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My Experience Losing Weight On Bipolar Meds

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I think it’s safe to say that many of us who have bipolar disorder struggle with weight gain. 

The main reason is that medications can affect our appetite. My medication makes me crave sweets like never before. A woman I met in my bipolar support group had just been diagnosed with the disorder and subsequently put on a mood stabilizing drug. Within a matter of weeks she had gained 20 pounds. The weight didn’t just suddenly appear. It happened because this woman couldn’t stop her cravings for donuts. 

Another cause for weight gain is leading a sedentary lifestyle. I had to go on disability several years ago because I was too sick to work. When there’s suddenly not much to do in your life, it’s easy to end up sitting in front of the TV and snacking all day. Or worse, spending your time in a depressed state and can’t even get out of bed. 

My first major weight gain was seven years ago. I was prescribed an anti-psychotic medication to help with sleep. I got a great night’s sleep, but I also gained almost 50 pounds. I told my doctor I needed to get off the medication because my self-esteem had plummeted and I was feeling more depressed because of it. 

I was desperate to lose the weight. Even though it was expensive, I decided to join a pre-packaged food weight loss program. I was working at the time so was able to afford it. 

In four months, I was able to lose all the weight I had gained and got off the program. I was taught how to eat right and make better food choices. I kept the weight off for several years. 

Then mania took hold and I again found myself on a mood stabilizing drug that causes weight gain. Forty extra pounds made its way back to me. I knew how to eat right. I was just too vulnerable to other factors. And there was no way I could get off this medication. I’ve been able to experience some stability lately because of it and I decided it was time I take control. 

I can’t afford a weight loss program so I decided to use what I know. In the past three weeks, I’ve lost ten pounds. 

Here’s how I did it:

Basically I am counting calories all day and choosing foods that fill me. Protein is key. I eat six times a day.

A sample day for me looks like this:

Breakfast - Special K bacon, egg, cheese frozen breakfast sandwich, 250 calories. Small glass of Tropicana 50 percent less sugar orange juice. 

Morning Snack - Fiber One Oats and Chocolate granola bar, 140 calories. 

Lunch - Tuna sandwich on low calorie bread, small handful of pretzels, total 300 calories

Afternoon Snack - banana or protein smoothie, try to keep under 150 calories

Dinner - Sometimes I’ll eat a frozen Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers meal, but mostly I eat what my family is eating, I just eat a lot less. We grilled hamburgers last night and I ate half a hamburger with a small amount of potatoes. It seems like it would starve you, but as you go along, your stomach adjusts to the smaller amount of food. 

Evening Snack - yogurt or a 100 calorie snack. The 100 calorie bag of microwave popcorn actually gives you quite a bit. 

I won’t lie to you. When I first started it was very difficult and I wanted to eat chocolate and potato chips instead of a banana. But then I looked at pictures of myself at the weight where I felt best and decided that’s what I wanted more. I keep those pictures in my bathroom to remind me. 

I also stopped drinking diet soda. It actually makes you crave calories. And I’m staying away from my favorite pumpkin spice latte at the coffee shop. It could be my lunch and dinner for all the calories it has. 

I’ve been forcing myself to move more too. I love riding my bike and I’ve been doing it as often as I can while the weather is still nice. I went out to dinner the other night with my family at my favorite Italian restaurant. I made sure to fit in a bike ride that day to counter the extra calories. I only ate half my dinner and saved the rest. I was completely satisfied. 

I must say it’s important to talk with your doctor first before adjusting your diet. Some mood stabilizing drugs are more effective when taken with food and sodium levels sometimes need to be monitored. Strenuous exercise also needs to be approved by your doctor. 

Weight loss is a challenge for those who have bipolar disorder, but it’s not impossible. 

Read the rest of Paula's posts here

To learn more about healthy eating and bipolar disorder, read the Supportive Nutrition chapter in our book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder.


I asked my doctor for help. He said stop feeding your face. You need to stop eating so much. Ugh!! When I go to loose weight I have to about starve myself. If I get let up and only a little bit. I gain it back and fast. Help!! I'm so sick of this roller coaster diets!! Beth

I tried Metformin and was sick as a dog. I started researching it and it is a dangerous medication. I would really weigh the pros and cons before sticking with this medication.

