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I have gained 81 pounds in 3 years. Help!!!


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#1 veralucia

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 01:52 AM

Hi everyone,
How do I start? Well, first I want to say that I really liked the warm welcome I got from the forum admin. and that to let everyone know that I'm new. I've been here before, but stopped being part of these forums as I lost interest for some time. Anyways, I would like to say that I've been through almost every part of nervous difficulty. 3 years ago I got diagnosed with having severe clinical depression and I was also labelled as having Generalized Anxiety disorder. I have to say that those were the worst days of my life, but although I can think of so many reasons why not to live I was strong and went on despite how desperate I was. Especially because the pain and the loss of control was so enormous I felt that I was not myself but a robot that was malfunctioned. It was then that I found God and I realized how little we are compared to who created us. I also knew that I could never again let go of that Divine Creator. Anyways, after being on a waiting list and suffering 3 months of pure agony, I finally got to see a psychiatrist. I have to say that he was the best doctor I ever saw because he gave me Paxil and even though it still took two months to be completely well, he saved me from myself. Then after 1 year on the medication, I began to look in the mirror and see how enormous I had become. It was difficult to accept that I was now a fat woman, yet I never knew how fat I would yet become. I could accept that the doctor had done his best but it was hard for me to accept that I was now fat. So I asked my doctor to be switched to another anti-depressant because I believed that they all worked the same way. No way it didn't. I went through such a big emotional roller coaster I almost committed suicide yet I was determined to be thin and I was on Effexor, but the happiness never felt as great as when I had been on Paxil, however, because I suddenly had such a great difficulty being calm I had now acquired a new symptom which was temper, really bad temper to the point of hitting my boyfriend and badly, so I was then going back to the doctor which was now my family doctor as the old one had retired and I was prescribed now an anti-psychotic called Zyprexa. Here I was enjoying the newly acquired thinness from the Effexor when suddenly I am put on another drug that causes weight gain. If I thought Paxil was bad, oh, was I wrong. Zyprexa alone made all the effects of Effexor go away and I gained so much more weight that since I first got depressed I gained about 81 pounds. Believe it, it happened and I'm p***** off, because now the doctors tell me I can't do anything about it but cut my eating by half. Get real! I was such a slim woman that nothing I ate made me gain weight until I started taking medications. I finally got fed up for sure that now I cry, not of depression, but of not being able to fit into any clothes that I like. I thank God still that it's only 81 pounds, but what is easy about looking in the mirror and seeing someone that doesn't look like you anymore. But anyways, that is why I'm really here now. I want to find out if Wellbutrin is any good, because although I have not been depressed since I got my back injured in May, I still get symptoms of hostility which I believe is controlled by the dopamine chemical in your brain and I have now some kind of nerve pain in my back and down my legs. I have also tried pain killers for the back pain, but nothing has helped except for Amitriptyline (ELAVIL), Paxil no longer works for me, Zyprexa helps but puts me in a deep sleep, and Effexor I haven't tried because I'm afraid of it. However, the Elavil has also signs of causing extreme weight gain, so I don't want it any more. Thefore, I would like to know what other people who have difficulty keeping control of their temper experienced taking Wellbutrin.
Thank you!

#2 Guest_Moonheart_*

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 03:23 AM

Hi and :hearts:

I'll be able to write more tomorrow, but I did want to briefly say that anger and hostility CAN be a side-effect of Wellbutrin. It's very common. There is a Wellbutrin room that has alot of information and experiences of Wellbutrin users and that can help you quite a bit. Also, I am sure others will come along and comment. I have had alot of success with WB helping my depression, but the hostility and anger is getting worse and worse again, (I took it once before), and it's getting to the point that it is intolerable in combination with my pain medication. I have three children and hostility is inexcusable with them. Also, I may be backwards, but I've gained 15-20 lbs since starting WB, in just two months. I lack an appetite completely and almost never eat, and my body just doesn't respond well to that, although you'd think eventually it would give up and lose. Sigh.... :(

I'll look forward to getting to know you and I'll write more later. Take care of yourself.

