Comments on
10 Ways to Manage Your Weight on Psych Meds

By Therese J. Borchard
Associate Editor

10 Ways to Manage Your Weight on Psych MedsAwhile back, a Beyond Blue reader asked me to address the problem of weight gain and medication. “How do you deal with this yourself?” she asked me.

I’ll be perfectly honest — …

27 Comments to
10 Ways to Manage Your Weight on Psych Meds

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  1. We hope that now all want to be involved in the medical system is improved, but not because they think the medical system is very much less come to trust that these events will reduce the cost and benefit millions of people throughout the country, and they say that things in findrxonline..com improved from 60% in recent weeks, hopefully this is the case ..

  2. Since the long winter months, I am entering into summer with a body in need of toning for sure. I never used to have to worry about weight when I was younger because I was a competitive swimmer, working out 15-20 hours per week. It makes me feel pretty disappointed that I have not make exercise a priority as an adult, and I know that I really need to. However, I do know that I am treating my body well with my diet! Our family eats all kinds of whole foods and we love our Vidazorb probiotic. I have heard that probiotics help with weight management and I can see why. I do notice a difference in my appetite levels since taking them. Anyway- your article was a great reminder of all the ways we need to take care of ourselves!

  3. Excellent article. But being a student of natural therapy my self, weight loss has to be attcked from a different angle apart from the above points. If you are gaining weight then check your this organ. Liver. Most of the time problem lies with liver or gall blader. You correct the very reason of body fat deposit, at least the tendency to gain weight will reduce and go away.

    If you are reasonably living a good lifestyle, then weight gain is more or less due to one internal organ.

  4. I find this article insulting. I have tried virtually every anti-psychotic on the market and most have made me gain 2-3 pounds per week. I do not eat more or exercise less. In fact, since I am feeling much better on the meds, I generally eat less and exercise more. But I still gain weight. These meds have serious, even devastating, side effects. I gained nearly 40 pounds in two years on and off these meds. I was swimming, walking, lifting weights and eating a good, low fat diet. I still gained weight. I am sick of articles suggesting that the problem is the patient rather than the drug. It’s really insulting.

  5. Thank you for your post regarding weight gain and meds. I suffer from bi-polar disorder AND eating disorders and my weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo over the years. I started Zyprexa in the spring of’08 and I’ve gone from a size 4 to a size 16. Although the medication alleviated many of my symptoms, it created a whole new set of woes. For this reason I am in the course of weaning off of it.

  6. So true, yet still so hard when the meds just pile on the pounds no matter what you do to try to control eating and exercise. Worst yet is when the meds make you so blah and demotivated that exercise feels nearly impossible.

    So part of all this too is trying to get on the right cocktail so you have enough zest for life to WANT to stay healthy.

  7. I ate well and exercised and still gained 100 lbs. I was not a glutton nor was I lazy. The truth is you can do everything RIGHT and still get fat on psych meds.

    The problem is a society that hates fat people not you.

    I’m off all weight-gaining drugs now. Not because they made me gain weight—I actually go used to that — but because they are neurotoxic in general and I realized the likelihood of dying early on a huge cocktail of these meds was likely.

    I researched alternatives to the meds and now I’m virtually off everything and will be done with my detox in a matter of weeks. The weight has fallen off me without my having to do ANYTHING. So tell me how was that my fault??

    It’s as disgusting now to be praised about my weight loss as it was to be blamed for the gain. I’ve done NOTHING to deserve praise. I simply stopped the drugs that caused the weight gain.

    Anyone who tells you you can control your weight on these drugs is LYING. Some people don’t actually gain weight on these drugs and good for them…but those of us who are prone to it cannot do anything.

    it’s still, of course, a good thing to eat well and exercise…that should never be stopped. it keeps us healthier even if we’re fat. I am not writing this to suggest people give up good habits. That WOULD make it worse. The thing is I ALWAYS had good habits.

    anyway if you are like me all those people who try to make it your fault are simply lying to you.

    it is NOT your fault. it IS the drugs.

    No one should ever stop taking drugs precipitously but I do think that most people can make small incremental changes and come off most if not all meds. It’s not something to be taken lightly or done without serious attention to alternatives, but it is possible.