I have tried everything. I was very lucky to get symptom control with Clozapine..Clozaril, however, in studies it is three times as likely to add weight and contribute to the slide towards diabetes type two when compared to other meds in the same class. When I first was put on it I gained 60 pounds in four months. For someone like me, I don't know how I just 'gave in' to it and stopped caring. I did not think about my health. I did a 'program' and hated it. I've 'done time' in programs like OA, and adhered to the 'no sugar, no flour, whole foods only' formula and had that work for me. I've been on the Dr. Dalman diet for psoriasis, and what works the best for me is the 'Edgar Cayce' Diet. These ideas are from the 30's and were way ahead of their time. The idea is to stop all soft drinks, fried food, beef and pork, candy and sugary starches like donuts and replace with one big green salad a day, smaller portions of fowl and fish, and to avoid 'nightshade' vegetables such as red bell peppers and potatoes, eggplant and others. The first president of the American Holistic Association was the first person to go public with the Edgar Cayce readings because they make a lot of sense. I have found that even though I hate raw green vegetables, eating them makes me stop craving other, more rapidly digesting, high glycemic foods. My numbers have gone up...I'm now on metformin on a last ditch effort to avoid diabetes type 2. I'm right now about 15 pounds overweight on a 5'8" frame. I lift weights and do an hour of cardio or I do pilates. I listen to great music when I work out. It's fun. Thanks for writing this piece.

I have had severe problems with weight gain with several antipsychotics, a mood stabilizer and antidepressants I usually lose my appetite and or severely restrict my calories yet either continue to gain or cant lose, on one drug I was eating 1000 calories a day and exercising 2 hours a day, couldn't lose a bean. Yet each time I am taken off the offending med the weight drops off without any hassle. It can mess with your metabolism its not always increased appetite

Same with me. I was put on an anti-psychotic about a month and a half ago. I didn't eat more, didn't change anything. I watched myself gain weight. Every 4 days or so I had to put on a bigger size of clothing (I had them from the last time I had to take this med). After 3 weeks, I fit in one pair of pants and four t-shirts. My doctor was away but I stopped the medicine anyway. Looking at myself was making me feel suicidal. Nothing, including that particular medicine, has ever really worked to stabilize my moods. They do what they want and change rapidly. Taking medicine that barely does any good just to end up hating myself is not worth it. My doctor affirms that it is not me or my actions but simply the medicine that makes the weight gain so bizarre and so fast, yet she still is pushing it. Looking for other options and frustrated that I now have about a year of hard work and shame ahead of me before I lose all the weight (if I do).

It's the metabolism that it's affecting. Your eating habits contribute but if your metabolism is slower than you can't blame it all on diet.

Stacy: I am on mood stabilizers and an anti-psychotic and I asked my psychiatrist which one was causing the most most weight gain and she said the anti-psychotic.

I've been taking the same mood stabilizers for about 10 yrs and I've never considered them when thinking about my weight gain or inability to lose weight. I have tried to restrict my calories, exercise every day, I've quit drinking soda pop & eating so much sugar (I have serious sugar cravings) yet I'm not losing anything and it's frustrating. I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to do but I'm not seeing the reward. I take two mood stabilizers and an antiphysichotic so I'm not sure which one is to blame. My doctor won't change any of my meds either. I feel trapped.

Thanks for this article,
I thought I was the only one who had a very bad weight gain due to my bipolar medication. I was basically 250 pounds when I was given a medication and it was in the spring of 2014 and by spring of 2015. I had put on over a hundred pounds! I went from 250 to 379, it literally was over night. Now I'm the heaviest I've ever been and I feel so awful. I recently went to my psychiatrist and told him I need to get off this medication. Oh, yea I'm now also pre-diabetic due to the massive weight gain. Anyways I went off the medication and now I'm trying my best not to feel so depressed and down cuz I hate the way I look. I have said to myself I need to get this on check so I've cut back to just 1500 calories a day and am counting everything that goes in my mouth.
I hope this works because I don't know what to do. It's bad to be bipolar and then also be so overweight. You feel sad and awful due to your illness and then you feel even sadder and depressed cuz you gained so much weight and nothing fits you any more.

It’s so hard to be overweight because of a medicine you need. However, the medication doesn’t cure or fix everything! I gained 50 lbs on my mood stabilizers 5 years ago and I’ve tried everything to get it off. I just can’t stay with it long enough. I get depressed or suicidal and I just have to survive those episodes so I can’t focus on the weight loss program I set up. All my friends are losing weight but I can’t tell them I’m bipolar. Too much judgement. People think I’m lazy and my doctor barely listens to me.

