Antipsychotic Medications 
Weight Gain

Are antipsychotic medications the depression help you need while dealing with anxiety disorder? Bad news...There aren't enough good studies to prove it. What's more, one side effect unleashes what you won't be happy with.

They fall into 2 groups...

  • Typical – Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol) are examples of the medication. And,...
  • Atypical – A newer generation around since the 90's. Such as, olanzapine,  quetiapine and aripiprazole. Better recognized as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify.

None are FDA approved for anxiety disorder. Some are, as add-ons, to help for treatment resistant depression.

With that said,...

Antipsychotic medications FDA-approved for this kind of depression are...

  • Aripiprazole – Abilify.
  • Quetiapine - Seroquel ER (extended release).
  • Olanzapine and fluoxetine – Symbyax - Zyprexa and Prozac combined.

For off-label use,  risperidone (Risperdal) is known to be prescribed for post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Quetiapine (Seroquel) for generalized anxiety disorder.

Antipsychotic medications and hunger

Taking these meds makes you very hungry.  Weight gain is almost impossible to avoid. Obesity can follow and your life cut short. Obesity-related problems will see to that.

There is high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease to deal with. Even,...

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) where you can't breathe properly. Gets worse over time.
  • Sleep apnea – Breathing stops while you sleep. No oxygen gets to your brain...not a good thing.
  • Pseudotumor cerebri - Left untreated, can lead to blindness.
  • Cancer – Colon cancer, for both men and women. Colorectal and prostrate cancer in men. Endometrial, gallbladder and breast cancer in women. Just to name a few.

Or,...

You can suffer unbearable pain because of...

  • Gallstones.
  • Gout.
  • Swelling.

Your self-respect takes a beating, too. You may feel...

  • Demoralized.
  • Physically uncomfortable. 
  • Hurt from putdowns about your size.

The medication may be what you need. But, how will you control weight gain? With help from others who'll supply you with...

Education and supervision

A well-rounded weight management program gives you the know-how to handle both diet and exercise.

Photo, courtesy of Arya Ziai  under CC BY

Impressive counseling focuses on you. The doctor, nutritionist, physical trainer listens and adjusts the program so it blends in with...

  • Your needs.
  • Your values.
  • Your preferences.

There can be disagreements. And, bargaining. But, the trade-off must sit well with you. Or, you'll be mad enough to sabotage the process.

Diet advice

Atypical antipsychotic medications mess with your metabolism. Blood sugar levels can go haywire and you'll feel awful.  A dietician or nutritionist, familiar with symptoms of diabetes, can show you how to watch for signs.

You'll also learn about...

  • Controlled fasting...when and when not eat. 
  • High fat foods to keep out of your home, work and school. 
  • Making grocery lists so you can control impulse buying.
  • Setting easy-to-reach goals. Such as, going snack-free for 1,  2, or 3 days a week.

And, coached on finding foods which don't contribute to weight gain...but you love to eat.

Check out, to get you started, on 4 fat-finding super nutrients to outsmart diabetes.

Exercise

The idea is to burn energy instead of doing what stores fat. Check out why clinical depression doesn't make it easy for you to get-up-and-go.

Are you afraid to fail? Not sure how to go about it?

The worthy fitness instructor understands your pain. And, believes many, brief sessions help you stick with the program. The teacher who shows you how to keep glucose levels balanced gives you a tool you can use for life. As soon as you feel 'off', you'll know what to do.

Classes, with others who have the same goals, can be fun and you won't see the time fly by. They can reassure and boost your confidence. Ask the trainer to include you in group sessions. Or, point out where you can team up with others.

Your behavior

Structure helps you solve problems faster while dealing with weight gain caused by antipsychotic medications. 

You can get advice on how to...

  • Keep track of what you do. So you see progress. 
  • Control impulses.
  • Manage stress – Learn how here. 
  • Find social support.

Once learned, you'll handle almost any problem you come across.




Antipsychotic medications change, over time, brain signals telling you you've eaten enough. Your morale can suffer terribly. But, the weight management program you believe you can handle, given by advisers who care, is priceless for your self-esteem.



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