    We are not told this and that means we are not given true informed consent. Everyone who inspired my journey has had hellish bumps with “mental illness” and have learned how to wean themselves from drugs and heal and live fuller and richer lives.

    meds will never heal they will only control symptoms. for some that may be the goal and that’s fine as long as we understand that is the choice we’re making.

    anyway…we do have choices.

    it’s also not the end of the world to be fat. it’s other people’s hang ups and it’s ours if we want to make it our hang up.

    just know it’s not your fault. I worked in mental health as a social worker for over a decade…

    it’s horrifying to see how many people are blamed for being fat when it’s not their fault AT ALL. the drugs will make certain people gain weight no matter what.

    Remember this is not license to eat whatever you want and stop exercising…that will make it worse of course, but it is an attempt to help you stop blaming yourself. It’s simply not your fault.

  8. I FEEL THE SAME WAY! I HAVE GAINED ALOT OF WEIGHT AND I’M ON MEDS FOR BYPOLAR AND DEPRESSION. ASLO I’M DIABETIC. I EAT RIGHT AND TRY TO KEEP AS ACTIVE AS I CAN, BUT THE WEIGHT KEEPS COMING ON. I ALSO HATE IT WHEN I GO TO THE DOCTORS AND THEY SAY YOU GAINED MORE WEIGHT, LIKE I DON’T KNOW AND SUGEST A GOOD EATING PLAN WITH EXERCISE. WELL “HELLO” YOU GAVE ME THESE MEDS WHICH HELP, BUT THEY DO MAKE ME GAIN AND I’M 55 AND IT GETS HARDED AND HAREDER TO DROP THE WEIGHT. WELL I GUESS I’M JUST LIKE ALL OF YOU. ITS NOT OUR HELP AND I FEEL THAT THE DOCTORS SHOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO HELP US WITH THIS ISSUE.

  9. Having been on Paxil I can say that YES… it does cause weight gain. My P Doc in California prescribed Topamax for further mood leveling and to curb the insane cravings it created.

    I’m in a sticky situation as I only sought treatment due to Anorexia Nervosa. My first DX was Anorexia Nervosa/Social Anxiety-Severe/Major Depression/Throw some OCD regarding numbers/weight/calories in there as well.

    This Spring the MESS I’ve been in since ’01 finally “came to a head”. I’d been on EffexorXR since the year before and then CRASHED during the aftermath of the Midwestern floods.

    It turns out I am Bipolar NOS… heh… since I’m still sometimes ED-NOS Restricting type, I’m used to the “NOS”. I bottom out… and stay there with some periods of “AWESOME DO IT NOWNESS”.

    The thing that has kept me somewhat on track is bento lunch box making. A coworker who was COMPLETELY clueless to the ED/Mental stuff commented, “I like to see your lunch. It is pretty. I worry when you don’t pack it.”

    This guy is a “Good Ol Boy” and a VERY big boy… that he NOTICED when I had a pretty planned and varied lunch says something.

    Back to the point? I know I can’t just “DROP IT NOW”.

    Well, I could. I could stand to lose 10 or 15 pounds. I’m on my high end of normal. That is VERY uncomfortable for me. I KNOW I have to do it very gradually. SURE, look at the calories, but not too much. I’m far too good at it. I COULD drop 20 pounds VERY quickly. I went from an IDEAL BMI of 22 to 17 in a little over six months my first crisis. (AS an ADULT post graduate mind you!)

    There is no succinct way to sum up what I’ve learned since my life fell apart in 00/01… keep trying. Find something in the “positive lifestyle” that you LIKE… whether it leads to pounds off or not!

    Pretty bento lunches make me happy. I get to be creative. Today’s was so easy. It took me ten minutes tops prep before work and so many people noticed that my cucumbers and little sandwiches were shaped like flowers. That I had 1/2 deviled egg.

    If that sounds good, try it out. I PROMISE you’ll get better at it with practice and the bento forums? Nice people who like playing with their food.

  10. I agree with baseball 55, and I hear everyone else, including the author, who herself is not overly impressed with these 1- steps herself, I am sure. She just posted them to get the job done, right?

    And, this doctor Schwarz obviously doesn’t know what she is talking about and whom she is talking about. maybe, if she lives long enough, she herself will end up on Zyprexa and then think back to her empty words, and advice on these pages.

    I don’t even hear anyone hear talking about losing 10% of their body weight. The concern she does not seem to get is that there is a direct correlation between some psychiatric drugs and horrible wight gain, and weight loss, and all her boring advice is besides the point. You don’t need to go to college to regurgitate these old news. How profound!!