Reminder: Get back on the health kick! :)

I put on exactly 50lbs in 4 months during my latest relapse and I am struggling with balancing new meds and putting together a healthier lifestyle...or should I say a new healthy lifestyle. Due to the weight gain heal spurs and plantar facilities on both feet have worsened and makes walking impossible at times although I am determined to not only loose the weight but also walk a 5km race in 7 months.
The only safe way to get my cardio daily is aquafit.I am doing it I say this...if I can do this ANYONE CAN! I can hide myself under the water while working hard on the days I feel self concious.I hate water, pools, chlorine and change rooms.But it is good.Very very good. I get out of it what I put into it and knowing that I pay for a pass monthly I (so far) don't want to miss any.
If anyone has any questions about it feel free to ask.
I do have a bike but I just find it so easy to conveniently forget about it.
I struggle with the food.However I was once so bad with IBS sysmptoms that I had to eat tiny portions and it helped me loose OVER 50lbs. (My weight is always somewhere between 200-250lbs).If I can voluntarily eat small portions I will be good.
Hugs to everyone being challenged right now! It gets better.Lets be good to ourselves!

I too have lived with numerous years on the rollercoaster of thin to over weight due to antipsychotic question is..which antipsychotic medications are less invasive ?

I have gained weight due to oxcarbenzaprine and amtripyline but I feel the alternative is far more worse than gaining a few pounds. You can drive yourself crazy between the two but don't abuse yourself about things you have no control over.

I was running 20 plus miles a week and gained 30lbs in a three months after beginning Seroquel. Seroquel has made all the difference in my moods, so I opted not to go off it. Soon after, I had another baby and the weight I lost after I gave birth only amounted to the weight of my baby and increase in blood and water. I tried running with the baby in a jogging stroller, but ended up hurting my back 3 times because of it. She is now old enough that I can run on my own and have currently lost 10lbs running 15 miles a week and trying to eat correctly. It is terribly difficult trying to lose a large amount of weight on these medications. I'm now just focusing on being proud of myself for trying and making the necessary decisions to actively fight it. Great article and good to know we aren't alone in this fight.

I'm away to go on some A/P's again and just getting into jogging after 2 years! I don't wanna lose my Mojo, but my mind is so bad, I have to do something (endorphins can only do so much)...
I guess the first step is tying my shoes xx

Hi everyone... I'm Australian so I'll use kgs instead of lbs but I'm hearing you all! On Seroquel I put on 10kgs in the space of a week to 10 days... I just couldn't stop eating! I went from 62kgs to 106kgs in the space of a couple years experimenting different medication combinations. I am happy to report I am now stable without being a zombie but the weight I have been unable to shift does tend to get me down a bit if I think about it too much.

Thanks for the article! I'll see how I go with it.

Hi Emma Lee. I'm in Australia too so kgs are relevant. Two years ago I was 78kg and now I'm 100kg on Seroquel, sodium valproate. After research I discovered lamotrigine which apparently is known not to be linked to weight gain. Early days get. I'll keep you posted.

I suffer from bipolar II, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, ADD, agoraphobia and panic disorder. I was put on Seroquel in July 2014, after a suicide attempt that landed me in the hospital then the Behavioral Health Unit. At that time, I weighed 140lb. Within about 4 months, my weight went up about 7 or 8 lbs, not too bad, considering. I was hospitalized again in January 2015, Seroquel was increased, as was my dosage of Lamictal. Well, I gained 27lbs from the time of my discharge through to mid-April. My diet, or lack thereof, didn't change from anytime previous to either of these hospitalizations. It's very frustrating to say the least. I asked my psychiatrist if we could try a lower dose of Seroquel because I was seriously upset about my weight. He agreed and I went down to 200mg from 400mg. It didn't help. He said the Lamictal doesn't cause weight gain and that's why he only decreased the Seroquel. But now I wonder if it really does. I've continued to gain weight, not at the rate that I did before, but about 5 more lbs since April. If anyone can relate to this situation and is/was on Seroquel and Lamictal, please share your thoughts and experience. At this point, I'm ready to do the unthinkable and stop taking both meds. I'd also like to say that after a 20 year nursing career, I was injured on the job, and at the same time also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I now suffer from chronic pain due to spinal disc herniations in both my neck and low back, as well as the pain caused by fibromyalgia. This limits my phyical activity. I know if I were able to move more, I'd probably lose a pound or two, but just getting my leg into my compact SUV to sit down is extremely difficult. Befo i was injured, I led a very active life. Some days I feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation - chronic pain leads to depression & decreased activity, bipolar is always right there ready to contribute to the depression, at the same time, exercise is shown to ease depression and of course, contribute to weight loss. I often feel "stuck", if that makes sense. Any insight is welcomed. Thank you!

