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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 07-12-2011, 09:45 AM   #1
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I need some insight, encouragement, or something. I gotta start from the beginning, if this gets too long feel free to skip to the end lol. I've struggled with my weight most of my adolescence. I was aware that I was not a tiny little girl when I was about 10, hit puberty earlier and hated being different so I never really appreciated my womanly shape. I maintained a healthy weight easily in high school, if i noticed I was getting pudgy I would lose it, but I would let it really bother me. I did too much yo-yoing through my late teens and early 20's and after my last child was born (have 3 and lost the weight easily after the first two) I have been stuck at 30 lbs heavier than the comfortable 135 I had always tried to stick at. This is when my weight problem really started. I have been around 160-165 for 3 years now I am sad about it, which is how I got into my most recent struggle.

January 2010 I went to my doc and asked her for Wellbutrin, to help quit smoking. I secretely wanted it for depression too was but too embarassed to admit that, until a few weeks later when I thought I higher dose was needed and I had to tell her the truth. She obliged and I had been on the meds since. It was a God send, it gave me the push I needed to be healthier, controlled my binging, helped me make healthier food choices and gave me the motivation to exercise. It was great, although I still yo-yoed. At one point last summer I got down to 150, I got so excited that I was about to see the 140's but for some reason when I start doing well I get off track, even though I know it's not ok I give myself permission to indulge or slack off thinknig it'll be easy to get back on the wagon, but of course, it never is (I never did see the 140's lol) About that time I also noticed I was losing hair and although I was really bummed about it, I was not ready to discontinue the meds yet, and my doc agreed, I had not given up smoking yet.

January of this year, I decided to get really serious about my bettering my whole life. I quit smoking on New Years Day, it was easy, no major cravings whatsoever. I started exercising 4-5 times a week, strength and cardio (bought a treadmill) ate tons of healthy food, very little junk although I did not cut it out completely (maybe I should have). I started the year at 155 and a few months later I was 168! I felt better, much better, felt stronger, thought maybe Im just building muscle and kept at it despite my discouragment in the scale. Between about March and May I lost about 6 lbs and bounced between 160-164, which brings me to where Im at now.

I was working really hard and not getting the results I wanted, I was doing a Jillian workout for crying out loud 4 times a week, walking the dog and running/walking a 5k on the treadmill 4-5 times a week and still eating well. I began thinknig the medication was hindering my weight loss efforts, even though it is pretty well known for helping to cause weight loss. And the hair i was lsoing was getting worse and worse, so bad that I put off washing it because so much of it comes out in the shower that it upsets me greatly. I decided maybe it's time to leave the Wellburtin behind. I began weaning myself off, I couldnt get in to see the doc for a few weeks so I did it myself (dont worry, Im surrounded my nurses and starting clinicals myself, so I have a basic knowledge of meds, I did not cold turkey it).

Soo, I weaned down and then stopped and at the end of my first week that was totally WB free, I felt like a psychotic women lol. My hubby monitored me, I wasnt going to do anything crazy, I was just sad and, I hate to admit this, found solice in the cigarettes I had given up for 6 months. I thought, ok these withdrawal symptoms will go away and when my mind is healthy I'll be able to apply all that I learned from healthy food and exercise and I'll quit smoking again and since Im not on the meds anymore the weight will finally come off, yay! So here's the problem:

I am depressed, Im sure of it, feel like I did before I inroduced WB into my life. Although I welcome the better sleep (I had trouble sleeping through the night and woke frequently to pee while on the meds) I cant seem to get enough sleep. I have consistently slept through two different alarms for the passed two weeks, I sleep till 8 or 9 when I intend to get up at 5:30 and even then I have to drag myself out of bed. I'm sad, about my weight. I cant seem to find the motivation to exercise, I'll eat healthy all day and then blow it in the evening with snacking and I just cannot seem to get my s*** together. Im wondering if any of you guys have experience with Wellbutrin, whether struggling to lose weight on it or struggling coming off of it?

