Anyone here gain weight from combating Depression/(Mental Illness)?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2008 11:33 AM GMT
    All throughout high school I tried to change my sexuality; during the daytime I was able to convince myself that I was straight, but every night I'd jack off to gay porn. So I esstentially changed nothing. After "failing" to change and convinced I was going to Hell (thank you Catholic Church!) I fell into a deep depression.

    I was placed on medications which made me gain an enormous amount of weight. I used to be thin and muscular. Even when I considered myself straight I was hit on all the time by gay guys and even girls. Now, it seems as though everyone stares right through me. I hope to be back in shape this Christmas... and even more muscular than before.... but it hurts not being noticed at all anymore.

    So many people say, "Chris, you are the nicest person I have met in a long time." Or, "Chris, you have a lot to offer to this world and will someday make someone very happy." Blah blah blah. It is depressing but the initial physical attraction is what brings two people to talk with each other. Yes, there are exceptions though.

    I was just on one of those dating websites (there aren't a lot of gay bars and clubs where I'm from... so it's hard to meet guys), and I hit it off with this one guy. He seemed nice and undersatnding. I even told him my whole "depression/coming out of the closet" story, and nothing scared him. i told him i was in the processes of getting back into shape not only for my self image but for health reasons. Then he asked to see a recent pic of me... which i showed him since I trusted him. Well, he stopped talking with me now.

    Anyways, i guess i'm frustrated because people think I'm fat cause I eat too much McDonald's and too many donuts. When in reality, it was past medications which got me this way. Thank God I'm off of them now. But I eat healthier and workout more than most of my thinner friends. I hate fast food, soda, candy, etc. I am not a pig who gorges down food constantly (though I feel for those who are stuck in that addictive behavior and empathize with themicon_sad.gif).

    *sigh*

    I guess i had to get that out, because I want to find true love.... or even have a night of hot sex... I'm still a virgin! (I came out in 2005 and feel self-conscious about my body and will not persue sex until I am happier with my body Image.)

    Has anyone else felt this way before.... or feel this way now?
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Aug 27, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    No. I lost weight and muscle mass.

    Depression affects everyone differently.

    I'm open about my depression and that I am on anti-depressants. You know after suffering for so many years, I need it. And I feel amazingly better than ever.

    I still have my ups and downs (yesterday especially!), but it isn't extreme like it use to me.

    The best thing you can do is to work on you. Before you can enter any relationship, you need to take care of yourself. Stop eating the doughnuts, clean up your diet, surround yourself with positive and uplifting people and to love yourself.

    You're not going to Hell. If we lived by whatever version of the Bible is out there, ALL OF US would be going to Hell.

    Keep your chin up, okay?
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    Aug 27, 2008 3:59 PM GMT
    Yeah, I was on Zoloft for a while and gained more than a few pounds.

    Exercising regularly does help - it's not a cure-all, but it does make it easier to get through the day/week.

    You're doing the best thing you can do - you're working out. Remember that progress isn't instant - and don't blame yourself for others' shallowness. Make working out a reward in itself - set a goal and then feel great when you beat it.

    Small steps add up to big changes. Best of luck.
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    Aug 27, 2008 4:22 PM GMT
    For me, the meds didn't cause the weight gain, but they zapped all my energy. Getting through a day at work became rough when, by about 2pm, all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep. I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine and if I were to have a cup of coffee after 2pm, I would be awake til at least 12 or 1am. While on the meds, I would drink a cup at 2pm and I would be lucky if the buzz lasted til 5 when it was time to go home.

    I also love food, and will sometimes choose what I eat based on how it will make me feel (ie, comfort food). So between the constant lack of energy and sometimes eating not as well as I should, I put on some weight and peaked heavier than I had ever been in my life.

    About three months after I was completely off the meds, I was ready to hit the gym again....I was even looking forward to it. Apparently Murphy had other plans for me. I ended up tearing my ACL and medical meniscus, so that added another four to six months to my recovery last year. Once I got back to the gym and started making some more diet changes, I dropped some weight pretty quickly.
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    Aug 27, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about the shallowness of gay men. I've learned that the hard way over the years. It's funny how many of us on here have similar backgrounds, yet continue to only focus on the "hot" guys and ignore/be rude to the "unattractive".

    I've struggled with my weight for my entire life, so I didn't have the benefit of people hitting on me like you did. I've always been in the place you are now where everyone just ignores you or stops talking to you once you send them a picture. That's why I put up recent pictures now. It's better to have someone ignore you right off the bat than to hit it off with someone and then have them disappear.