I believe it's the seroquel. I've been in both at different times. Seroquel helped the moods but I gained 30 lbs. Lamictal didn't make me gain but DID make me want to kill myself. Sooo that's me. Everyone is different but I know since being diagnosed and started on and off 100's of mess, I'm now 30 lbs heavier and no lbs happier. Been thinking of flushing ALL my meds and living manic for the rest of my life. At least I lose weight when I'm manic. Oh the joys of this disease.

Could we live manic?????? I heard the weight neutral drugs don't cause weight gain or loss. Has anyone tried switching to latuda? Geodon, haloperidol???? I've read those ones do not cause weight gain...

Lamictal is considered weight neutral and that’s been my experience after being on it for 12 years. I can’t live without it, but it doesn’t help 100%. I’ve been trying Latuda off and on for the past year. For me, it’s the best drug I’ve ever taken as far as treating my symptoms, but I gain weight instantly - even though I don’t eat more and I stick to a fairly low-carb diet. It changes everything about your metabolism and causes insulin resistance. I have learned that it’s one of those drugs I can take for a couple days when my symptoms get bad and then stop. I take the lowest dose possible, so it’s not so bad to just stop. The few pounds of weight I gain when I’m on it comes off fairly quickly once I’m off. But it’s a roller coaster of that every couple months and I’m sure that’s not great for my body. It’s a trade off: sanity or weight. Another thing about Latuda...I don’t know if AP meds can be addictive, but I could easily become addicted to Latuda. I LOVE the way it makes me feel. All the noise stops and I feel like a normal person. But it’s not a healthy thing for me. I feel like I take it as a crutch. The same way I would take a narcotic. Just to escape.

I understand your frustration! I am on 900 mg of trileptol and I gained 15-20 lbs over the last 2 years. Don't stop taking your meds though! Getting sick isn't worth it. Seems like calorie regulation and walking/swimming/jogging can still have an effect. Tricky part is getting through the sugar cravings but i think once you stop eating sugar they subside.

Your story resonates with me. The weight gain, 20 year nursing career, fibromyalgia and Lamictal. They say Lamictal does not cause weight gain and I am thinking that this is not true. I am on Lamictal, a small dose of Abilify, Vyvance (supposed to lose weight) and Wellbutrin (also weight loss) and still I gain. I was 170 pounds in September 2015, now I am 265. I have tried everything. I had gastic bypass in 2008 and lost 100 pounds- kept it off for 7 years on low dose bipolar meds - I got very sick in 2015 and everything was changed and changed and changed. I am now on this cocktail. It is supposed to be a lose weight cocktail but I still gain. Can't do gastric bypass again- no meds worked for 6 months after- even crushed so I don't want to go through the depression of that again. I go to yoga 3x a week, I try to walk every day. I eat the way I have always eaten- small portions, mostly very health conscious. Seems hopeless. Good luck to you and if you find out the magic secret let me know.
Ps. Seroquel is supposed to be way worse for weight gain than Lamictal

I read your story and I had to check the author because it is EXACTLY my story- from the gastric bypass in 2008 to the 100 pound weight loss to the crash in
2015 and the 100 pound weight gain. I was told to have a repeat gastric bypass there is a 20% mortality rate which is too much to risk when you have kids, oh, and I had a 20 year nursing career as well, until the 2015 crash. I am on the EXACT SAME cocktail as you, EXACTLY. It is the only one that has ever worked for me and I had an upper GI and my stomach is still very small from the bypass so I have not gained from large portions. I TOTALLY get you. I have not found an answer with diet or excercise either and my weight continues to fluctuate between 260-270. If you find anything at all that works, please let me know. We can let the other know if anything works. I am thinking about starting a boot camp and doing keto although the last time I only lost 10 pounds in 3 months. I would love it if we could keep in touch! Would feel nice not to be so alone in this.

