In the past 16 years, I have been on a lot of different medications – all of which have affected me differently. Some caused me to gain weight due to feeling hungry all the time and overeating, sometimes they caused me to retain water, and who knows what triggered weight gain with some of the others.
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I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a wildly embarrassing acute manic episode. I did it all. I claimed to be Jesus. I punched a friend, who I thought was the devil. I got arrested in the lobby of my freshman dormitory. I stripped off all my clothes and demanded the police come look at my naked body as proof of my divinity. And this was all during orientation week of my very first college semester. You would think there could be nothing worse, and that after such an episode, I would go to any lengths to stay stable and sane. But it’s more complicated than that.
We often hear people speak of the “chicken or the egg” theory. Which came first? The same can be asked of which comes first in people that are both overweight and depressed. Which came first? I know that I was overweight as a child. Was I depressed as I child? I don’t necessarily think so, but I am both depressed and overweight as an adult.
I hear about this so much, people hate the weight gain side effects of medication. I will be honest with you, I hate it too. However, I have learned the hard way. The most impulsive and manic thing I have ever done is get liposuction after gaining 36lbs from medication. I charged it on three credit cards. My medications caused increased appetite and not only that I am an emotional eater. Usually, after gorging my meals and heavy snacks, I just end up with eater’s guilt.