Dieting with Obstacles - Bipolar/Borderline and Weight Loss




flyinghigh
12-22-2011, 03:43 AM
Does anyone else have borderline personality disorder or bipolar and struggle with weight? How do you deal with it?


bama girl
12-22-2011, 04:38 AM
I have bipolar (II) disorder (predominant depression w/hypomania), and I wish I could say that I had the weight loss thing figured out. I also have a very long history of eating disorders, so I'm not really sure how similar we're going to be. I have noticed, though, that for me, my weight follows a pattern along with my mood cycles. When I'm in an upswing, I gain due to impulsive eating/bulimic behaviors. I try to keep food in individually wrapped portions that are difficult to get to so that I have to stop and think before impulsively eating something. When I am depressed, I lose rapidly because I just don't feel like eating, which is not a good thing either. I set timers on my phone to remind myself and try to eat with friends. When I am on meds, things seem to even out, ED behaviors go away, and I do neither.

I don't know if you're on meds at the moment... I am currently on Abilify, along with Pristiq and Vyvanse. Abilify is supposed to be weight-neutral, and so far it has been, although I have noticed that I think it is harder to lose weight healthily on it. Because of that, the temptation is always there to stop taking it, but I know that I need it to keep functioning. I have been on other meds that were known to cause weight gain, and the biggest thing I can say for those is portion control, portion control, portion control and LOTS of water to keep your stomach from growling after eating a regular amount of food. Also, it seems that adding exercise is much more effective than just cutting calories.

Sorry, that was long and kind of rambly, but there's my experience with bipolar and weight.

aliasihaya
12-28-2011, 08:35 PM
I'm bipolar as well. I'm still struggling with weight loss. I'm currently going through a big overhaul to try to get healthier. I've got a trainer and nutritionist. Plus a new therapist and psychiatrist. I'm on lamictal, wellbutrin, and abilify. I do think the lamictal has helped with my moods, but I don't notice anything with the wellbutrin/abilify combo. My doctor is very conscious of my weight issues and only recommends the ones that she knows won't affect my weight. I can't comment on the fact that abilify might make it harder to lose weight because I still haven't fully committed to losing weight. I'm meeting with a new psychiatrist on Monday to get a second opinion on my medications. I still struggle with depression pretty hard and I just want to find some boost to get me more motivated. I'm hoping there is a medication that can do that.

In terms of bipolar itself, I definitely feel its a hindrance. I'm extremely unmotivated and sometimes really don't care when I'm really depressed. Or don't care when I'm really manic and angry. That's also why I've started to go to therapy. I'm trying to get out of my head and the negative thoughts and start seeing the small victories. It's hard work and I'm not fully committed yet, but I'm hoping that I'll get there soon. We'll see.

Good Luck!


Paja
12-30-2011, 08:48 PM
I have bipolar (II) as well. I gained about 60 pounds after I went on meds (Seroquel in particular caused me to eat enough sugar to energize a small village). I didn't even try losing weight until I went off meds several years ago. I lost 50 pounds, kept it off for about a year and a half, and then gained between 15 and 20 pounds during a depression earlier this year. Now I'm back trying to lose that 20 pounds and then some (with any luck).

I'm trying to keep in mind that I can't completely control the bipolar, and my weight is probably going to fluctuate as a result of that throughout my life. If I make healthy choices when I can, damage control should be minimal.

Angie Dixon
01-01-2012, 10:45 AM
I am bipolar I, just starting this weight loss journey, and I gained over 100 pounds due to my meds (mostly lithium) strangling my metabolism. It is definitely a challenge, but I intend to find a way to overcome the metabolism issues.

katenicole
03-28-2012, 05:06 AM
I have bipolar disorder and am on Seroquel. I have gained 30 pounds in the past few months. I am trying to count calories and exercise, but I don't know if it's helping any. I jst found out I have hypothyroidism. I'm not sure if that's what caused the weight gain or Seroquel. Also, I read that Seroquel could cause thyroid issues. So my initial problem, I have no idea. I am going to see if I can adjust my meds and hope for the best. Sorry I have no advice, I am trying to figure it out myself. But I am having difficulties!!! I don't know if the Seroquel is really worth it with all the issues, but then again it could be my thyroid.

