Hello I'm Hannah. I have Bipolar 2

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Hi, my name is Hannah Blum, I have Bipolar 2 and I'd like to share my story with you.

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Bipolar Medication Weight Gain Worsened My Depression

The weight gain from bipolar medications actually worsened my bipolar depression, but I did find a solution. Read more on HealthyPlace

The Weight Gain That Comes with Bipolar 2 Disorder

If there is one bipolar medication side effect that irritates me the most, it is the weight gain that comes with bipolar 2 disorder. Weight gain is a common side effect of many bipolar medications. It's important to acknowledge such a relevant topic that for many, including myself, has us questioning treatment.

Gaining Weight from Medication Increased My Bipolar Depression

After my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder, finding a stable routine of medications was a priority. Gaining weight from some of the medications prescribed to me increased my bipolar depression. I remember thinking to myself, "Great! Now I am depressed and obese." The most weight I gained off a single bipolar medication was 35 pounds. You can imagine my anxiety when the number on the scale kept getting higher and higher, even with consistent exercise and dieting. I felt out of control of my mind and body. Gaining weight from bipolar medication caused me to question receiving treatment.

Finding a Way to Medicate and Maintain My Weight

As someone who has had an eating disorder in the past, the bipolar medication side effect of gaining weight is just simply out of the question (Accepting Weight Gain in Bipolar Disorder). I had to find a way to medicate and maintain my weight. I told my doctor that I could not be on any bipolar medication that made me gain a substantial amount of weight. She agreed, and we began to experiment with different routines of medicines. It did not happen overnight, but within a year, I was on medications that allowed me to get back to my healthy weight. Dealing with the side effects of medication is part of living with bipolar 2 disorder. However, I am fortunate that I do not have to sacrifice my happiness and my body to receive effective treatment.

I'd like to hear about your experience with bipolar medications and weight gain. Do a response video and send it into This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Living with the Stigma of Bipolar 2
I Am Bipolar vs. I Have Bipolar

Comments 4

 
Guest - J on Friday, 15 December 2017 07:40

THANK YOU! I am batttling the weight gain now and it is worse than ever. almost 100 pounds in 15 years. We finally found a recipe that works and for stability and i cannot lose a pound, makes me so depressed. Eating disorder doesn't help nor does depression. There is not alot written about solving or dealing with with this problem. More is written about how unfortunate it is psychotropics cause weight gain. Of course even with Medicare part D insurance. Latuda is over $200. a month. So I am now obese and becoming diabetic. Must i chose physical or mental health? frustrated beyond belief

THANK YOU! I am batttling the weight gain now and it is worse than ever. almost 100 pounds in 15 years. We finally found a recipe that works and for stability and i cannot lose a pound, makes me so depressed. Eating disorder doesn't help nor does depression. There is not alot written about solving or dealing with with this problem. More is written about how unfortunate it is psychotropics cause weight gain. Of course even with Medicare part D insurance. Latuda is over $200. a month. So I am now obese and becoming diabetic. Must i chose physical or mental health? frustrated beyond belief
Hannah Blum on Sunday, 21 January 2018 06:52

Hi! Sorry for the delay in response. I hate to hear you are going through this. I struggle with my weight going up and down rapidly from meds as well. I do not believe you have to chose between mental or physical health. I went to my doctor and simply told them I would work towards finding a routine that would allow me to maintain my weight. The fact is when I am overweight and my body is out of sync, I am depressed. My weight still fluctuates and currently I have gained about 20 pounds from a recent adjustment. I have started on a low carb diet, and 30 minutes of exercise a day. The weight seems to be coming off. Keep me posted about how you are doing. Do not give up, and know that you are not alone. Thanks!-Hannah

Hi! Sorry for the delay in response. I hate to hear you are going through this. I struggle with my weight going up and down rapidly from meds as well. I do not believe you have to chose between mental or physical health. I went to my doctor and simply told them I would work towards finding a routine that would allow me to maintain my weight. The fact is when I am overweight and my body is out of sync, I am depressed. My weight still fluctuates and currently I have gained about 20 pounds from a recent adjustment. I have started on a low carb diet, and 30 minutes of exercise a day. The weight seems to be coming off. Keep me posted about how you are doing. Do not give up, and know that you are not alone. Thanks!-Hannah
Eileen Terpstra on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:18