Moon :bump:

#3 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 11:11 AM

I was determined to be thin and I was on Effexor

Forgive me for laughing at this, but I gained 60lb in 9 mo on Effexor.  Some people told me that I would have gained it anyway being depressed, but I know that my physiology changed a lot on meds.  I have been on Wellbutrin and did not have any bad side effects.  Same with BusPar and a sleep drug that readjusts brain chemistry for the better.  There is someone on the boards who lost weight on Effexor, but it all effects people in different ways.

The idea of cutting your eating in half does not add up.  Have you read Susan Powter's books from the early 90s?  If you are a bigger person, it takes more fuel to keep you going.  But you have to consume fuel that gets converted to energy, not stored as fat.  And if your physiology has been changed, that may not be possible right now.  So cutting food intake alone is just going to spike cravings and drive you nuts till you DO eat.

I, for one, do not "feel better" as a fat person.  No matter what anxieties get dulled down, whatever depressions lifted, I cannot ignore that my clothes do not fit, my energy is down, my body feels crammed into bus seats, and I do not get the attention that makes me feel alive and feminine.  There are ways that we can treat ourselves well as we lose weight, but if there are active ways to boost your mood (activities you love, etc.), you are just going to have to persue those and hope that having enthusiasm for life will bring better vibes and help you lessen the need for high dosages.

I recognize that sometimes we just plain need some chemical assistance to get out of the fog.  And there are some illnesses that are not combatible with "common sense" and talk therapy.  But when the meds we are on create new stressors, we now have a bigger fight ahead.  I know exactly where you are coming from.

#4 jillivinilly

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 01:45 PM

Weight gain was one of the syptoms of depression for me. I gained weight along with some other self destructive behavior and irrational thinking which lead me to my first therapy appointment.

I weigh now more than I did when I was 9 months pregnant. Gross.

Im sure the meds helped the weight "settle in". And I tried to go off meds at one time for the very reason that I felt I had to loose weight. Quitting the meds sent me in a downward spiral and I eventually went back on my meds and have felt much better. I am still depressed by my weight. Big time. I've gained two clothing sizes since depression struck about 5 years ago. I have wardrobes in three sizes.

I have lost and gained so many times it is getting ridiculous. (And hard on my body too) The last time I lost enough to fit in the "real" size clothes of me was 3 1/2 years ago.

By the way, my pdoc added prozac to my wellbutrin to combat the aggressive and irritable feelings wellbutrin cause. WB worked well for my depression but put me on edge. So the prozac acts as a calming agent for the WB. It works pretty well for me. I also take a mood stabilizer. Too many meds probably...but the alternative isn't good either.

I have a HORRIBLE time making myself excercise. When I go to the gym there is no doubt I feel much, much better. But there are times when I can't make myself go. Laziness, I guess. And no self-disipline.

Geez, this topic is making me feel awful. I better close for now. Take Care, Jill
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#5 veralucia

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 12:24 AM

Hi,
I'm so glad I posted and had the courage to talk about my situation. It feels good to talk to others like me, and I prefer to talk to women and not men, because it makes me understand better that this is not just me but a whole lot of other women. The reason I say, not men, is because although I believe men also have problems with weight and self-esteem problems relating to that, is that I believe us women have more expectations put on us than men. Like you must all know, the media. Everything on tv has to do with being thin, so much it is a problem that I can't help the fact that I feel horrible. And then I remember the days I was thin and I miss it. However, if there are any men out there that disagree with me, I won't mind hearing about it. I am willing to hear what men have to say too, although I feel that it's different. My boyfriend of two years is also overweight and he tells me "Honey, don't worry, I love you whether your thin or fat" and I'm sure he is tired of me lamenting myself, but it actually makes me upset that he says that because I don't really believe it when I see him watching shows with women naked in them. And of course, they are all thin. That just puts a damper on things for us and I have to admit that I almost broke up with him for that. I have to forgive as I know that we are not perfect but when we women have body image problems, I believe it just makes things worse.
I really loved your responses, and I am taking everything that was said into account, as I have started taking the wellbutrin and I want to know what to expect so I'm not left in the dark. I read from your comments that Wellbutrin causes aggression and hostility in some and so I have to admit that I'm a little scared, but that is what happened to me with the Effexor and some people feel fine, so I agree now that it depends on who you are. I can say that I truly understand you guys and I'm thankful for your kindness and support. I will try to learn to live with this if it has to be that way. In the meantime I am hoping that I can lose at least a little bit of weight and then I won't feel so heavy. I find the heaviness a problem too and so it makes me so lacking in energy which once I had so much of. I guess when we fall ill, we have to just look back and remember the good times and just hope that one day we'll be well again. In my condition, because it's relating to the fracture in my spine, the doctors have little hope for me except taking pills as surgery would be a risky thing. And the bone that is crushed is putting pressure on my nerves. Actually, although this problem with my back is a new diagnosis, I believe the real damage was done when my ex-husband 3 years ago slammed me against a door knob. I used to be abused, but that is the thing of the past and I hope that although he was horrible to me that maybe he is good to his new g/f as I have moved on and I'm with a great guy now. Anyways, I'm rambling on. I do that too much.
Take care. I hope to hear from you all again. And hang in there too Jill, I've been through a lot of different sized clothes too in the last little while. I hope that things get better for you. I too hate the constant changes in weight. I totally can relate to you.
Oh, and I forgot. I haven't actually read any books on weight loss yet although I probably will be doing that too soon.