Anemonegirl
04-07-2012, 10:31 PM
I am recovering from Borderline and I take Abilify, Wellbutrin and Cymbalta. So far the Abilify has been the one med that makes my weight skyrocket. When I am on it, I am insatiable (but I am emotionally stable). When I tried to get off of Abilify about a month ago, I felt like I was going to lose my mind from the depression and anxiety- but the cravings stopped and I lost a few lbs. So it's a tough struggle. The weight gain gets me down but the emotional roller coaster of not taking the meds is worse.
I've decided to go on Medifast to see if I can lose the weight from the meds and then once I get off of Medifast I will follow a tightly monitored low carb diet.
Good luck to you! :-)

meditateinmydirectio
04-18-2012, 04:39 PM
I am bipolar 1 and just dealing with the "summer mania" and wondering if anyone else is noticing this too? I am not taking abilify as I notice others on here are... I'm on the older risperdal, I tried to switch to abilify and noticed symptoms, so I stayed on the risperdal.

maybe i will try switching in the future... I have been able to lose weight, and I just weighed in at the dr's office at 160, and on my home scale at 152. I have recently lost 12 pounds, so I'm feeling good about that.

however moving into summer i'm concerned about going manic... it suddenly seems that so many things are happening, there are so many social opportunities people to see, parties to go to, and parties I want to have, work to do, improvements to do on my house, exercise to do.. etc etc

anyways, I increased my risperdal today from .75 to 1mg (I took at extra .25 in the morning...)

I immediately noticed a decrease in anxiety today as well as decreased "hyperness" and decrease in manic thinking (I am bipolar one so I can get paranoid/delusional type thoughts when I go into the manic side of it)

anyways... I'm just concerned that upping the risperdal is going to interfere with my weight loss.

Its definitely easier for me to lose weight when I'm manic, but I definitely don't want to be manic... it's bad for my health in the long run.

better to take the extra meds and gain a pound or two than lose 10 pounds in a manic episode, have extreme symptoms and severe social problems, and have to have severe med increase, and gain back 15.

thoughts?

I would love some encouragement or advice on weight loss while on meds. I am fully committed to my weight loss journey, however I refuse to sacrifice my mental health. Health is best achieved at a balance.

Thanks!

:)

MimD

meditateinmydirectio
04-18-2012, 04:44 PM
I am bipolar I, just starting this weight loss journey, and I gained over 100 pounds due to my meds (mostly lithium) strangling my metabolism. It is definitely a challenge, but I intend to find a way to overcome the metabolism issues.


I can SO RELATE to your experience. Right after I was diagnosed, at age 18 I was put on lithium and skyrocketed from 160 to 260 so fast my stomach became covered in red stretch marks. I have lost the weight and am back at my high school weight (now, at 30...) but my body will never be the same... everything is all stretched out. I'm very angry about what happened, but I try to be grateful that I am alive... I know there are people who are bipolar who have much worse experiences.

CTR73
04-19-2012, 12:16 PM
Yes I too have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have had it ever since I can remember but was diagnosed in my early 20s.

I’ve noticed that for me because of my BPD I have body image issues as well as devaluing the person that I am. Such as when someone says “wow that was really thoughtful of you to think of me and do such a nice thing.” My response is always to say, “Ow please I am the last person to think to call thoughtful. I’m the least thoughtful person…” BPD has traits that can encourage eating abnormal behaviors.

Black & White thinking. When I go on a diet it’s either all or nothing. If I fail even a tiny bit I consider that a failure so I revert back to bad eating. When I am successful I become obsessed with perfection in my diet. As to why I’ve either been anorexic or obese. It’s bizarre.

Being persistently unstable with self-image or sense of self. I continue to see myself of being unworthy of being beautiful and thin. However when I was thin I wasn’t thin enough. When fat I see myself much more heavy then I really am. I do not see myself as others see me and I am very hard on myself.

Impulsivity. I will mindlessly eat beyond the point of being stuffed literally to the point of vomiting. I will go to the local minimart and buy little cakes and candies without thinking about it. When I finishing stuffing myself I can’t seem to pinpoint what made me make that impulsive decision. Then I punish myself and beat myself up for being such a failure.

This is only to name a few of the many issues that BPD encompasses.

Whether we are feeling chronic emptiness or fear of abandonment there all trigger eating disorder behaviors. BPD are at a higher risk of getting ED because they have self-worth and self-imagine issues that are far beyond the normal person.

Weight loss is a lot harder when you have a mental health issue. Especially with BPD because it has many triggers associated with it.

arachniagirl
05-22-2012, 12:06 AM
Hi there, I'm new here and am also struggling with bipolar and weight gain. I've gained 25 pounds in the last 2 years and my doctor says I'm lucky I haven't gained more. :( Thing is, I look pregnant and I feel like a tank. My body image and self-esteem are in the toilet. I know I'm eating too much but I'm always so hungry, I constantly crave sugar, it's so frustrating.

I'm taking a ton of meds; lithium, lamictal, seroquel (xr and regular), zoloft, and abilify. From what I've read seroquel is the #1 cause of my weight gain and lithium #2.

