Depression and Weight Issues - Blaming the Meds




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VenomousPiano
03-25-2013, 11:50 AM
One of my biggest problems with losing weight is that I keep blaming my depression medications for how I look. I'd have a huge peanut butter binge, and then go "Oh, that's not my fault. It's the hunger side-effect from my medication." Then the "not my fault" pounds add up. I know I need to stop relying on a side-effect list to make myself guilt-free, but sometimes putting on the rose colored glasses make you feel better. I also think that it's a psychological thing. If I hadn't been told about the appetite increase side-effect, then maybe I won't feel like I have it.
All and all, I need to get over it, and quit using excuses. I know some people genuinely get hunger from their medication, but I feel like my cravings aren't true cravings.

Any thoughts? Does anyone else do this?


southern
04-08-2013, 10:57 PM
They're not excuses. They're side effects

Kraitxx3
04-09-2013, 09:15 AM
Yes they are excuses. There are many ways to deal with it, natural appetite suppressants, eating more protein earlier in the day, exercise (good both mentally and physically), and even speaking to your doctor about switching medications. I said the 'side effect' lie to myself for many MANY years, stopped all my meds, didn't lose anything substantial. Then calorie counting + exercise = 30 lbs lost. So it's really up to you.


ImYourCapitan7
04-16-2013, 12:43 PM
Kraitxx3 is right. I did the same exact thing myself, I used the Lexapro as an excuse to eat. Don't get me wrong, the urges are tough to compete with - I was a clean eating, ex smoker and drinker before Lexapro, but was an anxiety ridden mess. Then once I felt a bit more balanced, all my bad habits came back at once, and threefold. Back up to a pack a day, drinking every night, eating fast food...I gained 30lbs in only a few months.

It's very hard to keep yourself motivated, but you have to do everything you can. The fact that you recognize it as an excuse is already a huge step forward. Whenever you feel yourself ready to binge or just lay back and not exercise, remind yourself that the excuses won't bring any results. I promise you, from personal experience, it can be done! Best of luck to you :)

wolfgirl69
04-16-2013, 03:09 PM
I agree with what these guys are saying. I am bipolar and my meds cause this. So my psychiatrist put me on another med to counter act it-it's called topamax. You should ask your psyche about trying meds that counter act the side effect.

Moreta
04-16-2013, 03:25 PM
Be careful about Topamax. It can seriously mess with your head. I lost my job b/c I took it and it made me so stupid, I could not think at all, I couldn't remember words, and I was slurring all the time. I got so mad about it I quit all my medication and went completely psychotic.

I've been on meds for 12 years, and I've gained more than 100 lbs. Zyprexa was the worst. I gained 30 lbs in 3 weeks on that one and I didn't change my eating habits.

I'm on mostly weight neutral meds now, except for the tegretol, which makes me hungry as all get out, but I've been eating healthier things.

wolfgirl69
04-16-2013, 04:08 PM
Be careful about Topamax. It can seriously mess with your head. I lost my job b/c I took it and it made me so stupid, I could not think at all, I couldn't remember words, and I was slurring all the time. I got so mad about it I quit all my medication and went completely psychotic.

I've been on meds for 12 years, and I've gained more than 100 lbs. Zyprexa was the worst. I gained 30 lbs in 3 weeks on that one and I didn't change my eating habits.

I'm on mostly weight neutral meds now, except for the tegretol, which makes me hungry as all get out, but I've been eating healthier things.

I haven't had any of those side effects. Anyways I already have memory problems and stuff from my other meds. For me it's no big deal but for others it's a problem.

elvislover324
04-16-2013, 04:15 PM
It's so hard when we have to take meds and sometimes the side effects are just as bad as whatever we are fighting.

I had been taking a medicine for about 6 months and the first thing the doctor told me is it's an appetite stimulator. Um, hello, I'm over 300lbs and you don't want me to gain any more weight? I thought it was a recipe for disaster but I needed the benefits of the meds more than the risk of gaining more weight.

I saw a nutritionist to guide me on my diet and at least if I could maintain my 328, it would be better than gaining anymore.

I ended up losing over 100lbs while taking this appetite stimulator. Having guidance on what and when to eat was 1000% helpful in not gaining and actually losing.

Needless to say, my team of doctors were SHOCKED with my progress. I know they were afraid I'd end up gaining a lot of weight. I was so very lucky to get the food help I desperately needed.

novangel
04-20-2013, 12:49 PM
SSRI's will not make you gain if you don't increase your caloric intake while on them. If you have huge binges on peanut butter often you'd gain whether on meds or not.