#6 Guest_I am Cat_*

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 12:47 AM

....Geez, this topic is making me feel awful....

((((((Jill)))))
Well, I'd thought I might move this to "Eating Disorders", but after reading it, found out I'd have to remove half of it, due to triggers! LOL!  Yeah, Jill, it SHOULD make you feel awful... it makes us ALL feel awful... I'm barely in my seat, I feel so awful reading it... :(
I'm triggered left and right by it... *sigh*, but here goes...
First of all... ((((((Vera)))))), I feel for you honey, I do :hearts:  It's never easy gaining weight... whether it's a little, or a lot... because even getting a few pounds off is torture, I can only imagine getting a lot off.  I won't mention numbers because they ARE triggering and we don't normally allow them here.  If this thread was in my Eating disorders room... well, I would have axed those numbers already! LOL!! :bump:
People like me read those numbers and they're immediately on their guard thinking they need to lose those pounds for themselves... they take on those feelings... but enough about that.
Your pain is evident, and I'll pass over mine for now....

Meds are vicious sometimes... I hear you mention Zyprexa... Zyprexa, though an excellent med for what it's MADE to combat, is pure EVIL when it comes to weight gain!  I, myself gained a LOT of weight in just three short weeks on it, and refused, I mean, flat out refused to stay on it.  I went to my doctor and MADE him take me off it!  LOL!  and he did.  He had no choice.  I was going off it.  I'm an anorexic for goodness sakes... you can't just "sneak" me that med and expect me to lie down and take it afterall, can you?

I don't THINK so.

There comes a point where your mental health WILL suffer when you've gained enough weight to affect your mental well being... that's the point where you go to your doctor and you demand that they find another avenue for your meds... something that works better for YOU... something ELSE.  That's what I think.

I've done that, and it works.  Eventually.  Because my mental well being is in direct correlation with my weight.  It just is.

I wish you luck with Wellbutrin.  It IS good for losing weight, that's for sure.  (and pretty good for your love life too :;): )

wishing you love and laughter,
Cat


#7 Sheepwoman

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:54 AM

vera,
I never experienced weight gain with any of the stabilizers, antidepressants or lithium. Then, with a new pdoc and on the verge of having a major manic episode, I was introduced to zyprexa. It worked to get me back to earth and to sleep. I saw what you gained in 3 years, I gained more than that in 5-6 months! Nothing I could do would take that weight off. I could look at a picture of food and gain weight! I used to be thin, too. The zyprexa is now a PRN med since I can recognize the warning signs before I go manic. I am currently on 2 mood stabilizers and 2 ADs. Since stopping the zyprexa, I began losing weight. After consulting with a dietician and changing my eating patterns and what I eat, I am losing the excess weight at a reasonable rate. Plus I am very active physically which also helps. I refuse to buy any new clothes until I can fit into some of my "thinner" ones (I only have two pair of jeans and several t-shirts plus sweats that I can wear). I don't work anymore so "buiness wear" is not a problem

