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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/13/2010 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking lithium now for almost two years and I have to say I am very unhappy with the weight gain. The lithium is great for my bipolar episodes, the mood swings are very rarely there and I couldn't be happier with all of that, except for the whole going from 110 lbs to 140. about a month ago I, along with my doctor decided to up my dosage from 900 mg a day to 1200 and now I am terrified. I feel way heavier than I did before, I was already unhappy with my weight then, now I feel like a total whale. I have had problems with my weight and battled an eating disorder before, I really don't want to end up down that road again. I eat very healthy, rarely eat junk food, drink mostly water and hit the gym twice a week and yet I now feel and probably look like I eat cake all day long. Lately I have been considering asking my doctor to consider switching me to abilify, so far the things I read seem promising, anyone out there with any experience or input? I am really iffy about the whole trying a new medication, my last try with tegretol left me terrified, but I really can't keep living like this and I refuse to starve myself to be thin again.

horse crazy
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 6/13/2010 2:44 AM (GMT -6)   


I understand where you are coming from on the weight gain with lithium.  I have been at 900mg for 5 years, and just recently dropped it to 699mg because for whatever reason the lithium went toxic which landed me in the hospital 2 times.  Lithium has definitely helped mania and maybe helped a bit with depression.  BUT, I gained i gained 35# on it, and now I am on another weight gainer which is seroquel.  One part of me is afraid to rock the boat so to speak and the other part of me looks in the mirror everyday and I am so turned off over the weight gain and terrified I will gain more.  I have found that weight gain due to meds is different from regular weight gain from overeating, etc.  The med weight gain is almost impossible to diet off and the scale keeps creeping up which is very scarey.  My weight gain is like you, becoming unacceptable.  I have a psych consultation coming up at University of MI Depression Center and weight gain is at the top of my list.  Mu regular pdoc thinks I should live with it.  Not going to happen.  I know abilify is hot and I have had many clients have good success with it.  I tried it two years ago and had an awful time with it....mainly causing pyschotic episodes.  But each person reacts defferently to meds and my reaction was unsual.  Definitely talk to your pdoc about it.  The weight gain is obviously effecting your self-esteem and what good is a drug that may control meed swings but puts how you feel about yourself in the gutter?  Let me know if you go on abilify

Horse Crazy
Bi-polarII; rapid cycler; Lithium 600
Requip XL 8mg; Lamictal 200 mg; seraquel 450mg, klonopin 4mg

happy bill
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 6/13/2010 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   


  To give a different perspective i like to think like this. Instead of thinking "ive gained weight and look fat, and im losing my hair so i look old" i turn it  around and think "Yes ive gained weight, and i lost some hair. But all of that doesnt matter a bit because i am in control and being a good husband." My wife would rather have a fatter me with no hair (I have been just using clippers and cutting it all off) who is faithful and level headed than a slimmer man with a full head of hair who is cheating on her all the time, going into rages almost daily, mishandling money etc etc etc. 

   At the end of the day i weigh the two sides, weight gain and hair loss vs being in control and being both a good husband, dad, son and friend. In my mind its no contest, even if i gained 50lbs and lost all my hair if i can be the good things then i will pay that price and be glad to pay it.

   After all the alterntive is being alone, divorced, out of control, probaly with some STD because i am so out of control.

   I guess my way of looking at it is i am happy for what i have, not what i dont.


   "If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade"
   "It isn't my fault that i am BiPolar, It is my responsibility how i treat it so that i don't hurt others or myself."  Happy Bill
   Meds. Respirdal  0.5 a day, more if needed.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/13/2010 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, yes...I know I can do the whole positive view, believe me I have tried. To go from being a person who swore she'd kill herself if she went past 100 lbs, a person who thought her ideal weight was 95 lbs...I have come pretty far. When I first started the lithium I knew that the whole weight issue was going to be a pretty big deal with me, I tried working at it, I tried being encouraged by the whole " if you eat right and exercise you will be fine" speech that I got from my doctor, I have tried it all. Yes, I am very happy with the results I have seen from the lithium, but at this point I don't know if continuing with it without seeing other options is what I want. I am one of the lucky ones I suppose, I haven't really experienced the hair loss or cravings that have made me gain 50+ pounds, but the significant memory loss and 30 lbs at 21 years old is a pretty big deal. I know that to many of you I might sound like I'm a total whiner, but I just turned 21 not that long ago and I don't want to end up at 200 lbs by the time I am 22. I really do appreciate the input, I know that positive thinking helps out a lot, right now I really want to see what is out there that might help.
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