I suspect Epitec (generic of Lamictal). I reduced my Seroquel from 300mg down to 25mg. I upped my Lamictal to 200mg from 100mg. I came off Wellbutrin, and reduced my Lexamil to 10mg. All for falling pregnant. And no effects to my weight. So, either it’s the Lamictal or the Epitec...

Hi: My psych said Seroquel was a biggie (no pun intended
for weight gain.

The only way I lost the weight on the meds was triathlon training. It worked until I got hurt snowboarding. Do not go off the meds

Wow, my feelings about bi-polar medications and weight gain have been thoroughly validated by your story and all of the commentary. I have tried to reduce medications with the assistance of a doctor but have always had to return to same doses due to resulting mood swings. I weighed about 140 prior to being hospitalized about 12 years ago. Since that time my weight increased to 214 lbs. I have tried many diet programs but it is so difficult I get intense cravings late at night. I started working out with a trainer last year and I find that while it helps out mentally and makes me stronger I'm still having a difficult time with my weight. I tried dropping some meds again and it just doesn't work. My ability to work and interact in society would suffer if I stopped the meds. My doctor said what do you want? Sanity or vanity? I truly want sanity. I've read some good advice here I'm willing to go forward with portion control and calorie reduction. I'll continue with the exercise too.

I have Bipolar I, Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD. I was diagnosed at 17 and I went from 140lbs to 212lbs from risperidone. I went off of all my meds when I was manic and weighed 157lbs and at another time I worked out 5 times a week and starved myself and weighed 151; neither are solutions. At first I felt the intense cravings and I still feel hungry all the time. If I hear one more person say, "Diet and Exercise," I feel like screaming at them. "Sanity or Vanity?" Bite me. It sucks being overweight. It's not vanity it's basic health and self-esteem. I exercise regularly, see a nutritionist, eat tons of vegetables, get my proteins, don't drink soda, don't drink caffeine, don't eat refined sugars, get plenty of fiber, drink tons of water...I'm the heaviest I have ever been. I hate my body and myself and I'm so angry. I'm not lazy and it's not my fault but I'm stuck with a huge, pregnant-looking belly. Should I just give up? Should I search for a solution? Would it help. I am so mad.

Hey Jessica, I have Bipolar disorder and I am in a similar bind like you. I just thought I would share my feelings with you. I had a Manic episode in Oct 2016 needing inpatient psych. I was put on lithium and latuda. Since discharge I have piled on 25-30 pounds.I am like you. I exercise , eat healthy but this is the heaviest I have been as well.I also feel I m stuck with a pregnant belly with no fault of mine. But we cant give up. I have decided to keep sane and keep trying to find a solution. Best wishes and hugs

I can totally relate to you. I used to be thin and slender at 110lbs before taking cocktail of meds-Zoloft, Lamictal and Abilify. Abilify made me gain 30 pounds over the 3 yrs I have taken it even though I didn't change my eating habits. What makes it worse is that weight gain is around my waist. I look 4months pregnant, I hate it. On a positive note, I'm exercising more and trying to gain muscle to rev up my metabolism. Hope I'll see the results soon.

I feel like I’m in the same boat as y’all. I was on lithium for 6 months and gained about 30 pounds. (Prior to that, a “quack” doctor had me on cortisol for almost 8 months, and I gained about 50 pounds.) So, now I’m on the full dose of Lamictal and just started Seroquel, because my insomnia is terrible, but I feel (and look) like I’m pregnant with twins at 250 lbs. I’m trying to do Keto diet, but honestly not sure if I’m even in ketosis, although I have almost completely eliminated breads, fruits, and most sugar. I just want something that’s proven to work. Has anybody found anything?

Are you sure it's not the zoloft??????? I was told years ago abilify was weight neutral... I was prescribed it but instead lived manic for many many years.. it seems my bipolar got worse so I can't live manic anymore. I tried but the racing thoughts then some paranoid thinking get me... So I went into the hospital and they prescribed invega.. do not take invega it is one that caused 20 lbs weight gain in 2 months! So I have since switched to latuda..... If you gained 30 lbs in 3 years on abilfy.. what if I gain that on latuda??? I'm so so scared of anymore weight gain as I do not feel I'll find a man to love me and help take care of me if I gain anymore weight I'd have to live alone .... I had a better shot living manic as I has a relationship with a man who cared for me for 18 years off and on as my bipolar did cause us problems.. I thought to let him go find a healthy women who does not need fat meds to funcation....I push all men away because I fear I'll get fat then they will leave or They will leave because of my bipolar so either way I'm screwed and forced to live this bipolar life alone.

