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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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Question Going to start meds for anxiety/depression - worried about weight gain

Hi - I am new here. I have been struggling with my weight for years, and also with anxiety and depression. I had been scared of taking any meds for it, and had hoped to control my moods through diet and exercise. That failed miserably, because let's face it, when you are anxious and depressed, it's all you can do to get through the day, let alone think about eating healthy and/or exercising.

I have had limited success in eating right and exercising over the years, but something always gets in the way, I get stressed out, and the diet goes out the window.

Anyhow, I finally came to terms with the fact that I need to see my doctor about taking something for my anxiety and depression so I can get my life back. I really think that when I'm feeling better it will be easier to eat healthy and fit exercise into my life. But now I'm absolutely terrified that I will gain a ton of weight from the medication. Is it possible to take an antidepressant and lose weight?
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Bazmom71-

I sure hope it is possible. I just jump-started my diet last week, so this is week 2. I've lost 9 pounds so far. (Mostly water weight, but hey - i'll claim it).

I have been on anti-depressants for six years. Currently Wellbutrin and Cymbalta (good for my fibromyalgia too).

Tell your doctor your concerns and that a medicine that energizes you would be optimum for your weight loss goals.

Let us know what he says!
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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Well, back from the doctor, and he wants me to try Effexor. I took my first one last night, and yuck! I pretty much had the same reaction I did when I tried Cymbalta (was allergic to that and broke out in a rash all over my face). I had weird, vivid dreams, only slept restlessly for about 10 - 30 minutes at a time, and was laying awake most of the night. Awful!

Also, I was completely ravenously hungry all night long. But I realized it was just the meds and stayed in bed - mostly because I was too exhausted to drag myself out and get any food!

So even though it was a very long night, I am hopeful that it will turn out just fine in a few days and that is just my body adjusting to the med.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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Hi Bazmom ....I have been on anti depressants for about 12 years now and I have never had any problems losing weight if I stayed on plan and exercised...I have been on Lexapro for the last 3 years and have had no side effects ( everyone is different though ) and no weight gain...in fact I have lost 23 pds since April 27th while being on it ....

a few years ago while on it I lost 58 pounds ....so dont worry about the weight gain that may or may not happen....get your mental state well.

Good luck.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:51 AM   #5
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Lost weight on Paxil. Love it. Weight loss is a side effect. It is like a diet pill that keeps you happy.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
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A lot of depression meds say you should take them in the morning rather than at night because they will make you wired and keep you awake. Did your doc suggest taking them at night?

And as for weight loss, I've not taken Effexor, so I don't know about that one, but many depression meds have weight loss as a side effect. And many also list both gain and loss as a side effect, which just tells me that it depends on the person and how much your mood affects how you eat.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #7
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I never-ever gained weight on depression meds. Matter of fact, I ALWAYS lost weight when I took them. I guess everyone is different, but the medicine has no calories, it doesn't make a person gain weight, food causes the weight gain. (Occasionally there might be a slight gain from water retention at first, but it goes away eventually) Most people who gain weight during depression use food to self medicate. Once you have the medicine to get you over the edge, the food loses it power. I hope you get it all figured out, because once you are mentally heathy, you can tackle just about anything....including weight.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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Wellbutrin is know to cause weight loss more so then then other ones, so if the current one doesn't work out for you you might want to ask the doctor about that one.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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Effexor is also know for weight reduction, loss of appetite.Hang in there.Totally normal to feel yucky for first few weeks.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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wow, when i was on lexapro, i gained 20 pounds. i guess its different for people. i ate the same stuff, maybe less. not sure what happened.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:13 PM   #11
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Big difference between Lexapro and Effexor!
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #12
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Wellbutrin causes weight loss as a side effect (avg loss of 12 # according to one study) but it is not that great for treating anxiety. I am on effexor, and I did not notice any weight gain from it.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #13
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Oh, side-note-- I did tell the doctor that I was worried about gaining weight. She went out of her way to find a prescrition that did not have weight gain as a side-effect, and also was generic so I could afford it. ($4 per month). She said she'd heard good things about Paxil (the generic is called paroxetine). I like it a lot. I was really afraid all my "emotions" would die or something. I am just as emotional as ever, and I even have little episodes, but man, the difference is stunning. I used to get the "anxiety" alarm bells in my brain for simple things like making a left turn through a busy intersection-- now I really feel my emotions are "normal."
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:12 PM   #14
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I've been on effexor for about 5 years and I didn't really lose weight until starting eating weight watchers style -- aug 2008-- lost 78 pounds. May 2009, my birthday, my boyfriend's birthday, family get togethers...anyway, I fell off the wagon and gained 18 pounds (6 weeks). Got back on the wagon again about 1 1/2 weeks ago, lost 3 pounds first week, I don't think it's water, my ankles are the same, not retaining fluid at any of the above times. So, I guess my point is...in my case, the med didn't matter...it was the events and myself giving me permission to eat, and than not being able to control myself.
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:43 PM   #15
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I've been on antidepressants for about 10 years now. I was very reluctant to do so, but the decision really saved my life. They are not "happy" pills- they do not cure any problems, or change the anxious/depressed way of thinking i had learned. they didn't make me happy, but they took the edge off, that constant dread i felt that i didn't realize everyone else didn't feel as well.
i take lexapro, which is good for anxiety, too, but everyone seems to react differently to each drug. usually it takes a few weeks to adjust- many side effects go away, but some don't. i have heard that lexapro does not cause weight gain, and i have heard that it does cause long-term weight gain. I had always been very thin, and on lexapro I gained weight in the long term, and i blamed it on the meds. but to be honest, my lifestyle became less active, i ate more and drank more (and i was in my 30s) and frankly, i was too thin when i was depressed. (being skinny DOES NOT make you happy!!) i wouldnt want to be that skinny now.

and since i made the decision to lose weight, i have. and ive learned to think more positively, and less obsessively, through therapy and with the help of the medications. don't let fear of weight gain prevent you from getting the help you need.
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Last edited by pucedaisy; 08-02-2009 at 06:46 PM. Reason: claification
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