    The only worthwhile information here lied in the personal sharing of the individuals, both from author and the people who commented.

    All in-between may add calories but has absolutely zero nutritional value.

  11. I was very interested to read this article. I have been on Effexor XR and now Cymbalta for about 10 years. My doctor has always made me feel I had some control over the weight I’ve gained in this time. But, even with exercise and diet the weight doesn’t come off. The dr and I have cut my cybalta in half and now I’m taking that amoung every other day. I tried going off all together and I was so sick I landed in the ER with what seemed like a heart attack. Has anyone had any experience with going off a med like cymbalta and been successful? I really do not think I need these meds. I started taking them after the death of my husband at a young age. Just looking for answers from real people.

  12. Wow, this article is totally useless. I agree with baseball55 wholeheartedly!

    I do not have depression, but I have epilepsy. A lot of the medications used to control it are also bipolar disorder medications and make you gain weight, so articles of these are of interest to me.

    But I do have to agree that yes, it is never the person’s fault, even if the medications make them hungry all the time. I’m sick of being told to switch medications and see what happens, to just exercise more or eat less… it’s really just annoying and the so-called advice is useless.

    I remember a couple of years ago, getting a free 1 month membership to a gym. I went 5 to 6 days a week, worked out for nearly 1.5 hours and ate healthy all that time. My results? I lost 1 pound. ONE POUND IN A MONTH. Most people would be losing between 1-2 pounds per WEEK. I’m very distraught.

    I’m only 21 and now I can feel my joints aching from the pressure of the weight. It’s hard to breathe or catch my breath when I go up the stairs. The medication I took even made me hypothyroid! I hate the way I look and how I feel about myself. I’m so sick and tired of people telling me that the simple solution is just to eat less and exercise more. IT DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK THAT WAY!

    Bottom line – if you can find a better alternative to medications that works for you, go for it! I’m currently in the process of getting off my medication (Tegretol). I have to do it slowly or else I experience a lot of withdrawl symptoms, like dizziness and sometimes seizures.

    Anyways, good luck to everyone and I hope you find something that works for you without all these nasty side effects!

  13. HI
    ive gained 40 lbs. ive never been this large in my life. LiKE many others i diet and try to exercise but not much happens. i sincerly believe the problem is with my liver and all the meds i take. I TAKE 50MG seraquil, klonopin, dexedrine for chronic fatigue syndrome and some vicodin and tylenol,and advil for pain problems. when yo have liver enzymes that are off and or a fatty liver the lbs pile on from all that Ive read. its awful and my mother looks at me like “How could you let your looks go?” She taught me to be very vain so I am even more freaked out about being so heavy. It stinks. Not being well mentally or physically is ugly. Especially becuz you have to take meds. That screw up your syste. You take meds for one problem and get another. You pay a big price. ITS NOT FAIR BUT WHO SAID LIFE WOULD BE FAIR?

  14. I HAVE GAINED 40 LBS. ITS DISCUSTING. I DONT EAT THAT MUCH AND TRY TO EXERCISE WHEN I CAN BUT IM STILL LARGE. I HAVE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME,ANXIETY,AND PAIN. I TAKE MANY MEDS.I THINK THE PROBLEM REALLY LIES WITH THE LIVER FROM WHAT IVE READ. IF YOU HAVE LIVER ENZYMES THAT ARE OFF AND OR A FATTY LIVER YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO GAIN WEIGHT. FOODS CAN CUZ A FATTY LIVER BUT SO CAN ALCOHOL AND MEDS. I TAKE ADVIL, VICODIN FOR PAIN,KLONOPIN AND 5OMG OF SERAQUIL AND MY LIVER IS OFF. IM SURE THATS THE PROBLEM, BUT WHAT TO DO?

  15. Firstly, to Heather who is/was being treated for Anorexia. I don’t understand your post, maybe I missed something? You are being treated for being ‘underweight’ and the depression, etc..that goes with that, so why are you worried NOW about weight gain? I would think it would be great for you to gain some weight.