My name is Eileen. Hi Hannah, I am also Bipolar Type II with rapid cycling. I find most doctors are not concerned whether medicines cause you weight gain or not. My very first psychiatrist tried to work with me on this, that was in 1999 and the doctor I have now in 2017/2018. In between no one listened to me. The worst was I was put on lithium and gained 55 lbs in 5 months. I tried my own exercise regimine and dieting but could not lose a pound. My husband and the time was so cruel to me about how he described my body. To me it was in sickness and in health. I didn't eat or drink myself to this weight it was medicine due to my illness. I then joined a personal trainer only gym. I worked out 2 or 3 times a week and ate exactly as the trainers. Still did not lose a pound. Well the medicine didn't work for me - which coming from Canada they don't typically prescribe lithium for Type II anyways so I was able to go off of it and the weight started to just melt away except for the last 10 lbs. But my self esteem had gone down the toilet and I felt like my husband (who is now my ex) broke our marriage vows because it is in sickness and in health. It was not as if he was some buff guy but I was supposed to stay fit. People tend to hold people with a mental illness to a different standard I find. They feel like it is something they can point to and blame where as anyone else that doesn't have a mental illness they are just a regular person and they get a pass. It as hard for me to finally see this but I know it affects my actions daily and I have to double think my actions because they will be looked at differently then someone who is not affected by bipolar.

My name is Eileen. Hi Hannah, I am also Bipolar Type II with rapid cycling. I find most doctors are not concerned whether medicines cause you weight gain or not. My very first psychiatrist tried to work with me on this, that was in 1999 and the doctor I have now in 2017/2018. In between no one listened to me. The worst was I was put on lithium and gained 55 lbs in 5 months. I tried my own exercise regimine and dieting but could not lose a pound. My husband and the time was so cruel to me about how he described my body. To me it was in sickness and in health. I didn't eat or drink myself to this weight it was medicine due to my illness. I then joined a personal trainer only gym. I worked out 2 or 3 times a week and ate exactly as the trainers. Still did not lose a pound. Well the medicine didn't work for me - which coming from Canada they don't typically prescribe lithium for Type II anyways so I was able to go off of it and the weight started to just melt away except for the last 10 lbs. But my self esteem had gone down the toilet and I felt like my husband (who is now my ex) broke our marriage vows because it is in sickness and in health. It was not as if he was some buff guy but I was supposed to stay fit. People tend to hold people with a mental illness to a different standard I find. They feel like it is something they can point to and blame where as anyone else that doesn't have a mental illness they are just a regular person and they get a pass. It as hard for me to finally see this but I know it affects my actions daily and I have to double think my actions because they will be looked at differently then someone who is not affected by bipolar.
Hannah Blum on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:50

Hi Eileen! First off, thank you for being open about something so difficult in your life. I have experience with both weight gain and verbal abuse from a partner. As far as the weight gain, where are you at now? I am curious to see if you have found a routine or regiment that works. Recently I had an adjustment to my meds as well, which caused me to gain 20 pounds. I am working on losing the weight, but I completely relate to you about how frustrating it is. My advice would be to be confident and clear with your doctors. As far as your ex (who I am happy to hear is your ex)-Isn't it sad that we are the ones labeled as flawed? Whereas people who are cruel, such as your ex are labeled as 'normal.' It is obvious he is insecure, and took it out on you, especially being that he could use your mental health as a platform to abuse you. Be thankful you are rid of him, and do not lose hope about finding someone. It is obvious you are empathetic, well spoken and very smart. You are beautiful whether you are underweight or overweight. Please update me on your progress. Sending love. -Hannah

Hi Eileen! First off, thank you for being open about something so difficult in your life. I have experience with both weight gain and verbal abuse from a partner. As far as the weight gain, where are you at now? I am curious to see if you have found a routine or regiment that works. Recently I had an adjustment to my meds as well, which caused me to gain 20 pounds. I am working on losing the weight, but I completely relate to you about how frustrating it is. My advice would be to be confident and clear with your doctors. As far as your ex (who I am happy to hear is your ex)-Isn't it sad that we are the ones labeled as flawed? Whereas people who are cruel, such as your ex are labeled as 'normal.' It is obvious he is insecure, and took it out on you, especially being that he could use your mental health as a platform to abuse you. Be thankful you are rid of him, and do not lose hope about finding someone. It is obvious you are empathetic, well spoken and very smart. You are beautiful whether you are underweight or overweight. Please update me on your progress. Sending love. -Hannah
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