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Author Topic: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain  (Read 6535 times)

NinaFrusztajerMD

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Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:34:00 PM »
I was recently reminded by some psychologists who work with teens that weight gain from meds (antidepressants and mood stabilizers) is a major issue.  The teenage years are tough enough, buty add to it weight gain and the social scene they're trying to navigate is all the more difficult.  One can see eating disorders arising from weight gained from meds, or weight not lost after the meds are stopped.

At any age, weight gain is an awful thing to deal with when you are getting such relief otherwise from your meds.  But many teens are more vulnerable than adults as they haven't found their footing in life and are just getting to know themselves.  We want everyone to feel good about themselves, but the younger one feels good about themselves, the better so as to lay the right foundation for the future.  Weight gain can get in the way of confidence and teenagers can use it just as much as adults.  Let's hope information about how eating the right low fat and fat free carbs as part of an overall balanced and healthy diet and exercise can help give teens the best chance for success in life, including maintaining a body in which they can feel their best.

Judy

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 08:34:34 PM »
I just wanted to add a bit about teens and stress and weight gain. The New York Times had a front page article about a high school in a Boston suburb that was trying stress reduction techniques with their seniors. The principal was worried about the enormous amount of stress these kids had applying to college and doing well their last year of high school.
If you have a teen going through this, don't be surprised to find the teen using food to relax and feel less anxious about school, colleges and high school social life. Use the same eating techniques we recommend in our book for adults to decrease stress: a dinner of carbs to boost serotonin, a late afternoon carb snack and if you teen has trouble falling asleep , maybe a late night bowl of oatmeal or fat free frozen yogurt will calm those anxious feelings. And if the teen is really overworked, and has too  much homework, have a younger sibling take out the garbage.

mdnitewind

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2008, 06:52:33 AM »
I worry about doctors who prescribe antidepressants too casually. Sometimes I get angry at myself for ever filling my prescription for paxil. Something inside me was telling me I didn't need it, but I was so desperate to get some energy back, which the doctor said the paxil would help with, so I took it. I was younger then and hey, popping a pill to have my old self back and my old energy back - how easy, sounded good to me. This was before the internet was around too, so it never occurred to me to look into paxil to find out more about it. At least I am aware now so I would be aware if my daughter ever goes through anything like this.

Does anyone know if it's true that doctors get bonuses from drug companies if they fill so many prescriptions of certain medications? Someone told me this once and I found it such a crazy idea, I hope it's not true. But I do wish doctors were more careful in prescribing antidepressants. They wouldn't prescribe insulin or a blood pressure medication to a patient unless they were absolutely sure the patient truly needed it, and then they probably do follow up visits to see how it's going. But I feel like some doctors toss around the antidepressants so casually. I really wasn't depressed when I was put on paxil. And it really messed me up. I was like 24 when I went on it. I was sent to a neurologist, he didn't know me at all. He sat and talked to me for about ten minutes, he ran no tests, and then put me on paxil. I weighed 148 pounds, was 5'4" and he told me to lose 35 to 40 pounds too, and that would help me feel better. And that was it. He never even checked my blood pressure, which was why I was sent to him in the first place, because my doctor checked my blood pressure while laying down, then when I sat up, and it dropped. He said that could be part of why I was having fatigue and having trouble doing physical activities which I previously never used to have trouble with, I used to be very active. But the neurologist never even looked into that. Just wrote me out a quick prescription that messed me up. (Nah, I'm not still bitter about it - heh!)

I feel really bad for teenagers who are being put on it who might not truly need it, where other things might help them more instead. It's not fair to mess with their body if it's not truly needed physically. But we so often put our trust in the doctors and don't question them. That's how I used to be. And a couple of doctors really made me feel miserable about myself. To a teen, that could really be horrible. They have enough to deal with as it is.