I'm 42 bipolar & even after two children I have never had trouble with my weight until my most recent hospitalization 7 months ago when they put me on seroquel. Since then I have gained over 20 lbs. & continue to gain. I love how seroquel helps with anxiety & helps me get to sleep at night but my clothes no longer fit & I look likeI'm 6-7 months pregnant. This is unacceptable to my self esteem. My dr is switching out seroquel to lamictal. Dear God help us all.

Curious if Zoloft can lead to weight gain? Been on it since June and I've gained weight mind you I have no appetite due to the Topamax so I don't know if it's the Zoloft which I'm on 125 MG or perhaps does Klonopin make you gain?

Yes,klonipin does make you gain and it's also addictive

As stated in the title, Klonopin is a
Benzodiazepine, they do not interact or interfere on anything weight related. They do not interact with your Thyroid gland or appetite like for example Seroquel aka Quitepine. It only interacts with the GABA system in your brain. It is addicting when used long term though.

I've taken both of these medications with zero weight gain or loss. I've used Topamax too and didn't have a proble. My dosage off Zoloft was a bit lower than yours. The more I read the more I think it depends on the person. I have read so many stories about abilify and huge weight gain and another woman said her doctor told her to be careful because you could lose alt of weight! I just started taking abilify and it makes me so sick to my stomach and tired I don't know that I'll be able to even take it. I feel extremely weak, sick. I haven't been diagnosed as bipolar so wondering why my doctor put me on it now.

I have been on the same Rollercoaster getting fatter and walking away with obese checked on dr. Slip just makes me mad.i also have fibromylgia horrible migraines and my neurological dr. Put me on topimax,i went from 214lbs 154, so there are things out there to help us,they just think were stuffing our face when its a chemical problem. Press your dr. Have a nice dave

I was the same weight for 10 years after my last child, 137lbs. After finally being diagnosed correctly with bipolar ll and put on 5 different meds I felt better, but in the last five years have gained 20lbs. I'm not sure what to believe. Is it the meds, getting older, eating too many calories or not excersiing? I haven't been able to put a dent in the weight even when i do all the things I'm supposed to. It's hard to stay on a program when there are no results. My psychologist said i might just have to be happy that keeping to the plan i are not gaining weight. That hasn't happened yet. I'm miserable at this weight.

Thank you, I got some hope back. Weight gain on previous Meds drove me mad now, on lower Prozac and quadratapine I can feel eating all crap. Skipping gym etc. So I will stick to clean eatting and high protein as these are vital in mental recovery xx

This honestly doesn't apply to everyone. I see a nutritionist NEVER cheat on my diet, exercise five times a week as prescribed by my fitness instructor and this new medicine I've gained seven lbs in a month and a half. I'm sure it's only that slow because I haven't been giving in to the cravings but these drugs also affect your metabolism. That doesn't mean you can blame it all on the drug. If you make bad choices then that affects it but the drastic problems you're seeing is because of the slowed metabolism. For that I have no cure. I'm on Metformin to help with that but it's not working anymore.

You need to be strong and keep making the right choices! You can do it! I know the scale is painful (trust me I cry a little every time I see it go up), but you can be strong.

Thankyou for your inspiration! I've been struggling with my weight since I was put on Risperdal for psychosis. I was always a healthy weight before then. I did lose 40 pounds when I was taken off the medicine. I was happy with my weight for a while, until I was permenantly put on an anti-psychotic drug. And gained all the weight back. I've been depressed,felt sorry for myself, that it's not fair. But now I'm realizing that I have to take control and I've started counting calories. I've lost three pounds in one week. I'm excited that at least I'm trying to change.

