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Health & Fitness : Antidepressants Causing Weight Gain?


April 1, 2013

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Admitting and seeking help for depression is a big step, and often very difficult for some. Taking antidepressants have a stigma all to itself.

An important step on the road to emotional wellness.

Taking the medication can cause many side effects. All too often, those who are seeking help with their depression find themselves faced with another big problem: weight gain.

Studies have shown that up to 25% of people taking antidepressant medications – such as, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. The studies have also determined that weight gain is more likely with long term use (6 months or more).

Some patients reported that the medication has caused cravings and a great appetite. While experts may not be certain about why antidepressants cause weight gain, they do know that switching medications may make a difference.

People have a different chemical make up and react differently to medications. When starting an antidepressant regimen, it’s wise to reevaluate your eating and exercise habits. Start eating healthier and exercising more often. Not only will a healthier lifestyle help control your depression, it will curb the weight gain.

Researchers found that those who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced less depression, anger, and stress than those who exercised less frequently or not at all.

If a person is noticing weight gain?, they must start their medication and notify a doctor as soon as possible. Their doctor may recommend switching  medications or a plan of action to avoid the weight gain.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

0 thoughts on “Health & Fitness : Antidepressants Causing Weight Gain?

  1. Weight gain should be the least of worries for people who take antidepressants
    1 in 6 become manic (bipolar) by taking antidepressants and will be wrongly diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. They will then be told they need medication for life and given antipsychotics, lithium and antiepileptics (mood stabilizers) in cocktails that have never been researched.
    In the longest and largest antidepressant study conducted (STAR-D) only 3 percent had effect after one year of treatment with several antidepressants.
    7 out of 10 get their sex lives destroyed by these pills
    Suicide risk may increase with up to 600%, especially in young people.
    Once you have started on antidepressants you have an 85% risk of becoming chronically depressed. Without antidepressants, your risk for chronic depression is only 15%
    Antidepressants can both stimulate and numb feelings and thoughts so as to make people do strange and often violent things. Very honest and good people may suddenly steal, embezzle money and even commit murder.
    Many people have extreme side effects when they try to stop. They usually think it is depression and anxiety coming back, and don’t dare to try stopping again.
    Most doctors reduce medication too quickly when patients want to stop. You should never try to reduce more than 10% of the medication every 2 weeks. That means a minimum tapering period of 20 weeks. Rule of thumb: use one month to withdraw for every year you have been on the medication. 10 years of use=10 months tapering.
    In research, antidepressants don’t work better than sugar pills, even in the short run. So they are medications with extreme risks and no benefit.
    There are many treatments that work. Simply taking a quick walk for 20 minutes 3 times a week has better effect in research than an antidepressant. Cognitive therapy works better than antidepressants, and have lasting effects.
    Google on Breggin and Whitaker to find more info and references to all of this research.

    1. While I agree that there are certain outcomes especially when it comes to side effects of taking antidepressants .

      I also think that weight gain is also an issue especially when a person’s head is not necessarily in the right place it just contributes to the negative feelings.

      Another thing in my opinion just taking a pill won’t help you to get rid of the feelings that you’re having, it’s imperative to talk with a therapist.

    2. I agree with you. Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy are far better than taking a pill. Those therapies initiate changes in the persons life, not just covering feelings. However, there are many more people who benefit from an antidepressant than just taking walks, exercising.

      The definition provided by the National Alliance for Mental Illness, states “A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life”

      The National Alliance for Mental Illness also states, “The recovery journey is unique for each individual. There are several definitions of recovery; some grounded in medical and clinical values, some grounded in context of community and some in successful living. One of the most important principles is this: recovery is a process, not an event. The uniqueness and individual nature of recovery must be honored. While serious mental illness impacts individuals in many ways, the concept that all individuals can move towards wellness is paramount.”

      Many of those inflicted with depression will often outweigh the risks with the benefits.

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