NinaFrusztajerMD

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 12:27:14 AM »
It's terrible to hear when patients don't get the treatment they need from doctors and even worse when the treatment makes them feel worse.  There are complex relationships between physicians and drug companies but I think it all boils down to the fact that physicians get their info about meds from drug reps and they don't have time to spend with patients.  I could talk for hours about the medical system, incentives, disincentives, etc. but I can understand your bitterness and applaud you for seeking out what will be right for you.  I hope the serotonin power diet is a great starting point for you.

mdnitewind

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 03:26:37 PM »
Do you think it varies from clinic to clinic? I switched to my doctor because he has his own independent practice, not tied in with the big clinic in town. And then there is one doctor at that big clinic that I have heard really good things about (he's booked, not taking any more new patients). And what I found interesting is he lives in this town too, but he takes his family to a clinic out of town, about a half hour away. It makes me think, do they have some of the same issues I have with this clinic, and they actually work there, so perhaps they know the inside scoop on things??

I don't know. Maybe they have other reasons for taking their health care out of town. But I know I have not gotten very "complete" or detailed care there myself. And found it curious that a doctor would take his family out of town for all their health care needs.

NinaFrusztajerMD

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 10:55:59 PM »
I think each person has to make their own decisions about which clinic and physician best serves their health care needs as there are so many factors involved.  If you can get information from a reliable source or you know for yourself what serves you best, then you can make your own decisions.

blonde1954

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 11:26:52 AM »
Hi everyone! I have just ordered the book from  Amazon, and even paid the extra for overnight shipping! I have now started to feel empowered for the first time in a decade. I feel hope now.

First, I want to respond to the problem of teen obesity. It is so touchy. I am now 53 and my late mother began abusing me and my two sisters as soon as we went through puberty and got hips and breasts. I was very pretty and at a good weight in high school (now that I look back), but mom always told us we were fat ugly pigs. All three of us are obese (my youngest sister and I are also recovering alcoholics). So, I have a lot of rotten "software" that needs to be uninstalled. Overwight children need so much love, because the world is so cruel.

I have been sober for 10 and a half years, thanks to the 12 Steps and my wonderful therapist. I have also been on almost every anti-depressant made in the last 10 years. I know that they have really helped to keep me sober. My psychiatrist is a certified addiction specialist, and he is wonderful. He says that the major reason his patients go off their antidepressants is sexual dysfunction, and weight is a close second. I have suffered both, but he has convinced me that they are critical to my life. Currently I am taking 450 mg of Wellbutrin and 60 mg. of Cymbalata in the morning, and 150 mg. of Trazedone at night. I practically rattle!

My mood is good, although I have a lot of stress, just like everyone. I have gained 70 pounds in the last 10 years. I hate it, but have felt absolutely powerless to change it. I have been working on this for over a year with my therapist (I have only recently been able to discuss it), and I know that my reasons for overeating are not psychological anymore. I recently married a wonderful man who adores me -- I know food isn't love! It just puzzles me no end at how I can be hungry 2 hours after a large meal including dessert.

Non-stop hunger -- that's the problem. I am in fabulous health -- blood pressure and blood sugar normal, the choloesterol values of a marathon runner. I am very active, and lift weights with a personal trainer twice a week for an hour. I do need to increase my cardio work, which I am already staerting to do. I bounght a treadmill and the weather is now warm enough here in Minnesota to walk outside.

I am very thrilled to be beginning my journey. I am starting the carb increase today and can't wait to read the book tomorrow. I finally feel like I have the power to change my life. I see my psychiatrist in five months for medication management. I know that this program will work for me, and I know he will be enthusiastic about it if it works. He is a great guy, and is always looking for ways to help his patients get better.

Glad to be with you all!

Better2no

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 01:06:49 PM »
[color=green]Welcome blonde1954 and midnitewind!
So glad you're joining us!
All I can say is, I sure wish I would have known
how much diet change could make me feel better...
a few prescriptions ago!  Everyone's different, of course,
but I don't think you have anything to lose (except weight and feeling lousy)
by giving SPD a faithful commitment.
Best wishes to you!!!!
Lillie[/color]
He knows my heart and loves me still :D
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wORAMN1/]
[img]http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/wORAMN1/weight.png[/img]
[/url]

feenlida

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 07:04:34 PM »
[quote author=blonde1954 link=topic=54.msg1718#msg1718 date=1211210812]
Hi everyone! I have just ordered the book from  Amazon, and even paid the extra for overnight shipping! I have now started to feel empowered for the first time in a decade. I feel hope now.