I have to say that I love your article. I'm bipolar 1 with anxiety disorder and PTSD. I started at 200 lbs when I was put on Geodon the first time and actually lost 25 lbs in a short amount of time. But because I was falling asleep at the most inopportune times, I was taken off it and put on Lamictal. I didn't gain or lose for about a year, but then I started dating someone and was eating out too much. So, my weight went up to 212. I don't blame the medication for that weight gain. I then lost 10 lbs just by stopping eating out. It is true that Lamictal is weight neutral. I then was put on Abilify and my weight went up to 242 in a very short period of time. In fact, I had gained 30 lbs in 2 months time. I did start on an aggressive weight loss program where they prepared your food daily and had daily exercise programs in their facility. I lost over 50 lbs to drop down to 185. I was happy. But I was injured, and without changing my diet, I had to stop exercising. I gained back all I lost and then some in 2 months. I then had my doctor take me off of the Abilify and put me back on Geodon, except taking it only at night. I lost 12 lbs in less than 3 weeks of being on it. I didn't change a thing. It just came off. However, I'm now being taken off of Geodon because of adverse effects that didn't happen the first time I was on it, and being put back on Abilify for the next week until my next doctor appointment. I have no idea what drugs are out there that are as weight neutral as Lamictal or weight friendly as Geodon. It is true that vanity does affect our moods. I don't want to weigh or look like this for the rest of my life. It depresses me to think that.

I know it's been a year since your post. I also have ptsd, anxiety, & mood disorder.
I want to go on Geodon.
*** What dose helped you lose weight & helped with stable mood? ***
I've gained weight from prior meds & am hoping Geodon can help me.
Thank you so much. I see my doc in 5 days.

I been on stuff resperidone impossible to lose much weight. I do food combining which helps and only eat some carbs in mourning and afternoon if I eat them in evening no snacking. Getting sun light helps with weight a little. Sun also helps with recharging. I find you get easier drained when on the drug so taking things like rescue remedy for anxious with chamomile and some homeothaohy stuff called calms helps. Exercise also helps anxious. I do find being on lower dose of resperidone 3/4 seems easier for weight and balance. Yoga outside on gras helps balance a bit and workout out at night before taking the drug when I have more energy helps. I also do some breathing meditation aromatherapy like lavender. Melatonin sometimes a higher does to sleep sometimes and I juice beets carrots celery kale ginger and eat a lot of garlic and fresh fruits and veggies snot much bread. I eat often smaller time stinks the eight stays down a bit like that.

I have been really struggling with my weight over these past 4-5 years. I am at an all time highest weight of 190.6 lbs and I'm 5'5. I've lost 20 lbs on two different occasions but I can't seem to ever lose more than 20 lbs nor can I maintain that lifestyle indefinitely. I'm always hungry and crave sweets too. I always feel totally exhausted and find it almost impossible to get moving. Between my mental health and being menapausal I'm finding it impossible to lose more than 20 lbs and maintain it. I find eating healthy to be very expensive and unaffordable. Plus meal planning overwhelms me and I am not a fan of cooking. I've tried and failed so many times I've just given up and am very discouraged and disgusted with myself. I just don't know what to do. I don't see any hope and it's now also a serious matter with my health & well being. And on top of it all I have no help, support or encouragement. It just seems impossible with Bipolar depression and medication.

Kimberly, I hear you. I've been diagnosed for 18 years now. I put on 50 lbs. with Risperdal. I was off it briefly and lost 30 lbs. in 3 month. Then put on Olanzipine. Gained all 30 lbs right back and then some. The doctor thought I was gaining too much and switched me to Abilify. I put on 10 more pounds with it and then stopped. I'm at a hefty 190 lbs. now and 5'2". That makes me technically obese. I try to walk and exercise, but I can tell it's really hard on my joints. My lower back is shot. My current psychiatrist (I've been through four) insists I can lose weight -- "It's just the way your body reacts to the medication". I beg to differ. It seems every time I lose 4 or 5 lbs. my metabolism does a reset and the next morning I'm up at the original weight again. It's driving me crazy! I spent the last three weeks on a trip averaging 10-14 km. of walking/day. Guess what. I haven't lost a pound. And I was careful with my eating. Limited carbs, ate what fruits and veggies I could find, and stuck to my protein plan. I'm hoping that some drug company somewhere comes up with a better drug, because this is ridiculous.

Hi,I just read your posted comment and wonder how you are doing these days with mood,weight gain etc?I am looking for a "buddy" that I can relate to and support.I have Bipolar depression,anxiety and some chronic physical health issues.


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