I reconsidering my decision to stop, maybe I just was not ready yet. Have any of you noticed and inability to lose weight despite great effort while using the med?I started wondering about all the "what ifs". What if I lowered my dose (I was on 400 and originally asked to be bumped up to the max, 450, but the nurse said the doc said that there are new recommendations that put the max dose at 300). Is it possible that I was taking too much? Could a lower dose really help even though I was higher, or would it just not work period since my body is used to the 400? I also wonder if it would make a difference to take XL instead of the SR I was on, I had a bad habit a mssing the second dose a lot. I thought maybe the WB wasnt working all that well anymore anyway, I was happy, felt like myself, was missing doses so I thought I wouldnt even notice if I went off but I was wrong, I cannot seem to function without it. Do you think this will pass? So, sorry for the book, lol but any experiences or advice would be really appreciated, I am struggling big time and I start nursing clincals in 5 weeks and do not want to be in this state of mind when it gets here, I cant afford to be a crazy lady and jeapordize my career. Thanks ahead of time for any info any one can offer me.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
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I was on Welbutrin about 10 years ago and it did help me with my depression after my daughter was born AND helped me lose weight...it took a few weeks to kick in. Welbutrin is know for its ability to help curb your appetite (but not one size fits all, I know). I do understand how you felt about being embarassed to tell your doctor you were depressed, I felt the same way but once I did, I layed it all on the table, tears and all ...it felt like the weight of the world was off my shoulders.

I think the best / safest thing you can do is to ask your doctor all of these questions, only he/she can diagnose you properly (we are just chicks but nonetheless, we love you!!!).

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Last edited by Leenie; 07-12-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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I've been depressed since I was a teen & have been on a lot of anti-depressants but several years ago I was taking Zoloft & Prozac. It helped in the beginning but several months later I felt that the Prozac was making me crazier. So, I slowly stopped taking the two & yes it really was an awful time getting the medications out of my system. I started taking Sam-E & ST. John's Wart, B-6 & 12 and noticed an improvement but still felt sad sometimes. I also quit taking birth control pills & I will NEVER take any type of hormonal birth control again. I felt like a new, revived woman. After I had my baby (6 months ago) I've started eating better, following the Mediterranean diet & only drinking water. I feel GREAT, I'm not lethargic anymore, & I have energy. I believe "let food by thy medicine, and medicine be thy food"- Hippocrates. As far as binging at night, maybe eat more during the day, a heavier lunch? I've noticed that if I snack more during the day I don't feel as famished when I get home? I got to a point where I felt disgusted with my body & I had a strong desire to change. I wanted to be healthier & didn't want to be a toxic blimp walking around anymore. This is just my story & it may not even help. Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Hi nurse2be03!



I was on Wellbutrin for a while several years ago, but since depression wasn't really my main problem, that drug wasn't the solution. I have no specific information about or recent experience with the drug to offer you. However, as somebody who's had a little bit of experience with mental health issues, I'd like to offer you some more general advice:

See a psychiatrist. Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you've been pumping your GP for pills without undergoing a thorough mental health evaluation or considering all the treatment options that may be available to you. As you may know, there are different types of depression, depression can be comorbid with other treatable mental health issues that you may not have considered, and medication (or medication alone) is not always the best treatment for depression. Committing yourself to working with a good psychiatrist whose style is compatible with your personality and needs may help you pinpoint the origins and nature of your emotional issues and offer better treatment alternatives - which could help you feel better and live better in the long run.

It can be difficult to get appointments with psychiatrists, and unless you're lucky or there's a shrink at your school's student health center who can see you on relatively short notice it'll probably take more than five weeks just to get in, never mind getting your issues sorted out. In the meantime, instead of trying to self-medicate, speak candidly with your GP about your feelings and the side effects of the meds/withdrawal, and ask her to help you work out a plan to help you keep a handle on school until you can see a specialist.

Because I think you might find it useful, I'd also like to recommend to you the book my shrink recommended to me: David Burns' Feeling Good. It's got stuff you can do on your own, it's cheap, and it works - at least it has for me.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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theox-Thank you for the book recommendation, I think I will check that out. I have considered hitting up the book store in hopes of finding something inspirational. Also, I really have never considered seeing a psychiatrist, I kinda think my depression is directly related to my weight, although Im not sure. The weight upsets me but. .. I dont know, I tried to explain to my husband that Im not really sad about anything, Im just in a state of blah dont-care, low energy, kwim? I think that maybe you are right, a specialist might help me pinpoint what exactly the problem is. Thanks for the advice.

leenie-I have an appointment with my GP on the 26 and I do plan on spilling this all to her. Im sure she will figure something out or else recommend a specialist like theox has suggested.