    Secondly, my experience with Anti-depressants..for anxiety and the depression that goes with it.. (I started taking them 2 years ago and have tried Prozac, Celexa, and now Zoloft) has been a bit of a trial and error thing. Most made me gain some weight and I am an avid exerciser and eat pretty good! Oh…what was the name of the one I first tried..not Prozac..but regardless, it caused me to balloon up 20 lbs! I was already trying to lose excess from 175! :( So, I consulted with my Doc and we tried Prozac. It did the job..25 lost!..no problem, and I was thrilled with that. BUT. I also experienced not so great side effects like a couple panic attacks and feelings of irritability

  16. ARgg! My computer just posted my post! So, I will continue in the hopes it will be together….

    and Brain racers..Wow! It obviously was not the medication for me, so I switched, with doc’s approval of course, to Celexa (I dealt with some withdrawal due to just switching over and no weaning off of the Prozac, so next time I know better!) Always wean off..Always!!…even if it’s from the same med family. With Celexa, I did good…great actually. But, once again, I GAINED the pounds back! Pretty Disappointing. We weaned me off of the Celexa and at that same time started Zoloft (Zoloft is supposed to have no affect on Weight..according to the data). I take 50 mg of Zoloft in the a.m now. My weight fluctuates between 187 and 192 (water weight and hormone fluctuations make it the higher one). I want to see 170’s again (I’m 5’6″). 160’s would be even better! I suffer from IBS which has a great deal to do with my depression. I go to the Y and workout, and I see no reason that my weight shouldn’t be lower. Maybe it’s age as well? I’m 46. My symptoms started about, oh, 3 years ago? The anxiety is just me, but anxiety and IBS together is asking for trouble!

  17. I agree with many of the posts here regarding the over-simplification of weight gain associated to the utilization of medications for mood disorders.

    After years of struggling to manage depression and anxiety on my own without med, I finally sought medication after the birth of my 2nd child. I did not want my children to suffer because I did not want to seek help for my mood issues.

    I lost all of my pregancy weight and was well withing a healthy weight range prior to the medication.

    Within one year, I gained 100 pounds and was basically given, and continue to receive, the message that it is my fault and I can control my weight.

    I do agree that my part in regulating my mood and my health is to seek adequate nutrition, rest, excerise and an overall healthy lifestyle. But to say that this will take care of the weight issue is insulting and inaccurate.

    I truly believe that the incidents of severe weight gain while taking these meds is severly underreported as most of us are blamed citing lifestyle factors.

    Until the medical community begins to look at the overall patient and not rely solely on numbers of lab results and blaming the patient, this issue will not receive the research needed to try to better address this issue and help patients deal with these side-effects.

    I have know I will never be he skinny person I was before, but I would like to get out of the “morbidly obese” category.

    Just as we sought not to have our lives defined by mood issues as evidenced by seeking treatment, we need to not allow ourselves to be defined by numbers on a scale and continue to advocate for ourselves with the health care system. No one else will do it for us.

  18. Be careful with these meds, yes some of them make you gain weight. I took Klonopin for anxiety for about 5yrs. I was getting frustrated because I gained weight. One day I decided to stop taking them, something I should have never done, because today I suffer with Seizures, because of this med.

  19. Hi PEGGY, I’ve been on Prozac, Serzone, Effexor, Cymbalta at the same time as Wellbutrin, but generic.

    When I was taking Prozac, a year later it stopped helping and I noticed I gained weight, I then went on Serzone, and that worked great for me and my weight was kept at 112lbs or less, I’m 5’x3″, then my 15 1/2 year old son committed suicide in April 2003, and I could not get out of bed, nothing brought me joy. I was in a dark hole.

    When I use to be active and gardened all the time,
    I was staying in bed and watched tennis, then baseball and ended up rooting for a team, I don’t usually watch baseball, but at least I came to understand it. ;o) Then it was profootball and I forgot to add college basketball, or maybe it was pro too.

    I would eat hostess powdered minidonuts that came in a box, and there is no hiding it as my young adult daughter came in and said, “Mom what is all over your face and shirt?” Then guesses what it was. I think she was more upset that I wasn’t sharing.

    It took a month to get over that addiction, which I knew I was using the donuts for my grief. I also had noticed my pants were getting tighter, dresses, skirts, blouses etc. Very disheartening. I knew for sure that part of it, was me not being active and eating sweets or not eating.

    When I weighed myself in September of ’03, I was 155lbs, I was shocked! I’ve only gotten up to 148lbs when I was pregnant and when I suffered from SAD while away at college during the winter months. Going from living in the bay area and I worked as a lifeguard at the college pool, then going to Utah, where the winters are gray and dreary. I didn’t have my close friends I had back home nor the activities, it didn’t help to have a roommate bake yummy whole wheat bread.