I was off work almost 2 years due to the bipolar and am finally stable. I know that I need to stay this way and I'll do whatever it takes to do so, but I really need to find a way to get some of these extra pounds off.
I've started working out every morning, I get up at 5am so that I can get my exercise in before work but it hasn't helped at all as far as weight loss. I'm so frustrated!

Anyone interested in being a support buddy? I could use the help...I need motivation big time.

broadwaydreamer
06-16-2012, 07:56 PM
I can SO RELATE to your experience. Right after I was diagnosed, at age 18 I was put on lithium and skyrocketed from 160 to 260 so fast my stomach became covered in red stretch marks. I have lost the weight and am back at my high school weight (now, at 30...) but my body will never be the same... everything is all stretched out. I'm very angry about what happened, but I try to be grateful that I am alive... I know there are people who are bipolar who have much worse experiences.

Finding this thread just made my day. I'm bipolar I. Got diagnosed in Fall of 2010 and have finally found stability with lithium and risperdal and ativan after these past few years of struggling, non compliance and hospitalization. I was already overweight and now the rapid weight gain from all the medications has left me with stretch marks too. Will they ever go away?

Anyway, it's just really nice to not feel alone.

arachniagirl
06-24-2012, 01:11 AM
So I've started Topamax to hopefully help with this weight gain. It's only been three days and already I am not starving all the time :). I am really hoping this will help...

ready2lose12
07-06-2012, 03:14 PM
Yes I too have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have had it ever since I can remember but was diagnosed in my early 20s.

I’ve noticed that for me because of my BPD I have body image issues as well as devaluing the person that I am. Such as when someone says “wow that was really thoughtful of you to think of me and do such a nice thing.” My response is always to say, “Ow please I am the last person to think to call thoughtful. I’m the least thoughtful person…” BPD has traits that can encourage eating abnormal behaviors.

Black & White thinking. When I go on a diet it’s either all or nothing. If I fail even a tiny bit I consider that a failure so I revert back to bad eating. When I am successful I become obsessed with perfection in my diet. As to why I’ve either been anorexic or obese. It’s bizarre.

Being persistently unstable with self-image or sense of self. I continue to see myself of being unworthy of being beautiful and thin. However when I was thin I wasn’t thin enough. When fat I see myself much more heavy then I really am. I do not see myself as others see me and I am very hard on myself.

Impulsivity. I will mindlessly eat beyond the point of being stuffed literally to the point of vomiting. I will go to the local minimart and buy little cakes and candies without thinking about it. When I finishing stuffing myself I can’t seem to pinpoint what made me make that impulsive decision. Then I punish myself and beat myself up for being such a failure.

This is only to name a few of the many issues that BPD encompasses.

Whether we are feeling chronic emptiness or fear of abandonment there all trigger eating disorder behaviors. BPD are at a higher risk of getting ED because they have self-worth and self-imagine issues that are far beyond the normal person.

Weight loss is a lot harder when you have a mental health issue. Especially with BPD because it has many triggers associated with it.

I too have been diagnosed with BPD since I was a teenager. I can totally relate to *everything* you just said! I have tried so many medications that have also added to the weight gain... Now they are doing a trial of Lamictal on me, which they had never tried before. I haven't heard that it causes weight gain, but everything else you have said is sooooo me! It's so difficult and I am honestly fearful to begin the journey! Because I have issues with self image and failure/success that I just have done nothing... I am glad I am not alone because I have felt that way for so long!

carbstart
07-07-2012, 03:16 PM
I'm bipolar as well. I'm still struggling with weight loss. I'm currently going through a big overhaul to try to get healthier. I've got a trainer and nutritionist. Plus a new therapist and psychiatrist. I'm on lamictal, wellbutrin, and abilify. I do think the lamictal has helped with my moods, but I don't notice anything with the wellbutrin/abilify combo. My doctor is very conscious of my weight issues and only recommends the ones that she knows won't affect my weight. I can't comment on the fact that abilify might make it harder to lose weight because I still haven't fully committed to losing weight. I'm meeting with a new psychiatrist on Monday to get a second opinion on my medications. I still struggle with depression pretty hard and I just want to find some boost to get me more motivated. I'm hoping there is a medication that can do that.

In terms of bipolar itself, I definitely feel its a hindrance. I'm extremely unmotivated and sometimes really don't care when I'm really depressed. Or don't care when I'm really manic and angry. That's also why I've started to go to therapy. I'm trying to get out of my head and the negative thoughts and start seeing the small victories. It's hard work and I'm not fully committed yet, but I'm hoping that I'll get there soon. We'll see.