    Over the years, I've always had "more important" issues to focus on in my life than getting into shape. So, eating right and going to the gym was always something I did off and on, but never focused on. School, hobbies, and work always came first in my life. I think that was conscious because I was also trying to fight being gay. So, I'm guessing a small part of me thought if I remained out of shape, I wouldn't have to deal with it because no one would talk to me anyways.

    But, things are different now and I want to eventually meet someone - hell, I'd be happy if people would just talk to me as a friend. ha ha! But, now that I can, I've hired a personal trainer and gotten nutritional advice. So, I'm well on my way to being healthy and attractive. Hopefully then guys will see what my straight friends have always known - that I'm an awesome person.

    So, to answer your question, yes, I've had depression off and on and I'm sure the medication didn't help my weight. I still struggle with depression now even though I've lost almost 40 pounds this year. It's just something you have to deal with and work through - like any problem.

    What you have to understand though is that you can't change other people's thoughts or feelings. You have to be happy with yourself before someone else will like you.

    Good luck though. I definitely know what you're going through.
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    Aug 27, 2008 6:36 PM GMT
    cjcscubamed, yep. It's exactly where I am now. 22, still a virgin and out of shape, but the exact opposite, I'm stick thin. I have self-confidence issues too which bring me down every now and then. I too had a period of deep depression in my teens because of my being gay (and an unrequited love).

    Just remember, be thankful that at this stage we can spot the shallow people pretty easily. Use the anger about those that won't take the time to talk to us.

    Repeat after me: 'Someday I'll be hawt and you'll be sorry!' LOL

    Keep the chin up, man. Because someday... we ARE going to be hawt! icon_twisted.gif And they're gonna be sorry! LOL
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Aug 28, 2008 5:10 AM GMT
    Yep! I gained a bunch of weight when I was on Zoloft so I switched to Cymbalta, which made me violently ill.

    Now I'm back to Zoloft, which curiously hasn't made me gain weight this time.
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    Aug 29, 2008 2:12 PM GMT
    First psychology treatment is still in a theory stage. They understand the basics of the inner workings of the body but not they dont have a full understanding. That is why its all trial and error when it comes to treatment. Not only does depression effect people differently but so do the meds.

    I was diagnosed 10 years ago with severe depression tried multiple medications. Some worked but had unwanted sexual side effects (*paxil and its 5hr erection*) while others didnt do much of anything. Eventually I said screw it I dont want to be a lab rat and stopped my meds, well at least until 3 months ago when I felt like I was loosing my mind. I went to my primary care who referred me to a great psychiatrist. The verdict is bipolar, which i suspected, and placed on 900mg lithium, which works great and for the first time in my life I feel normal.

    Throughout the 10+years my weight was up and down sometimes as much as 150lb. My current medication has been known to cause weight gain as well but Im not worried because Ill just change my workout to compensate any changes.
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    Dec 10, 2008 1:58 PM GMT
    I have had the same excess 30 lbs since I was about 24, the year my chest grew out and my thighs got bigger. I've been taking it off only to see if return and partly I know it is because I am bi-polar, suffering from depression since 7 years of age. Later in life I learned it is a by-product of the imbalance.

    Gaining it back didn't do much for my self confidence but you can't let weight be your master or the measuring stick for your self worth. I never let pressure to look any which way change me. I am not happy being out of shape but I choose when that changes.

    Great to see so many positive responses to this though, SoDakGuy's being the best.
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    Dec 10, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    Chris,

    You didn't mention which anti-depressant(s) you're on. Some are notorious for causing weight gain. If possible, you should consider seeing a psychopharmacologist - a psychiatrist who specializes in using meds to treat mental illnesses. They are often better able and more willing to try different meds and combinations of meds to alleviate symptoms and avoid or counteract side effects.

    At the end of the day, the truth is that even the very best doctors don't yet know which psych meds will help which patients and with what side effects. My own doc is the chief psycho pharm doc at the country's number one psych hospital and readily admits that.

    In my own case, I gained weight and had mediocre results with zoloft. We added wellbutrin and still no great help. Then we added adderall to the zoloft and wellbutrin and things improved rapidly on the depression and weight fronts.

    Earlier this year we dropped the zoloft and the adderall and added effexor and that has been the best combination of all for me.

    If you are not already seeing a talk therapist about your depression, and you are able to, I would recommend that. You may also want to think about a consult with a nutritionist and or exercise physiologist. I was able to do the both. The I learned was amazing and made a huge difference in how I eat and exercise.

    Once the pieces start to come together, you will probably see a kind of virtuous cycle: you'll get some relief from the depression, become more active and see your weight drop a bit, which will help the depression, etc, etc.