People want to blame meds because it's easy but the medication itself won't cause fat gain, food does.

Not trying to sound harsh, I am just telling you the truth.

wolfgirl69
04-20-2013, 02:25 PM
SSRI's will not make you gain if you don't increase your caloric intake while on them. If you have huge binges on peanut butter often you'd gain whether on meds or not.

People want to blame meds because it's easy but the medication itself won't cause fat gain, food does.

Not trying to sound harsh, I am just telling you the truth.

My psychiatrist says they mess with your metabolism making you biologically hungry and WANT to eat more calories in the first place. Just saying.

seabiscuit
04-20-2013, 02:59 PM
Hi,

For years I have blamed my meds and in part I still do because they cause hunger, affect my metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Having said that, I am the one who has chosen to put the food in my mouth as a result of the increased hunger. It can be very difficult to not overeat when medication affects one's hunger levels. I gained some weight in the beginning of this year and I know that the psych med I was on increased my hunger.

I guess a question to ponder is: what good does blaming do us anyways?? I know that I am guilty of blaming medications for a lot of weight gain. If people choose to agree or disagree with mine or other's opinions, so be it. I feel that blaming is a form of anger and I know I am angry about the weight I am at now and am frustrated. Instead of being upset about it though, and blaming, what good can come out of our energies that we are using towards the blame to make a positive plan for the future?

Something I am learning from my therapist is that it is important to not stay stuck in a thought, so if we are blaming our meds, let's realize we are upset and then move on to what we can do to help ourselves. We only live once!

wolfgirl69
04-20-2013, 08:40 PM
Hi,

For years I have blamed my meds and in part I still do because they cause hunger, affect my metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Having said that, I am the one who has chosen to put the food in my mouth as a result of the increased hunger. It can be very difficult to not overeat when medication affects one's hunger levels. I gained some weight in the beginning of this year and I know that the psych med I was on increased my hunger.
Smilies

I guess a question to ponder is: what good does blaming do us anyways?? I know that I am guilty of blaming medications for a lot of weight gain. If people choose to agree or disagree with mine or other's opinions, so be it. I feel that blaming is a form of anger and I know I am angry about the weight I am at now and am frustrated. Instead of being upset about it though, and blaming, what good can come out of our energies that we are using towards the blame to make a positive plan for the future?

Something I am learning from my therapist is that it is important to not stay stuck in a thought, so if we are blaming our meds, let's realize we are upset and then move on to what we can do to help ourselves. We only live once!

i agree with everything you just said!

Sum38
04-20-2013, 08:43 PM
SSRI's will not make you gain if you don't increase your caloric intake while on them. If you have huge binges on peanut butter often you'd gain whether on meds or not.

People want to blame meds because it's easy but the medication itself won't cause fat gain, food does.

Not trying to sound harsh, I am just telling you the truth.

What meds do you take?

wolfgirl69
04-20-2013, 08:54 PM
I just want to make it clear my psyche didn't prescribe me topamax on a whim. I had tried and failed at beating the side effect of the med for an ENTIRE year. I couldn't. I did everything I could and I failed every time. My psyche didn't want to prescribe it but she felt she had to. It was a last resort.

novangel
04-20-2013, 09:52 PM
What meds do you take?

Currently anti-anxiety medication but have been on SSRI's in the past.

wolfgirl69
04-20-2013, 09:59 PM
Currently anti-anxiety medication but have been on SSRI's in the past.

Maybe you just got lucky and didn't experience the side effect. i am on a mood stabilizer/antidepressant, an antidepressant, an antipsychotic and the topamax (an anticonvulsant) and the only on for me to cause weight gain is the antipsychotic. I have had no problems with any antidepressants (Except prozac).

Vex
04-20-2013, 10:00 PM
I think the jury is really out on this. There's studies that show some SSRI's cause weight gain in some patients.

I gained about 60 lbs when I was on Zoloft for about 5 years. I was definately eating unhealthy as well. Was it the Zoloft that contributed to that? Maybe.

The point I think we should take away from this is that meds could possibly cause weight gain or increased hunger, so we should be aware of that fact and extra diligent in what we put into our mouths.

wolfgirl69
04-20-2013, 10:03 PM
I think the jury is really out on this. There's studies that show some SSRI's cause weight gain in some patients.

I gained about 60 lbs when I was on Zoloft for about 5 years. I was definately eating unhealthy as well. Was it the Zoloft that contributed to that? Maybe.