I understand that self-image and perception of how we look. I am certain with the change to Wellbutrin will help you with your weight. If you are currently taking zyprexa, ask your pdoc for an alternative med. I know the excess weight causes a lot of physical problems. Your doc may want to really consider the health issues.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#8 Deet

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 11:30 AM

Hi Vera,

I lost about 15 lbs from my depression, between effexor and lexapro I've gained 20 lbs since.  I started Wellbutrin with lexapro because lex alone was'nt cutting the depression; I also hoped it might help me shed some pounds again.
Good news is the WB helps w/ depression and didn't increase my anxiety, bad news is I've still had to buy bigger pants. :p
MOM!!! Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!!!

DX: Major depression/general anxiety
Rx's: Effexor, Lexapro, Lex/Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin, Buspar/Wellbutrin, Zoloft/Wellbutrin, Stablon, Cymbalta, Remeron, Nuvigil, and amoxapine in various combinations. Oh, and Xanax and trazodone from time to time.

#9 veralucia

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:04 PM

wow, I have to say I wasn't expecting to get so many responses, but I'm happy for that and I'm grateful for all your help. I see that this weight issue is really an issue with many people on anti-depressants. I personally think that instead of these companies trying to upgrade their current ones, they should research more into getting anti-depressants that can have weight loss as a side effect rather than weight gain. Currently I have to admit that the Wellbutrin is a little bit difficult for me to handle but after just 2 doses I'm not experiencing any anger, it has actually calmed me down, but I remember that on the first dose I got dizzy, and I couldn't sleep and when I tried to have a nap I had a hard time closing my eyelids and when I succeeded because I was tired, I felt my eyelids tremor which is really weird, I also experienced some muscle twitching, and the worst were the vivid dreams I got. It was a truly scary experience as I had one of those really bad nightmares and it felt so real that I wanted to wake up after. But today it hasn't been too bad except that I've had some buzzing in my ears and it's truly felt weird. I believe it's just an annoyance and I try to ignore it. I truly hope it goes away. The worst part is that I have a bad cold now, and my ears feel plugged so with the buzzing it really makes things worse, but I still feel that Wellbutrin will be good for me as Effexor was horrible. I really hope that I can shed some pounds and then I can go back to shop in a regular store. I don't care if I still have to wear a large. It's still better than an XL. I sure hope I don't go as high as an XXL. That would really be terrible. I forgot to mention to, I'm only 5"3 and that is not too short but it's short anyways so it totally makes gaining weight a whole lot harder because if you are that small you don't need that much weight.
Thank you again. I'll let you know if the Wellbutrin begins to give me some weight loss.

#10 Sheepwoman

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 12:11 PM

vera,
You may  be having some side effects from the WB. If they continue or get worse, let your pdoc know. Also, it will take 4-6 weeks for WB to really begin to act on your mood. I was only on WB for a couple of months and it didn't work for me. I was still on zyprexa at the time, so i experienced no weight loss. It did curb my appetite a little which I think that's how it affects your weight.

I think the issue with the drug manufacturers is to give relief for people with mental illnesses not look at the weight gain or other side effects  (unless the effects are really detrimental). Not everyone will suffer from side effects or weight gain. Like I didn't gain weight from any of my previous or current meds until I started zyprexa. I'm 3" or so taller than you but I am probably much heavier. I have no idea what size I actually wear. lol Since I've began to lose weight, my blood pressure has gone back to the normal range. My joints don't hurt as bad, either. My immune system is way down because I am not in contact with many people. My biggest fear is catching a cold because it will blossom into something worse. I hope your cold gets better soon.

You might consider what you eat during the day. If you eat chips, cookies, etc, replace them with fruit or veggies. That's partly what I did. I don't eat any snack foods at all (I was a junk food junkie). Since talking to the dietician, I am eating better which is helping with the weight loss. Sure, I have the cravings for junk. I have an occasional candy bar or some ice cream. The hard thing for me is eating 3 meals/day. I am one of those who eats once a day. Old habits are hard to break.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

It is not the life I lived; but the life I leave behind. Posted Image
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace




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