Good Luck!

aliasihaya, I just wanted to let you know there's hope on the other end! I'm bipolar type 2 on ability, lamictal and lexapro. The combo really works for me. Lamictal was the one that really changed everything. Five years after starting this combo I'm depression free and my hypomania is very infrequent/low level. Watch out for lamictal and weight gain though. I put on about 20 lbs in 6 months (I wasn't really monitoring it until it was too late) so just make sure you're working together with your doctor on this. It's a great medication though!

Harleywoman
07-17-2012, 01:37 PM
Hello ladies, I am new to 3FC and have been searching through the threads. I was just diagnosed with bipolar 2 months ago, after completing treatment for breast cancer. I am a breast cancer survivor and hope to stay that way!

I have suffered from bouts of mania, irritaion, then depression my entire life. It was only after I was sent to a BC therapist that I learned it was a mood disorder. So much in just a short time.. Why is it that the drugs seem to cause weight issues? That is the biggest thing I have noticed when searching through side effects of these meds. I too went on medifast befoe I started radiation and lost 26 pounds. Through rads I went back to eating whatever and gained it all back! :stress: well duh!! Right now I have started back on LC and am hoping to at least get jump started.

carbstart
07-17-2012, 01:57 PM
Hello ladies, I am new to 3FC and have been searching through the threads. I was just diagnosed with bipolar 2 months ago, after completing treatment for breast cancer. I am a breast cancer survivor and hope to stay that way!

I have suffered from bouts of mania, irritaion, then depression my entire life. It was only after I was sent to a BC therapist that I learned it was a mood disorder. So much in just a short time.. Why is it that the drugs seem to cause weight issues? That is the biggest thing I have noticed when searching through side effects of these meds. I too went on medifast befoe I started radiation and lost 26 pounds. Through rads I went back to eating whatever and gained it all back! :stress: well duh!! Right now I have started back on LC and am hoping to at least get jump started.

My psychiatrist says the medications actually change your metabolism. Also, pay attention to if you're overeating by journaling. You might be overeating because of emotional issues. I personally overeat to kind of sedate myself from all the stress. I've had to learn ways to distract myself from this habit: posting on these forums, walking, scheduling in breaks from work, drinking tea, and remembering why I wanted to lose weight in the first place (to look beautiful in my wedding dress). I also see a nutritionist that gives me a reality check if I've fallen off the wagon!

jandaman
07-25-2012, 08:28 AM
@CTR 73 & ready2lose12,

I was also diagnosed with BPD and feel your pain acutely. Not on any meds as I was(am?) an addict (clean for 14 years)...
I did have DBT- Dialectal Behavioral Therapy- about 2 years ago which was a real life-saver. I still struggle every day but have found traversing the "emotional rollercoaster" does get easier with the right tools over time.
It's still a helluva lotta work but worth it.

asharksrevenge
07-26-2012, 06:29 AM
I was also diagnosed with BPD and I have Bipolar I as well. I am currently on Depakote and Abilify, both of which made me gain weight like crazy. I am (was) also an addict (clean for four years), which also drove my weight up because of eating disorders. I like to laugh that I was the only obese heroin addict out there :lol:

Anyway, I can really relate to these posts, both in the struggle to maintain and lose weight and in the depression/mania/BPD areas as well. It's a hard road, that's for sure. Just wanted to add my 2 cents :)

seabiscuit
09-17-2012, 07:43 PM
I have Bipolar also and am on some meds that have definitely contributed to weight gain. Before being diagnosed with Bipolar, I was diagnosed with Depression and that's when I gained a lot of weight. It is definitely frustrating at times to try and lose weight with these drugs...

eightiesbabe84
10-06-2014, 01:46 PM
I have never been diagnosed with Bipolar formally but I think my FNP is just being nice. I am on Lamictal, Cymbalta and trazedone so am pretty sure my depression and mood swings I have had for years and years pretty much qualifies me. I have been on meds for about 8 years now and I feel human most of the time but I have gained an additional 40 lbs on top of the 230 I already had. This is enough to keep me miserable. I have to work full time so I am afraid to try lithium (which has been mentioned by my FNP) or Seroquel. The hardest thing for me to do is to care about how I look but yet that is all I dwell on sometimes. between my depression and my arthritis I just want to crawl in to bed and wallow in self pity. I do the best I can but I also have compulsive eating bouts and I am also a compulsive shopper/hoarder (which I often fall into when I am trying to keep from overeating). I feel like everyday is a struggle but then I wake up wanting to have the best day I can. staying positive is a challenge. My best advice? keep trying to be as healthy as possible. Keep getting up wanting to have the best day you can have. Keep it simple; move extra, eat smaller portions. little things are less intimidating and less likely to put you in that "piss on it, I don't care anymore" frame of mind. We take meds to help with our minds but it has to be about body health as well as mind health. Think about these small steps as "body meds." that has helped me many times. Good luck everyone.