First, I want to respond to the problem of teen obesity. It is so touchy. I am now 53 and my late mother began abusing me and my two sisters as soon as we went through puberty and got hips and breasts. I was very pretty and at a good weight in high school (now that I look back), but mom always told us we were fat ugly pigs. All three of us are obese (my youngest sister and I are also recovering alcoholics). So, I have a lot of rotten "software" that needs to be uninstalled. Overwight children need so much love, because the world is so cruel.

I have been sober for 10 and a half years, thanks to the 12 Steps and my wonderful therapist. I have also been on almost every anti-depressant made in the last 10 years. I know that they have really helped to keep me sober. My psychiatrist is a certified addiction specialist, and he is wonderful. He says that the major reason his patients go off their antidepressants is sexual dysfunction, and weight is a close second. I have suffered both, but he has convinced me that they are critical to my life. Currently I am taking 450 mg of Wellbutrin and 60 mg. of Cymbalata in the morning, and 150 mg. of Trazedone at night. I practically rattle!

My mood is good, although I have a lot of stress, just like everyone. I have gained 70 pounds in the last 10 years. I hate it, but have felt absolutely powerless to change it. I have been working on this for over a year with my therapist (I have only recently been able to discuss it), and I know that my reasons for overeating are not psychological anymore. I recently married a wonderful man who adores me -- I know food isn't love! It just puzzles me no end at how I can be hungry 2 hours after a large meal including dessert.

Non-stop hunger -- that's the problem. I am in fabulous health -- blood pressure and blood sugar normal, the choloesterol values of a marathon runner. I am very active, and lift weights with a personal trainer twice a week for an hour. I do need to increase my cardio work, which I am already staerting to do. I bounght a treadmill and the weather is now warm enough here in Minnesota to walk outside.

I am very thrilled to be beginning my journey. I am starting the carb increase today and can't wait to read the book tomorrow. I finally feel like I have the power to change my life. I see my psychiatrist in five months for medication management. I know that this program will work for me, and I know he will be enthusiastic about it if it works. He is a great guy, and is always looking for ways to help his patients get better.

Glad to be with you all!
[/quote]

Welcome!  That is quite a bit of "stuff" you have had in your lifetime.  Congrats on being sober for so long!  I have a father who is an alcoholic, but worse, he is in denial about it.  Anyway, I wanted to also recommend some other books by Dr.Phil - "Self Matters" and "Ultimate Weight Solution"  I have used these books and he really provides a great break down of your entire thought process - very beneficial to success in weight loss! 

Best of luck to you! 

blonde1954

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 08:15:09 PM »
Thanks for the book recommendations -- you can never have too much good information going in!!

I actually at 3:30 today I actually forgot what I had for lunch!! This carb snack thing has really evened off my appetite!

This is so thrilling!

feenlida

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2008, 06:02:20 AM »
You are quite welcome - they were blessings in my life, so I am happy to be a blessing for someone else! 

blonde1954

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Re: Teens, Antidepressants and Weight Gain
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2008, 07:11:49 PM »
Thanks for your kind words and prayers.

I am very grateful for my recovery and the role of my therapist and AA in it. I had a lot of negative programming to undo, and I have made enormous strides. I have struggled with my weight for years, and although it was tough, I could control my eating before I quit drinking. Then my drinking controlled my eating (I lived on a liter of vodka a day for a year and lost 60 pounds!) Then came blessed sobriety and my new "cocktails" of antidepressants and 70 pounds over ten years.

The good news is that I now know with almost complete certainly that my overeating is not emotional. I work out a lot -- today I llifted weights with my trainer for an hour. I am very heavily muscled and can lift more weight than most men. My food intake is similar no matter what my mood may be. I got married in January to my dream man, who adores every pound, and supports all of my efforts for good health. I have a great life. I have no hole to fill with food. I do take very large doses of antidepressants, and my appetite has been out of control for 10 years since I sobered up.

What I really love about this approach is the fact that I can now say "not guilty" about my weight. Kind of like learning that addiction is a disease and not a character flaw, you know? The carb snacks and timing have really helped me reduce my calorie intake drastically (I mean by over 500 calories at least), and I feel more alert and less fuzzy. I have more energy to excercise. I am taking it one day at a time.  :D

I am grateful for the system and the community forum's support.