    But when I went home for spring and summer, I lost the weight due to activity, happiness, and SUNSHINE! When I figured this out it was S.A.D., I managed to keep the weight off when I went back to school with a car and then I met my husband. I stayed slim eversince, because I was more active and happy with my married life and motherhood.

    I even ended up living in a colder place than Utah, where it really gets cold and windy with short summers. Then we moved after 5 years to SW Idaho where it was the next best thing to the bay area. Just no access to the ocean.

    So I decided that Effexor must be causing me some weight gain, as it was… helping me with my sorrow and depression. Then I changed to Cymbalta which worked great for depresson as well, but between the sexual side effects with Effexor and Cymbalta I recently switched back to Serzone, the generic one now. I didn’t quite like it as it made me very tired, sleepy and dizzy. But my sex life is better, and I got some counseling with my husband after I went first. This has really helped, because six years of grieving for my son, which isn’t as intense, it is better, but it affected our whole family, our marriage, my physical body beside my emotions has been difficult.

    Oh, in between the change from Cymbalta to Serzone, I did join a gym and had a trainer. I was doing well with it but as soon as March came, I started back on my garden for exercise.

    Then from a lot of stress just before my son died I noticed that my hands were unable to hold down fabric while sewing, and my hands would ache. Thinking it was arthritis, I saw a Dr who told me that I didn’t have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, because my blood work would show it, NOT! I wasted more time with that Dr and paid a lot of money. I finally went to a hand surgeon, he had me tested with a Neurologist where they tested the timimg of electricity going through my hands and arms to the shoulder to register pain.

    I was pleased to hear that I was off the charts and that I have been suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for a long time. I was so glad someone confirmed what I believed I had. So I had surgery done and I am so much better. I can garden, play the piano, type, grip tools, dishes, glasses, etc.

    So being in pain with that problem didn’t help my weight issue either. It would hurt to cook, fold clothes, pull weeds, wash my hair, everything you can think of that you use your hands for.

    I would now like to say that I am losing weight, due to healed hands, & a change to Serzone(generic, much cheaper)life is getting better. Except in April my beloved Sheltie collie of 9 years, had to be put to sleep due to an injury I thought I was responsible for, but the VET said, “No,and not to torture yourself thinking that.” That is when I went downhill again and the minute my med Dr heard that I have been thinking about calling him for the past month, he made an appt. with a Pychologist I saw years ago for marriage problems, ASAP. So the next day I saw him, and since have had twice a week sessions, as he is going out of the country for a year.

    Also, some part of my insurance has a plan that I can have 8 visits free with this Dr. So that helped out with my depression. He has just been wonderful in helping me with my sadness over my dog and things going on at home, etc. Not awful things, but I feeling neglected or ignored would be a big factor. My husband is just too busy in his business and the my last of 5 children turned 18 and graduated, has been dating eversince Senior Prom his first and new love. I never see him anymore. BTW, he is a technogeek and his girlfriend also went to the same tech school.

    I hope you don’t mind that I told a summary of my story for the past 7 years! Yes, I agree, meds can affect gaining weight.

  20. This is some good stuff for those who take psychiatric medication or not. What I don’t see here is the number of people who are compulsive eaters. The so called experts used to say that it was just 2% but they keep raising that number by leaps and bounds. In my book anybody who has ever eaten more than they wanted to eat is a compulsive eater. That may not fit the clinical definition but, in my book, it is a good place to start.

    I was able to lose 105 pounds, and keep it off over the past five years by taking my medications religiously, admiting that I was a compulsive eater and finding meds that had less of an impact on my weight and lipid levels than what I was taking. I followed the advice in listed in this article religiously and still do. However, I would add to the list just one thing and that is that you have to help other people who are open and willing to do these things. That is the secret to permanent weight loss.

  21. Hi Peggy,

    I am a little reluctant to write this since my posts here have not been published in the past. Hopefully, this one will be since I am giving advice on how to taper safely.

    In my opinion, your doctor essentially cold turkeyed you off of Cymbalta. As a result, that is why you had the problems you did, especially since the drug has a short half life, meaning it doesn’t stay in the body too long.

    By the way, taking it every other day will put you into withdrawal on the days you aren’t taking it.

