Ooh. Now I have this new toy, I will probably write in it tediously often.
A common complaint from people taking medication for manic depression is the weight gain. I’m on three “Gainer” medications and, for a while, I outran the extra pounds that were chasing me.
In the past month, I’ve been caught. And pizza has been smeared all over my face.
When I was admitted to hospital in October, I was the lightest I had been in years. Pure manic energy had shaken the meat from my bones. I forgot to eat, forgot to sleep and blubber fizzled away.
Since then, I have gained a grand total of 21lbs. That’s one stone and 7lbs of weight.
I started taken Paroxetine in January. I suspect Paroxetine may be the culprit. It’s an SSRI and, as Crazy Meds lovingly informs us, its side effects are:
The usual for SSRIs – headache, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, sleepiness or insomnia, and diarrhea or constipation, weight gain, loss of libido. Everyone I’ve read on the subject of how long side effects last (Dr. Stephen Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: The Prescriber’s Guide, Dr. Diamond’s Instant Psychopharmacology, Dr. Drummond’s The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs , Preston et al.’s Consumer’s Guide To Psychiatric Drugs) agrees that everything but the weight gain and loss of libido usually goes away within a couple of weeks. Paxil is notorious for having the worst impact on your libido of all SSRIs.
Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it.
It’s been since January that I have gained a ton of weight. Christmas didn’t add a pound to my frame and I came home from Belfast feeling especially smug as people struggled with their belts and picked their teeth with turkey bones.
My smugness has dissolved. I also have PCOS which makes it difficult for me to lose weight in the first place, due to insulin resistance. The most successful weight loss plan I ever followed was The Atkins Diet. It works on people with PCOS as it has a low-carb, no-sugar philosophy.
However, because I now take Lithium, I can’t follow the Atkins diet as I may get kidney failure. Lithium hits your kidneys hard, as does the Atkins Diet.
So, what to do? Technically, I should be exercising my arse off. But you have no idea how hard that is when you take Seroquel. I feel drugged all day. The mists don’t begin to disperse until I’m taking my next dose.
I could go on a diet, but nothing works for me but Atkins. I’ve been eating a lot less recently, but actually gained 4lbs instead of losing them.
I could resort to my old, dear friend, Bulimia. I suffered from bulimia for seven years. It’s only been fairly recently I have got a handle on it. I had a big scare when I choked, went unconscious on the bathroom floor and came to with blood streaming down my nose. It’s fear, rather than sense, that is stifling my vanity.
For the time being, I am trying to be reasonable. It’s more important for me to be stable and used to my medication than it is for me to be thin. And when I feel better, I will start exercising again and hopefully lose weight. I am not dangerously overweight by any means. It’s vanity more than health that makes me sad when I feel the spare tyre around my waist.
I will maintain a sensible outlook for now. It is so very tempting to flush all the medication down the toilet and live like a “Normal Person”. However, I know the consequences of my being untreated. My choices are be fat or be dead.
I’m going to congratulate myself for my logic by ordering a pizza.