Have You Gained Weight While on SSRI Medications?
You aren’t alone. I’ve been fighting my weight for years, and it wasn’t until recently, that I acknowledged my 100 pound weight gain was due to the SSRI medications I have been on for almost 18 years.
I have emotionally abused myself. I have looked in the mirror and have asked myself “how could you let yourself get like this?”. Disgusting, fat, cow, ugly, & unlovable are just a few things I have said to myself. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how good I felt about myself 100 pounds ago. I loved clothes, going out, being active with my kids, & trying new things. I often try to remember how good it felt to feel pretty. I miss those days.
When I started to gain weight, I would express concern to my doctor. I wasn’t doing anything differently than I normally did. I ate the same & was active. I started dieting. At first I could lose a little, but it was very slow going. I would eventually give up because I wasn’t seeing results.
My doctor ordered bloodwork to make sure there weren’t any underlying health problems. Everything was always fine. He suggested that my weight gain was most likely due to my anxiety medication. We have changed medications, lowered my dosage, & even tried going off medication completely at one time.
The Motivation I Needed – Or So I Thought
I finally got some very exciting news that I knew would be the motivation I needed to lose my excess pounds. My son and his amazing girlfriend are getting married! I was so thrilled with this news and couldn’t wait to get started on my weight loss journey. I had about 10 months to lose weight and I set a reasonable goal of losing 70 pounds.
I started limiting my food intake and kept track of calories. I allowed myself one cheat meal a week. I actually started working out consistently and did great for the first two months. The scale wasn’t moving as rapidly as I would have liked. I did notice my pants fitting a tiny bit better, though. As I was looking online for dresses for the wedding, I found the perfect one for me. It was a good price so I decided I was going to order it, and I was going to get the size I wanted to be on their wedding day.
Days passed and the scale wasn’t budging. I was working very hard and was getting extremely frustrated. Eventually I broke down and gave up, just like I always did. I was so disappointed in myself and there was a constant battle in my head. I was telling myself I had to lose weight because I wanted to look stunning at the wedding, but on the other hand, I was beginning to believe I was fighting a losing battle.
Finding motivation to get back on a diet seemed next to impossible. My brother was telling me he has had success following a low carb diet. I felt desperate and I would have tried anything. I went all in and stuck to eating less than 20 carbs per day. I immediately lost a lot of water weight but at that point, I didn’t care what I lost, as long as the scale was moving in the right direction.
Low carb seemed to be working but I noticed I was feeling very down and easily agitated. My mood was not good, so I was about to make a doctor appointment. My husband found something on the internet that we found very interesting. It suggested that a low carb diet can cause depression to worsen by somehow affecting the SSRI in the brain. Although I don’t believe everything I read on the web, this made sense to me so I added carbs back into my diet. That definitely elevated my mood back to the way it was. I came to the conclusion that low carb dieting was not the route for me to take. I will definitely be doing more researched on this topic and sharing it in a future post.
As time passed and I wasn’t any closer to my weight loss goal, I began to panic. I would try again, only to fail again. I gave up on my perfect dress in the smaller size and began searching for another dress.
The wedding day was quickly approaching. As I was ordering a different dress, in the size I was working so hard to get out of, I realized I had failed once again.
It is now July 5th and my son is getting married in nine days. I have run out of time to lose weight. I am very upset with myself, but for now, I can’t think about that. I am focusing on the fact that this is a very special day for our family. I am fighting my emotions and trying to convince myself that my family and friends will love me, no matter what size I am, or what size my dress is on that special day.
(to be continued)