    As a person who has successfully tapered off of 4 meds down to 1 (I should be completely off this year or next), the key is to taper very slowly at 10% of the current dose every 3 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, with Cymbalta, this is tricky. Here are your options

    1. Use a compound pharmacy to taper at the dose you can’t get at your local CVS pharmacy. Here is a site for finding one:

    http://www.iacprx.org/site/PageServer?pagename=lookup_survey

    You do have to register as an FYI.

    The disadvantage is that not all insurance companies accept these places. And if they do, you might have to pay up front and get reimbursed later.

    But if they are feasible, it might be the easiest solution since you don’t have to worry about measuring the dose.

    2. Count the beads. I personally don’t know how to do this since I have never taken Cymbalta. But if you go to http://www.paxilprogress.org and run a Cymbalta search, you will find people who have taken the drug who can advise you.

    3. Switch to Prozac since it has a longer half life and might be easier to taper. The advantage is there are alot of ways to taper Prozac at the 10% amount.

    It comes in the liquid form. But if that doesn’t work, you can use a .001g measuring scale to weight and measure the dose.

    The disadvantage is the switch might not work as you could have start up effects from switching to Prozac.

    I don’t envy you at all. But hopefully, I have given you some ideas for getting off the med without ending up in the hospital.

    AA

  22. I really am avery happy for those of you who follow the guidelines in articles such as these faithfully and have had such good results.

    What I am seeing in many of these posts is something that has really struck a chord with me and that is there are some of us who follow these guidelines and still do not experience any success or actually continue to gain weight.

    When you track your food intake, exercise and basically live an overall healthy lifestyle and still can’t loose weight, it is so very depressing and discouraging.

    While I agree that some of us may be more compulsive with food on a consistant basis and/or lie to ourselves about our intake and exercise, I do believe that there are many of us that are having difficulty seeing any progress with the traditional recommendations.

    I can’t help but thinking all of us in healthcare are missing something.

  23. Ray Kemp: ‘The so called experts used to say that it was just 2% but they keep raising that number by leaps and bounds. In my book anybody who has ever eaten more than they wanted to eat is a compulsive eater. That may not fit the clinical definition but, in my book, it is a good place to start.’

    Are you serious? First of all, I would think that the percentage of compulsive overeaters on psychiatric medications would be at least that it is among the ‘general population’ not on psychiatric drugs and which is way higher than 2%. (More like 20%, I am guessing?)

    So, if this guess was more or less, it doesn’t matter but only in the sense that if psychiatric drug users are operating at about the same rate as non psychiatric drug users, the whole matter is of no significance. And from what people have said here if you read the comments, quite the opposite is the case. People are telling here that they did not binge and compulsively overeat.

    Second, if anyone who has ever overeaten in their lives is a compulsive overeater, I don’t know how you possibly got your book published. It’s just plain ridiculous. Not true and not reality and not even worth considering.

    Then there are people who are treated with antidepressants for eating disorders, and such drugs as prozac are often quite effective, or helpful for that.

    But from what I hear people saying here, they were not prescribed the drugs for an eating disorder. I am sure that not every person gains weight on every drug but that some drugs are worse than others, like for example ‘Risperdal’.

    The point is that what people here are saying is statistically and clinically very valuable. It’s research, and it matters, and it’s real.

  24. PS: It’s like saying that anyone who has ever had problems sleeping is suffering from insomnia, or anyone who has ever had a panic attack suffers from an anxiety disorder, or anyone who has ever been angry has an anger problem, or anyone who has been depressed suffers from Depression.

    Or anyone who has every commented in a manner as I did before back to you, Ray, has an abusive personality. (Sorry, BTW, that I came on a little harsh) I thought you could take it.

  25. After reading the posts, I’m telling my story. On/off psych med’s for over 30 yrs and many not working for anxiety/depression -Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Paxil, Seroquil, Resperdal to name just a few!(Remeron only one gained weight on-25 lbs). Three yrs ago, family crisis, I lost the 25 – stopped Remeron & eating! which I do when I’m stressed. Lived on my own home-made healthy version of Protein drinks & bananas for 3 mths, was ok – but the anxiety resurfaced, again. At my wits end, Dr. gave me Celexa, 60 mg/day, started healthy meals again, exercised walking outside + treadmill, dancing, yoga, gardening) and I am finally doing great; a good feeling indeed-only a 2 lb weight gain! and my moods have stablized!! Why is Celexa working now? after all those years of taking the others? which has been a frustrating journey to say the least!
    My question is – I take 60 mg, with little gain and my best friend takes 20 mg with alot of gain! Has anyone else experienced little weight gain on the higher amount? or is it more common for gain on the lower amount?
    I must say that life is finally worth living these days!