The point I think we should take away from this is that meds could possibly cause weight gain or increased hunger, so we should be aware of that fact and extra diligent in what we put into our mouths.

All true :) I gained 70 lbs on Abilify (Antipsychotic-not ssri-though I have had trouble with prozac) in 1 year. SUCKS.

novangel
04-20-2013, 10:13 PM
Yeah, perhaps I just got lucky...SSRI's disagree with me in other ways so I try to avoid them if I can. Hopefully someday I will be off anti-anxiety meds too after I leave my awful job as of May 3rd. Good riddance.

Like I said before I wasn't trying to sound like an unsympathetic @ss, I know food is a struggle for all of us.

Sum38
04-20-2013, 11:46 PM
Like I said before I wasn't trying to sound like an unsympathetic @ss, I know food is a struggle for all of us.

Thanks for clearing that one up, because on your first post you did ;)

novangel
04-21-2013, 01:08 AM
Bluntly asking me "what meds do you take?" Because you didn't like my opinion that an SSRI by itself won't cause weight gain wasn't exactly nice either. It's ok though. I'm over it.

JessicaB84
04-21-2013, 01:43 PM
One of my biggest problems with losing weight is that I keep blaming my depression medications for how I look. I'd have a huge peanut butter binge, and then go "Oh, that's not my fault. It's the hunger side-effect from my medication." Then the "not my fault" pounds add up. I know I need to stop relying on a side-effect list to make myself guilt-free, but sometimes putting on the rose colored glasses make you feel better. I also think that it's a psychological thing. If I hadn't been told about the appetite increase side-effect, then maybe I won't feel like I have it.
All and all, I need to get over it, and quit using excuses. I know some people genuinely get hunger from their medication, but I feel like my cravings aren't true cravings.

Any thoughts? Does anyone else do this?

I have been diagnosed as bipolar and put on resperidone, zoloft and vistaril. The resperidone seriously makes me hungry, like all day. There is no break from the hunger signals when I am on that medication, and needless to say it is hard if not impossible fo rme to resist eating all of the time when I feel hungry. I have been struggling to lose weight for over a year and in the last year I have gained 100 lbs. It was so hard to lose weight that I decided to wean myself off of the resperidone. I have lost about 12 lbs in the last month as a result. I feel my normal hungry periods and not so hungry periods returning. It is frustrating when you need meds but often the side effects are worse than the disease. I notice I have increased anxiety and no sex drive on my medications in addition to the increased hunger. I feel more like myself since getting off that medication.

Sum38
04-21-2013, 03:44 PM
I have been diagnosed as bipolar and put on resperidone, zoloft and vistaril. The resperidone seriously makes me hungry, like all day. There is no break from the hunger signals when I am on that medication, and needless to say it is hard if not impossible fo rme to resist eating all of the time when I feel hungry. I have been struggling to lose weight for over a year and in the last year I have gained 100 lbs. It was so hard to lose weight that I decided to wean myself off of the resperidone. I have lost about 12 lbs in the last month as a result. I feel my normal hungry periods and not so hungry periods returning. It is frustrating when you need meds but often the side effects are worse than the disease. I notice I have increased anxiety and no sex drive on my medications in addition to the increased hunger. I feel more like myself since getting off that medication.

I am sorry :hug: Sometimes for the "healthy" people, it is hard for them to understand the horrid side effects others suffer. Someone in my family was on resperidone. It caused her tunnel vision and other vision disturbances; to a point she fainted and broke her front tooth. She could not stay on it. She was put on Abilify and she has gained nearly 30 pounds because it has increased her appetite.
I was on Prednisone and my hunger was intense (and thirst). I went from 125 to 172 pounds in a year. I was in pain if I did not eat. I could not sleep because of the hunger.
So anyone coming and saying that it is mind over matter; it insults me!!!!

novangel
04-21-2013, 04:24 PM
I was on Prednisone and my hunger was intense (and thirst). I went from 125 to 172 pounds in a year. I was in pain if I did not eat. I could not sleep because of the hunger.
So anyone coming and saying that it is mind over matter; it insults me!!!!

I was speaking specifically about SSRI's, not Prednisone. Totally different medication so if you're insulted that's not my doing.

Sum38
04-21-2013, 04:36 PM
SSRI's can cause an increase an appetite as well (to some). SSRI's can cause MANY other unpleasant side effects as well. We are talking about mind altering meds here. Scary!! Who knows what the outcome is at the end?

novangel, I am not offended by you! I thought your first comment was a bit pompous, but I was glad when you clarified your intentions! -- Sometimes when we type posts, it does not come across as intended. :)

southern
04-21-2013, 10:09 PM
be truthful with yourself. you know if you're making excuses or not.

seabiscuit
04-21-2013, 10:59 PM
Southern,

I completely agree with you!