I really appreciate the response, it's nice to talk to people who understand. my hubby tells me to just exercise more and I get upset when I think back to earlier in the year and how much easier it was to convinve myself to do so, now I just have not an ounce of motivation, and thats why I think I miss the meds. But I do not want to go back on if this is just a phase that will pass. sigh, I did recently strongly consider trying lo carb. i def have a sugar addiction and thought if it is successful maybe the quick jump start in weight loss will be the kick in the rear I needed. Thanks again everyone for listening I realling appreciate the advice and caring you guys have offered me

ticklemepink-I realized the few times I was on BC what it did to me and decided to end that forever also. I had my tubes tied in Sept 09 but was having crazy symptoms and mood swings and thought the BC would help stabalize me. I was wrong and it made me worse lol. I am scared to death of trying any other antidepressant becasue of the weight gain prospect. Do those vitamins really make a difference? I thought about looking into that too, Im a big fan of Dr. Oz and he has all kinds of suggestions Ive just have yet to really look into them.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #6
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while i've never had experience with being on medications besides birth control, my son has been taking WB for ADHD as prescribed by our doctor....i did not know that WB had possible side affects of weight gain and hair loss??? i'd be really worried about the hair loss, are you sure it's caused by the WB? i'd advise to have a complete medical work up
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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I can sympathize so much! I have had mild to moderate depression for about 7 years now. Here’s my brief history… I was treated originally by my GP fairly successfully but then side effects would creep in, increased depression, or both. My GP has me first on Lexapro then switched me to the generic of Celexa (because the Lexapro was costing me too much). When I started getting worse she switched me to Effxor. When THAT started to become less effective she referred me to a psychiatrist. The first psychiatrist I saw was not a good fit for me. She put me on a drug called Luvox and tried adding all sorts of other meds I wasn’t comfortable with. I found a better psychiatrist I felt was a better fit and we switched me back to the original drug of Lexapro but added Lamictal. I felt pretty stable with that combination but then the psychiatrist retired… so off I went in search of yet another! I am currently with a psychiatric NP that has been the best yet. I was having all sorts of side effects from the Lexapro… sleepiness, lethargy, and worst of all WEIGHT GAIN! Oh boy, did I gain weight. 40 pounds in 18 months. It was horrible! Thinking back, I gained weight the first time I was on lexapro too. So after all my babbling, I get to my point… I am now on Wellbutrin SR (150 mg 2x a day) and am doing so much better! Still taking the Lamictal too, and it’s a really great combination for me and I’m finally losing weight! But I know medications vary person to person, and the only way to find what will work best for you is to work with a psychiatrist who knows these drugs , and depression, better than anyone. Good luck and I have every confidence you will find what is right for you!
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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Surprisingly, yes the vitamins help! Also google "hormone pellets". My MIL recently got them in January...and she is a changed woman! It's worked a miracle on her. They will do a lot of blood work and determine what vitamins you need & what you're lacking.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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I plan on having blood work done when I see the doc later this month. I considered my thyroid being the problem but have been tested before and all was normal. I do not have screwey periods and I am also not at all cold, like most with hypothyroid would be, I ma usually warmer than others. I didnt have any hair loss until a few months in to takin the WB and I researched and found it to be a very rare side effect, I have read others' accounts of losing their hair on this med. Im not balding but it is very thin. I seem to get all the bad side effects, I also got the ringing of the ears and even though Ive been off the meds for a solid 4 weeks, I still have mild ringing. I think this is why I am attributing the lack of weight loss to the WB since most people that take it lose weight. I am one of the unlucky ones I guess, lol. But never the less, blood work is def needed. I have been researching Prozac as an alternative. Does anyone have any experience with this particular antidep? I am trying to avoid the weight gain that comes with SSRI's, Ive never used them but the reputation is aweful, however I am hopeful that since WB had the opposite effect in that department, maybe an SSRI would effect me differently too. I guess I wont know until I try though right
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by nurse2be03 View Post
I plan on having blood work done when I see the doc later this month. I considered my thyroid being the problem but have been tested before and all was normal. I do not have screwey periods and I am also not at all cold, like most with hypothyroid would be, I ma usually warmer than others. I didnt have any hair loss until a few months in to takin the WB and I researched and found it to be a very rare side effect, I have read others' accounts of losing their hair on this med. Im not balding but it is very thin. I seem to get all the bad side effects, I also got the ringing of the ears and even though Ive been off the meds for a solid 4 weeks, I still have mild ringing. I think this is why I am attributing the lack of weight loss to the WB since most people that take it lose weight. I am one of the unlucky ones I guess, lol. But never the less, blood work is def needed. I have been researching Prozac as an alternative. Does anyone have any experience with this particular antidep? I am trying to avoid the weight gain that comes with SSRI's, Ive never used them but the reputation is aweful, however I am hopeful that since WB had the opposite effect in that department, maybe an SSRI would effect me differently too. I guess I wont know until I try though right
Won't know till you try is pretty much par for the course with all antidepressants. For me, like for many, SSRIs tend to increase weight. SNRIs like Effexor had generally the same effect. Adding WB to Effexor helped and led me to start getting off seratonin drugs all together. Comparatively, WB gives me more energy, has less interference with my weight loss, doesn't cause sexual side effects (negative ones anyway), and gave me less personality change and "flatline" effect.