  26. That’s great, Joy Murray! Really glad for you, and I very much appreciate your sharing your experience. It really balances out some of the others.

    I am wondering if the way you are feeling (human and good) makes a difference?

  27. Thx for your encouraging note Katrin!
    Yes, I would agree – obviously, with the constant anxiety, extreme panic attacks and deep ‘holes’ of depression ‘on hold’, it is now possible to be interested in life! With the help of a really great psychoanalyst, a few years ago, in desperation, I tried a Meditation Group & found the people really supportive & helped me immensely (still in the group). A friend recommended trying Reiki and the result was amazing – if & when I’d get anxious, I’d just do a Reiki session and then be alot calmer. With the fear gone, I’m now into Art Journaling, doing a Gratitude Journal, and with inspirational quotes my thoughts are more positive than they have been for a long, long time. Reading and doing the exercises in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” has fired me up to do what I’ve wanted to do for a long time – write stories and poems!
    My point, I guess, is that medication alone will not “do it” – when the concept of mind, body and spirit was addressed, when the support of family and friends was there, when the energy levels returned, when I became grateful just for the ‘moment’ in time, then I knew that anything was possible.
    The adage “change the way you think, changes your life” has been so true for me! Katrin, hope this answers your question.

    Although I realize that these posts were mostly on weight gain on med’s, I know I am blessed not to have had that major problem – I do hope that those who are struggling will find an answer. My best friend is making strides in that area, and she is learning to “like herself, no matter what”.

    Thx for letting me be a part of this…..
    Hope it can help someone else know that it is possible to get out of the “black hole”. Something I never, ever want to be in again!

  28. I have been on Prozac since 1985. I have tried others on and off but always go back to Prozac. I had a stroke in March ’08 during neck surgery. I have chronic sciatica. I was put on Wellbutrin and Elavil to aid in controlling digestive disorders. I had to have my gallbladder taken out in August ’08. I have gained 40 lb. since 2002 and find it next to impossible to lose it. I do not do regular exercise even though I should. I am a bit unsteady on my feet, a condition I could alleviate by walking more. The most devastating side effect is the thinning of my hair on the top of my head. I researched all of my medications but have yet to find one that has less side effects. Stay active. Eat 6 small meals a day. Never give up.

  29. Chronic pain is very severe and this affects people’s life, long known to people who suffered from a strange disease, were strong back pains, which were intense and not let them work, as was what they said were the doctor and he prescribed oxycodone for pain, but knew it was a very powerful medicine, and moreover, anxiolytics, and worry that they were doing things that previously did not like eating too much, smoking, etc, and read in findrxonline that this drug is well and that we must be very careful with their use, and everything must be under medical prescription.

  30. It is very frustrating- my doctor says my sugar is high and cholesteral high but losing weight should help-Oh and by the way we want you to increase the amount of seroquel you take- and Oh by the way FYI this drug will cause weight gain, and higher sugars-wtf- life at the free clinic

  31. tekon, I would be frustrated too, and that is an understatement. How terrible!

  32. I’m 43 and have had four kids. I wear a size six and now I know why. And – size six aside – I can’t even stand certain cuts of pants because they are built these days to accomodate a pot belly, which I find absolutely ridiculous as young people never had such things so routinely 25 years ago. I’m glad I figured out that the psychiatrists are all full of B.S. I’m so glad I listened to my own judgement about what my real problems were and decided to deal with them head on instead of live on poisons. Most mental health pros these days just make people into junkies. I turned my back on all that nonsense and confronted the real reasons for my distress, which in my case was abuse by my parents whom I have since kicked out of my life. Good riddance to them, to poisonous religions, to sick families, to pot-belly pants, to anxiety and depression, and to silly shrinks who don’t know squat. I am free. If you want to join me, check out the works of Alice Miller. She’s worth a google. The truth really will set you free. Even from fat.

  33. I have been on Seroquel for 3 years & gained 90lbs. I am trying to wean myself off of it. The problem is that Seroquel works for me. Off it I am extremely emotional. My therapist wants to try other drugs. I don’t know what to do. In the meantime, I joined a gym.

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