    A few other things worth bearing in mind:

    Try to eat well and regularly. That means nutritious food three to six times per day. If your appetite is poor stick to very small meals or even smoothies. Stay hydrated too.

    Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night - at more or less the same time every night and avoid napping if you can. If you must nap, try to keep them to under 30 minutes. If you are sleepless at night, do not stay in bed awake for more than 20 minutes at a stretch. Move from your bed and try reading something soothing or boring.

    Get 20-60 minutes of light to moderate exercise every day - preferably outdoors when the sun is bright. Even a walk around the block is good enough if that's all you can muster.

    Try to develop a network of people - friends, family, clergy, counselors, etc that you can lean on for emotional support.

    Keep engaging in activities that you usually (or used to) find enjoyable - even if right now you do not find them enjoyable. (You may also find that doing things that interest you will bring you into contact with people who have things in common with you. And there's no telling where that may lead. icon_wink.gif


    Best of luck.

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    Apr 06, 2009 10:39 PM GMT
    I'm resurrecting this thread because of an issue I'm currently dealing with today.

    Anyway, I think part of my weight gain, along with having quit smoking a couple of years ago, is because I am taking Cymbalta for depression. I think those two have a lot to do with my weight shooting up like it did. Plus, I am always hungry no matter what I do to satisfy my appetite. So, yes, I think taking certain meds can make you gain unwanted pounds.

    As for the issue I'm dealing with today, I'm running out of my Rx and thus have to wait until I get paid on Friday to have it refilled. I went both Saturday and Sunday without taking it and am feeling the effects of it. I'm nauseous, clammy, getting the sweats, fighting a headache. I actually have enough to get me thru Friday now (which is why I didn't take it this weekend 1) so I would have enough for M-F and 2) cuz I thought I wouldn't feel this way but that backfired).

    I really don't want to lose too much time working out but I just feel like crap at the moment. icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2009 3:33 AM GMT
    You need to either come off of the Cymbalta very slowly or take a single dose of Prozac, which has a very long half life and so will allow your serotonin levels to fall slowly and probably without side effects.
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    Apr 07, 2009 3:44 AM GMT
    I thought it was my meds that made me gain weight ... turns out I was just happy. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2009 3:49 AM GMT
    Arjay369 saidI'm resurrecting this thread because of an issue I'm currently dealing with today.

    Anyway, I think part of my weight gain, along with having quit smoking a couple of years ago, is because I am taking Cymbalta for depression. I think those two have a lot to do with my weight shooting up like it did. Plus, I am always hungry no matter what I do to satisfy my appetite. So, yes, I think taking certain meds can make you gain unwanted pounds.

    As for the issue I'm dealing with today, I'm running out of my Rx and thus have to wait until I get paid on Friday to have it refilled. I went both Saturday and Sunday without taking it and am feeling the effects of it. I'm nauseous, clammy, getting the sweats, fighting a headache. I actually have enough to get me thru Friday now (which is why I didn't take it this weekend 1) so I would have enough for M-F and 2) cuz I thought I wouldn't feel this way but that backfired).

    I really don't want to lose too much time working out but I just feel like crap at the moment. icon_sad.gif


    Mister, You find a way to get those meds.! They are just as important as water and food! Do what you have to do... well legally. Without your sanity nothing in life will get better--including whatever weight issues you have.

    BTW I am the OP of this thread. I switched accounts--don't ask :O)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    Arjay369 said
    As for the issue I'm dealing with today, I'm running out of my Rx and thus have to wait until I get paid on Friday to have it refilled. I went both Saturday and Sunday without taking it and am feeling the effects of it.


    your doctor might have some samples you can snag to get you through.
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:39 PM GMT
    Cymbalta does not have a generic form; so it must be costing you lot. Since your paying for it, I assume you do not have health insurance that covers prescriptions.

    If you meet financial needs criteria, Lilly pharmaceuticals may supply Cymbalta to you at a reduced cost or possibly free (I'm not sure which one it is).

    Go to the web page http://www.rxassist.org/ .( This web page is a joint venture of pharmaceutical companies). Type in Cymbalta and it will lead to the Lilly site providing you with information and an application.

    For you guys that need it ...Lilly supplies Cialisicon_lol.gif

    If this does not work for you, you may discuss with your physician about using an SSRI that has a generic form. Cymbalta is not an SSRI but an SNRI. Your psychiatrist would have to make this decision.
    If you go to drugstore.com and check it out the SSRI's Prozac and Zoloft have generic forms. I have found that drugstore.com usually undersells your local pharmacy. They list the prices of all their drugs both generic and prescription. Drugstore.Com is a legitimate US pharmacy.