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 08-13-2009, 12:43 AM   #1  
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Question Bipolar Disorder and Weight Loss...Anyone?

Hello all! I've been struggling with weight loss for some time now, and although I'm not terribly overweight, I still feel unhealthy and out of shape.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 11. My metabolism was great until about 16 and then the medication juggle caused all kinds of problems with weight fluctuation, not to mention the fact that some days I hate getting out of bed, let alone caring what I ate or if I was active.

Now I am 24 and about to graduate from college and although my bipolar is under control, finding motivation is still difficult for me many days. Anyone in a similar situation??? Any support or stories would be helpful!

On a medication side note, I've just switched from lithium to lamictal and I LOVE the change! I used to feel so dehydrated and shaky on lithium even though it helped my moods, and lamictal has virtually no side effects. Highly recommended!
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:30 AM   #2  
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I was on Zoloft for a while and managed to gain 60 pounds! Have you ever tried getting additional sunshine, regular and daily exercise and fish oil? It sounds simplistic I know. I don't mean to seem patronizing but it has really helped me.

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Old 08-13-2009, 08:34 AM   #3  
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My hubby is bipolar and was able to lose weight with the help of topamax. I have heard that lamitcal is a weight neutral drug.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:55 AM   #4  
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I was diagnosed last January, and put on lithium and lamictal. I gained about 25 lbs right before the medication change, and it took me a few months to stabilize & a year to take action about my weight!

I started in Feb of this year and so far have lost 35 lbs, through smaller portions & almost daily exercise. Walking outside has been beneficial to my mood, with the sunshine and sounds of nature. Also, from the beginning I tracked my exercise, and now what I eat/calories... I feel more accountable and it's awesome to see my progress on paper as well as the scale!

My fear was if I tried to lose weight, it would be very frustrating because of the limitations of my meds. I found that it's not that hard at all. The thing that sucks (for me) about lithium is that I need to pee all the time! A few times I've even had to take a pit stop during my walks which is annoying. Good luck, you can do it! 3FC is an awesome place for support. You can even rant & vent your frustrations if need be, and you'll get lots of words of encouragement
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:42 AM   #5  
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Hello.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 5 years ago. I am also on Lamictal. I've been struggling with my weight for a long time. There are days I still struggle to get out of bed or even care what I eat or if I exercise.

Finding the motivation is hard most of the time. You need to set up a plan that you know you can do and try to stick to it whether you have the motivation or not.

I found a website I go to all the time where I log what I eat and how much I exercise. It helps.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:32 PM   #6  
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I was diagnosed bipolar in December 2007. The first drug I tried was Lamictal, and I was allergic. =(

I am now happy and stable on a mixture of Wellbutrin XL, Seroquel (insomnia/nightmares), and Mirapex (restless legs).
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #7  
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What has helped me is my husband. I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 9, back before they called it bipolar. Lordy I feel old! Anyway, he knows that some days even the THOUGHT of getting out of bed to work out is too much. He drags my butt out of bed, literally, and tells me that if I do 30DS (because it's short), then I can go back to bed and stay there all day. Now, he would never really let me stay in bed all day, and we both know it, but it works.

The funny thing is, by the time I'm done working out I'm sweaty and gross, so I have to shower. Once I shower, I have to put clothes on. Usually while I'm showering, he's getting work clothes for me, so I may as well put those on. Once they're on, I might as well do my hair and leave for work.

Luckily this doesn't happen very often anymore for me, but he really is a Godsend. He's watched me at my best and my worst, and has found what seems to work for me, with very little effort on his part.

Is there someone in your life that can help push you when you just can't push yourself? Someone that's willing to help you stay accountable?
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:57 PM   #8  
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Thanks for all of the responses!

Yes bacilli, there is someone like that. I'm in a serious relationship and my boyfriend has also seen me at my best and worst and has been completely and utterly supportive through it all. He knows just how to get on my case about keeping up with my meds and not letting me stay in bed all day. On top of it he's agreed to diet and exercise with me so we're going to try and motivate each other.

I've also heard about light boxes for the winter...has anyone tried them? Right now at summer motivation isn't TOO much of an issue, but winter is awful! Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:07 AM   #9  
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I've owned a tanning bed for the winter for years, and it seems to help some. It could be all in my head, but that's where the rest of the issues are, right?
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:04 PM   #10  
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I feel for you. I was diagnosed at 16 and sometimes it's so difficult. Even on medication at times you don't feel great, and when you feel like crap there are lots of days when you don't feel like caring what you eat or what you do. I honestly just try to take things one day at a time and if nessecary one meal at a time, one activity at a time. Baby steps.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:50 AM   #11  
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I was diagnosed bipolar 1 in '97. Tried lithium plus various antidepressants, but nothing kicked the depression very well. Started Lamictal in '03, dropped the other meds, and lost 10 lbs. per year over the next three years. I put it back on when I went off meds for pregnancy. I'm looking forward to going back on meds. Lots of people love Lamictal. I hope it works for you, too.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:12 PM   #12  
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You sound like me, except you're much younger than i am. i just recently went off lithium. i love what it does for my moods except the side effects were quite awful. i put up with them for about 2 years before i tried Abilify. i've been on it a few weeks now and i feel like a new woman. i have been on just about anything med you can name, but the Abilify, Buspar, and Lexapro have been the best combo i've ever had.


my metabolism is crap, the only way i can lose any weight at all is exercising, i can't just watch what i eat. i have to exercise or i won't lose anything.

Last edited by Lisa_C; 08-17-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:31 AM   #13  
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I can relate to weight loss being extra hard when you take meds.. For me everyday is different with my weight loss program, I'm learning not to give into the bumps during the week and throw in the towel all together... I try to myself credit for the days I do well and a little easier on myself when I veer off program a bit... stay strong...

I did benefit from BP support group.. but good ones are hard to find, it might be worth going to one meeting. Also seeing a nutritionist really helped... walking away with a plan and someone to call back with questions really helps... good luck !

Everyone is different, but I found Lamictal to be pretty benign when it comes to weight... and it absolutely changed my life ! I was diag with bipolar late in life and can't take antidepressants because it causes mania in me.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #14  
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I am also bipolar, was diagnosed at 15 and I am now 23. I was super skinny until I turned 13 when my depression hit and I stopped being active and started eating.

I tried almost EVERY medication for bipolar they let me.. the only one that supplies even slight relief is lamictal. I was on lithium and seroquel for 2 1/2 years and gained almost 50 lbs. My weight has been pretty much what it is now for the past year. I cant seem to find motivation either.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:11 PM   #15  
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I was dx with bipolar at the age of 28, I am almost 45 now. I had slight weight issues before I started to take meds. I am had problems with weight for over 16 years now. Depakote put on about 25, i gained another 25 from risperdal and another 25 over the course of the last ten years.

It was very challenging for me at first when I started what I call my weight loss journey. It gets easier and even though I am on lithium again now I have lost weight since being put back on it this summer. It is also hard at night because I a night snacker and have been for years due to getting the medication munchies. The meds also make me more sedate and that makes it hard to get up the motivation to exercise and most days I just force myself to walk or exercised at home.
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