This is a personal subject for me, but something I wanted to share here. I’m no stranger to depression and since I was 14 years old, I was on some sort of antidepressant. I’ve tried almost all of them out there over the years. I had no idea that the pills could be contributing to my weight gain. It was never discussed!
In my “Fat History” (About Me Page), I spoke about a revelation I had during a sweat lodge. I got off the pills. For the first time in years I didn’t take anything and I started to lose weight. I lost my 110 pounds—all off pills. Because of the weight loss, and my increased activity, I was HAPPY. All the time. I had energy. I ate a healthy diet. I was so active, I rarely sat still to even watch TV (just ask Michael—it drives him nuts that I can’t sit still for one TV show :)). I didn’t need pills! I was convinced that exercise had cured my depression. And it really had!
Last year was a hard one for me, however. There were a lot of changes in my life; new relationship, insecurities, job changes, financial changes, friendship changes, and finally a new move. All of these things overwhelmed me at one point (last March). I found that I wasn’t suffering from depression BUT I was having horrible episodes of intense, crippling anxiety. I was reluctant to take any pills—exercise had worked for me—but exercise wasn’t working for the anxiety like it did for the depression.
I spoke to my doctor (who like most HMO’s is very quick to prescribe something instead of try to fix something). I was prescribed Celexa. I was told it was similar to one I had taken in the past. I took Celexa for about 9 months or so. And I gained 15 pounds.
After losing 110 pounds, I was absolutely devastated to gain 15 back. And the worst part? I WAS STILL DOING ALL THE SAME THINGS I DID BEFORE. I still worked out like a fiend. I still watched what I ate.
I read a fantastic article about reversing the effects of antidepressant weight gain. Check it out here: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22189/96350-reversing-antidepressant-weight-gain/.
One part of the article really caught my eye: “Some animal studies focusing on drugs like Zyprexa that cause substantial weight gain suggest that the drug interferes with other brain chemicals such as histamine or a sub-group of serotonin-containing cells, thereby promoting hunger.” That’s how I felt! All last year I was always hungry. I thought perhaps this new hunger (and insatiable hunger to boot) was because of my new running program. I started researching “weight gain while training” and found that other people had similar issues. But I was still kind of baffled as to why I was gaining so much.
I asked my doctor if I could be referred to a nutritionist to see if there was something I could do. She refused. She said that since I wasn’t obese (anymore) and not diabetic, insurance wouldn’t cover it. What? I’m still frustrated about this and STILL haven’t seen the nutritionist.
Since I was refused the nutritionist, I started to think that maybe it was the pills? I decided to stop taking them. The article states: “Weight gain ranged between fifteen and forty pounds for those on antidepressants and between seventy-five and 125 pounds for those on mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotic drugs.”
Here’s a picture of me on New Year’s Eve. Now that I’ve started losing the weight, I can REALLY see that 15 pounds.
Since I’ve stopped taking the pills, I’ve lost 3 pounds. I’m pretty happy about that. I’m a work in progress. My goal is to lose those 15 pounds I gained last year. I’m doing everything right. Now it’s time for my body to realize that and catch up!