If you think you want to try WB again, consider getting a generic from a different manufacturer than the one you did previously. I've heard of people having different side effect profiles with different manufacturers. Teva in particular seems to have a bad reputation for their antidepressant generics causing strange side affects or exhibiting poor dosage control relative to brand/other generics producers like Actavis

The one thing I have to warn you about is that SSRI/SNRIs can be extremely addicting and your physician is unlikely to tell you that in those terms. When using them for an extended period of time or at a higher dose, you might have a package of hellish withdrawal effects even when tapering off a med slowly. Particularly Paxil and Effexor have this reputation, and I felt a bit violated by how Effexor was presented without much attention to dependency issues when I got prescribed it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your info!. Yeah I had any idea of the addictive quality of these types of meds. Ive done a lot of reseach and I pretty much have figured when I began the WB that I may well be stuck on these meds forever lol.

When I was first put on WB it was the generic from the Watson. It worked ok, I felt good the first few weeks but still felt like it wasnt doing all it could. So I googled, and I came across differences in generic and brand name. Asked my nurse hibby his opinion (bad idea since he's usually giving the meds and rarelt takes any himself so he has no personal experience lol) and he pretty much said dont worry all brand and generic are the same. I accepted that for another couple of weeks but still felt like I needed something I had my doc bump me to 400mg, which is when I ended up the TEVA generic. Whoa holy increase in depression, I about went crazy, stared into space all day, cryed for no reason, gained 10 lbs in two weeks and after all I had read on the internet I was convinved it was the particular manufacturer. I calld my insurance company and had my WB switched to brand name only and the extra $40 was well worth it.

This whole thing really sucks because I really like WB, it does work really well I just cant take the side effects anymore. It didnt really make me gain weight but Im pretty sure it was making it really difficult to lose it, and I cant ignore the thinnig hair anymore. The ringing in the ears I can put up with and youre right, about the sexual side effects, I actaully hae less libido while off of it (actually I had more before I een started it lol). I wonder if part of the problem that I was not consistent with my dosing sometimes for weeks at a time I would forget the take the second dose so Im concerned my body just too used to it, or the lower levels or something, I dont know, but towards the end when I stopped it, it just was not as effective as it once was, which is a shame because I do agree it is an amzing drug.

Youre right about not knowing till I try, so that is what Im going to do. I think I'll start with Prozac (my mom has been on that for a few years and really likes it, she was allergic to WB). Im going to watch closely and if I start gaining, Ill try something new. I also considered getting back on WB XL instead of SR (to see if its a little better) but I think my doc will only put me on 300mg now instead of 400mg but I thought maybe adding something to might be just what I need. My appointment isnt for two more weeks, wish it was sooner but they cant fit me in

Thanks every body for all your input, I really appreciate it for sure
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