;)

Sum38
04-24-2013, 01:21 PM
be truthful with yourself. you know if you're making excuses or not.

That is so true!!!

One may use the SSRI's as an excuse, the other may not (esp if other meds are added like Abilify, lithium etc). It comes down to responsibility.

I feel I have a bit harder time shedding this weight because of the meds I am on. I would love to get off them, but the rest of the world would not like it as well ;)

I can lose weight if I eat upto 1400 cals per day and exercise 1 hr/day. If I eat 1500-1600 cal per day and exercise 1 hr per day (fast walking and/or weight lifting), I maintain. Calories above 1600 with exercise; I will gain :( -- The "stats" say otherwise. So I think it is the meds....what else could it be?? -- Stats say I should easily eat 1900 cal per day and maintain, and with all the exercise I should be able to eat as much as 2200-2400 cal per day and maintain. So why can't my body follow these mathematical formulas? -- Yep, I think it is the meds :(

Vex
04-24-2013, 09:29 PM
One other thing SSRI's can cause - high cholesterol.

Before I started dieting I had my cholesterol taken and it was high. As soon as I came off Zoloft my cholesterol dropped substantially, without any diet changes.

I just wanted to put that out there for people to be aware that studies have in fact shown this in people and I have experienced it.

Alicia546
04-25-2013, 05:03 AM
I don't believe that you are "making excuses" every time you crave something with carbohydrates (maybe that's the case?) in it. Certain Serotonin receptors affect satiety, and when medications pass through the blood-brain barrier, it can definitely change your bodybrain chemistry.

I think satiety receptors might be for triggering survival instincts, and I believe this is why I feel like my body NEEDS carbohydrates. You can have withdrawals from not eating the food you are used to, and do good for awhile, but then one piece of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting then you are back in a vicious cycle. At least I usually am.

SSRI's and SSNRI's (and other psychiatry drugs) can definitely make it immensely more hard to not feel like you are addicted or dependent on foods that make you feel good, which are usually too high in carbohydrates, sugar, fat, sodium, etc. That being said, it is important to also evaluate at what times of your life did you overeat, have cravings, or just gain weight? Stress by itself supposedly can make easier to gain weight.

So don't be too hard on yourself for resenting side effects! It took me while to realize that I might be able to try more natural methods to cope with my depression/anxiety, but others might be able to exercise and eat healthy while on these medications, and get back to their original size.
The great thing is that you have identified how much you usually blame them, and sometimes it just takes research to find the best method for yourself; however you decide you want to battle the side effects and get down to your goal weight.

I am actually starting to read "The Serotonin Power Diet" along with "Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much" for some insight.

Good Luck!

Alicia546
04-25-2013, 05:22 AM
That is so true!!!

One may use the SSRI's as an excuse, the other may not (esp if other meds are added like Abilify, lithium etc). It comes down to responsibility.

I feel I have a bit harder time shedding this weight because of the meds I am on. I would love to get off them, but the rest of the world would not like it as well ;)

I can lose weight if I eat upto 1400 cals per day and exercise 1 hr/day. If I eat 1500-1600 cal per day and exercise 1 hr per day (fast walking and/or weight lifting), I maintain. Calories above 1600 with exercise; I will gain :( -- The "stats" say otherwise. So I think it is the meds....what else could it be?? -- Stats say I should easily eat 1900 cal per day and maintain, and with all the exercise I should be able to eat as much as 2200-2400 cal per day and maintain. So why can't my body follow these mathematical formulas? -- Yep, I think it is the meds :(

I am currently experimenting with how many calories I can take in so I can lose 2 lbs per week. I am trying 1200 calories for now (as directed by My Fitness Pal), and I even go over that sometimes.. Because it is my first week going that low! I got off my Antidepressant last week, but I even gained a few pounds since then. I am pretty sure it is water weight, because even sodium intake guidelines aren't restrictive enough if you don't drink enough water.

I'm wasn't entirely healthy before starting the meds, because our eating habits can come from our parents/families, and there is even some diabetes in my genes.

So basically, I think we can all say that once those chemicals get into our blood and brains, it alters what our bodies are supposed to be like. I mean if we are supposed to have a faster metabolism, it can definitely change that. Maybe even in the long term after a person gets off the medicine, because it can take weeks for your body and brain's patterns to change.