Bipolar Medication and Weight Gain

Part and parcel of taking Bipolar disorder medication is coming to terms with its side effects. Though I am relieved to have a diagnosis for my illness, happy that medication treatment is available, I am not ready and have not given much thought of its side effect weight gain.

The Alarm Rumble LoudlyAlarming

When I find out I was two to three kilograms heavier in the span of two months, unlike the gradual increase from my bouts of emotional-eating, my thought was “I am going to have an obesity problem.” The ‘freak-out’ alarm rumbled loudly. The fear I had was greater than receiving the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. I catastrophized that I would be plagued by obesity complications like heart diseases, Type II diabetes, and stroke. No amount of exercise would reduce my weight. There was no way out.

Keeping on My Toes

With a disturbed mind, I began to watch my diet, and control my bouts of emotional-eating. I would drink water whenever I crave for snacks. Alternatively, I would bargain for a ‘small dose’ of snack after completing some unfavorable tasks that need to be done. More often than I like, I succumb to emotional-eating. To restrain my cravings, I google for the food and fruit to avoid, so that I can snack healthily. It is no easy feat, and I persist with an exercise schedule, jogging two to three times a week, planking and/or situps on a daily basis.

Weight Loss?

I wonder with these efforts in place, will my method be effective? Will I lose my belly fat? Am I focusing on the wrong thing?

Instead of weight gain, to be fit and healthy seems to make more sense. With this thought, I feel less stress and my mealtimes become more enjoyable. I keep up with my exercises and a balance diet in smaller portions (less carbohydrate, more proteins, and take my greens). I have my water bottle with me as a constant reminder to stay hydrated and take less caffeine and sugar beverages.

More importantly, I resolve to keep fit and healthy with a positive mindset.

9 thoughts on “Bipolar Medication and Weight Gain

  1. Hi, sorry to hear about the weight loss and gain stress that you have going on. I noticed this post was a bit short. Maybe you could elaborate on what types of medication you are talking about and the dosage? Focus on being healthy overall. Don’t stress the weight for now.

    1. Hello Allison,
      Thank you for reading my post and your comments.
      I think so too, better to focus on staying healthy than being weighed down by the number of kilograms.
      Regards, Cheng

  2. Hey Cheng,

    I emphasize with your condition. My daughter’s friend suffers from bipolar disorder and my daughter told me the friend had bouts of mood swings so much so that she pushed some friends away. I believe she’s under medication now but I realize that it is a life-long challenge.

    I get what you mean when you talk about side effects. Which medication don’t give you that? And I admire your courage in dealing with it. I totally agree that most important is to stay healthy. Surround yourself with people who care. Don’t waste your energy on issues that don’t bring benefit to you.

    All the best in your journey!

    1. Hello Zailinah,
      Thank you for reading my post.
      And I very much appreciate your sharing.
      My best wishes to your success.
      Regards, Cheng

  3. Cheng,

    My greatest sympathies to you. Bipolar is a very complicated issue. My daughter was diagnosed, and it took her quite a while to find the core medications she required. She also struggled with weight gain, so I just want you to understand things can improve!

    I think chronicling your thoughts and acknowledging your triumphs is a very wise and useful way for you to keep track of what you are doing, how it affects you, and what your ultimate goals are.

    All my best to you as you move forward, and I hope you see positive results soon and often going forward!

    1. Hello Roger,
      Thank you very much for your support and encouragements.
      Managing bipolar is challenging. It takes time and lots of effort to be in the normal mood range.
      My best wishes to your daughter and to you too. Family/care-givers of people with bipolar is on a arduous journey.
      Cheers for more positive outcomes.

  4. Hi Cheng.
    I don’t know so much about this topic, but you got my attention when writing about it. I’ve heard about people that are dependent on medicine to survive the day and I know that lots of them struggle with weight.
    I like the way you deal with your issues, and try to be relaxed about it, but I can imagine it’s not easy.
    I would like to hear more about why you put on weight and what medication you are using. Are there more alternative medicine you can chose from? Have you tried many different medicine? Have you tried more natural approaches?

    Thanks for informing me about this issue.

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