Bipolar Meds and Weight Gain

I won't mention staying fit for your spouse after this, but I do want to say to something to those who are upset about what I have said.

I, too, was outraged about a man telling a woman she should lose weight.  How could he?  Why doesn't he love her the way she is?  Kick him to the curb!  And as I said, my marriage counselor convinced me that appearance is very important to most men, I'm sure not all, like not every man chooses to be successful financially. 

So I did some research on the internet, and found forums where men were pouring out their hearts anonomously about their wives or girlfriends weight gain.  Yes, there were a lot of outraged and angry responses to their comments.  But I realized one common factor among the angry responders.  They were ALL women.  I've noticed that commonality on my blog as well. 

The one unfortunate problem with this is...being bipolar, and it is SO FREAKING UNFAIR!!  I took weight gainers for ten years and went up and down on the scale for years.  When I was cleaning out my closet, I found I have clothes in all ranges of sizes.  I would wake up in the morning and be so hungry that I would go to a fast food restaurant, order something, and literally cound not even wait until I got home to eat it.  I had to tear into the bag on my way home and start scarfing it down. 

I realized the big change in my appetite when my husband said I was going to order a pancake breakfast plus an extra breakfast from room service at the hotel every morning when we go on vacation.  He used to think it was funny.  And I realized "Wow, that used to be my life."  I had forgotten how hungry I used to be when I woke up.  It was so annoying waiting for room service to get there while I starved.   

I thought about it, and Catherine Zeta Jones is bipolar, yet she hasn't gained any weight.  I finally refused to take the weight gainers last year and told my doctor to find something that didn't cause weight gain, that was the #1 side effect I wouldn't put up with, and he did it.  So it can be done.  I'm not saying it's easy, everything is always trial and error, but it can be done. 

If drug companies can do all of these great things, why can't they make more bipolar medications that don't cause weight gain?  But now that I know that I don't HAVE to put up with it, I wish more people knew they don't have to, either. 


Gledwood said...

One reason I gave up antipsychotics (apart from the fact that I actually have FEWER symptoms off them than on them ~ figure that out, if you will) is that they make me look really fat in the face, which doesn't suit me at all. Also I could do without the spare tyre round my midriff. People think I'm not that fat just because I don't wobble down the street like a blobbery blancmange, but I'm too fat for ME. So whenever I feel hungry for desert I have to go without. Whenever I feel hungry and eat I beat myself up. It's a terrible situation. And all brought on by those FUCKING DRUGS!

PS would you consider coming off your meds all together? How bad was your bipolar and was it mostly manic or depressive or mixed or what?

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that KS and her husband can be honest with each other about their needs, and moreso that they work towards continuing to fulfill each others' needs, even if some of those needs have to do with physical looks. I'm not sure why everyone's so hung up on physical looks - while I would agree that placing too much emphasis on looks and the detail of looks is shallow, things like weight are a very primal sign of a being's health condition. Not saying that everyone who is overweight is not healthy, but just that it's a basic sign. And being extremely overweight often leads to many health problems (conversely, a lot of health problems also cause extreme overweightedness.) I don't care what anyone says about personality, health is incredibly important to all creatures on this planet. Secondly, we women ourselves dictate to each other how we should look and dress. Just look at TV, magazines, and stores. It's a complete double standard to say that men aren't allowed to be pleased by attractiveness either. Women know full well that looking good (everyone's own definition) is the key to attracting a mate, why would you let that all go once you have him/her? And finally, ladies, don't you also care about how your men look? Who out there loves it when men get completely overweight and can't see their toes? I find it hard to believe that women care less about looks than men. I think it's all nicey nicey to say that you care about someone's personality. I completely agree with that. But don't be naive and think that people will believe your argument that that's all that should matter, when even nature and biology tell us that certain health standards are paramount for the continuation of life for all creatures. KS - I applaud you for being incredibly honest on your blog and also not backing down on what you think is important.

kasey said...

I agree about the keeping up with yourself - for your spouse as well as you. For me anyway, I am happier when I'm fit and getting myself beautified and when I'm happier and more confident I am sure I am more pleasant to be around :) Of course, being single at the moment maybe I should be quiet!

KansasSunflower said...

Gledwood - exactly. It was the antipsychotics that were the weight gainers! But my doctor did find one that worked that didn't cause weight gain.

Would I consider coming off of the drugs, hmm. My bipolar is "bipolar disorder unspecified", which I think is a lesser form than 1 and 2. But it's the depressions that are so scary and horrible! So if the highs, however slight, make my lows that much lower, then yes, I'll take my medication. I hate it, but, I don't feel like I have a choice. I might not be here without it, you know?

KansasSunflower said...

Anon - thank you! : ) I think you said it much better than I did!

KansasSunflower said...

Kasey - I agree. I am MUCH happier now that I'm more fit and feel more attractive and I hadn't considered it, but you're right, I think I'm probably more pleasant to be around, too! You know what I've found interesting is that even more women want to be my friend now and they make more comments than men do about my appearance, WAY more. You're single - have the time of your life! : )

Josh Barron said...

Gaining weight out of solving or treating a certain condition can be a piss-off consequence. I am glad to hear that you are starting to gain new insight now. Just a few months ago, I took a bipolar disorder test from the internet and it said that I have Bipolar I. I guess I need all the help to adjusting that I can get. So thanks for your 2 cents over there.

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