Psychiatric medication can really put on the kilos. We might need meds like antidepressants, mood stabilisers and antipsychotics but many of them are ‘weight positive’. This can sometimes involve both a slowing down of the metabolism and an increase in hunger.
As well as our meds causing weight gain side effects, many symptoms of mental illness lead you to binge or eat really poorly. Then, we also eat cheap fatty meals because some of us have low incomes as a result of discrimination in employment as well as very slow approvals or total ineligibility for support through the DSP and/or NDIS.
So the odds of being dangerously obese are sadly stacked against us. This could lead to heart disease, diabeties, high blood pressure and other serious physical health issues. Body dysmorphia, a poor self-image and low self-confidence might also occur from the weight gain.
A few diets that have worked for me have involved weight loss medication, portion control by throwing away 25% of anything I ate or drunk and drinking a large glass of water before every meal. These diets all lead to considerable weight loss but only with short-term results. So I took a rather drastic step and got a gastric sleeve.
Experiences vary and there are many stories about the different surgeries on instagram, Facebook and reddit. For me though, removing 75% of my stomach and stapling it up like a sleeve has helped me lose 20kg in 2 months. I am still not down to my the weight I was before my first episode of psychosis but am on the ‘loser’s bench’ and leaving a lot of the weight from meds behind.
By the Mad Magpie.
Consult your GP and a proper bariatric dietitian before considering weight loss surgery.