaming to get out, but I can usually shut the bitch up with chocolate.
Joined: Sep 11
Posted: 28 Sep 2011, 22:46
I have BP disorder on high meds. In remission. Switched docs and they wanted to decrease all my weight gain meds I had to prove to them I could stay healthy and stay on meds, tried to decrease and went into severe depression until went back on and it improved over time. Started exercising and working on small changes with food. Had physical February 2011 clean bill of health. You can do it. Kate1962 and I am 49 and post menopausal with hypothyroid med that keeps it working right too. Topped out at 260 now at 238. Still working on it.
Most people say I don't look it, that's a first for me.
That's why I am the one who is laughing now. My favorite
expression is where there is a will there is a way if you want it bad enough.
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